Caring For Your Little Girl's Hair.

As a little girl I had a couple of dolls I enjoyed playing with - my favorite was my darling Jemima (named after the lead character Jemima Shaw on the TV show 'Jemima Shaw Investigates') and she was my little baby.

She went everywhere with me and styling her hair was one of my favorite pass times.
As girls we want so much to play mummy that we mother our dolls 24/7 so I totally identify with that feeling when you have a real baby girl and want her to look like a pretty little bundle of cuteness  (I know that I can't wait!)

And that is why you see so many babies with these little pretty colorful adornments in their hair. This is fine. However, it begins to be a problem when in styling her hair, follicles and scalp health become compromised.

Over the years, I have seen so many disheartening things being done to little girls all in the name of hair styling but 2 recent separate incidents spurred me to do this post.

First it was a picture I saw 'trending' on Instagram for all the wrong reasons - it was of a little girl with half her hair gone - yet she was in the middle of having what was left of her hair, tightly braided!
Too many kids these days already have damaged follicles, damaged hair and receding hairlines.

The second incident happened in the salon. A new customer came in with her baby ( somewhere between 6 and 9 months) Extremely cute lil thing - had a head full of curly hair that had been decorated with loads of bright colored ribbons and bands.

I couldn't resist and carried her at some point just to cuddle and laugh with her and caught an unpleasant  yet vaguely familiar whiff coming from her ( it wasn't the typical smells of number 1 or 2)

Anyway I gave her back to her mum and later while talking with the customer, she mentioned that her baby had these bumps on her head and she didn't know what they were or what to do about them.
I took a closer look at the baby's had and it dawned on me what that odour had been.

The little puffs on her head had been done so tightly that these tiny bumps had erupted all around her head and had started oozing pus. The pus had dried and caked into her hair and that was what was giving off that smell.

Remember I said it was vaguely familiar? That's because one time as a young girl, I got my hair retouched and it was done so badly I got really nasty burns on my scalp. For days, my hair was stuck on my scalp and the burns oozed pus that led to this nasty smell.

My heart wanted to break for this baby girl. I examined her head and noticed she also had swollen nodes in her neck. I told her mum to please take out the bands, wash her hair, let it heal and let her hair just be free.

She immediately removed the bands and it was clear she just hadn't known better.

Babies and little girls do not need all the fuss we subject our scalps and heads to. Their follicles are still developing and don't need to be pulled, yanked and literally abused. All that happens is that the hair and scalp's health become compromised.

All that's needed is a simple routine that you become consistent with.

Shampoo or co wash weekly and follow up with a conditioner. Apply olive oil or shea butter to damp hair daily when they are still really young. Let them wear their hair out at this stage as an afro or 2 small puffs.  As they get older you can gradually introduce puffs, chunky twists or simple cornrows.

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Source: Pinterest
As the hair gets longer and they get older and more active, wash and condition bi weekly and make sure their hair is moisturized daily by using a simple water and coconut oil spritz. Apply jojoba oil to their scalp if you notice any dryness.

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Source: Pinterest
Begin the habit of making them sleep with satin bonnets early on so it becomes part of their routine and they can continue on their own when they become more independent.

As long as its kept simple and consistent their hair will thrive and be healthy.

One last thing - I personally don't think kids should use extensions in their hair till they are at least 10 years old - but that's me. Postpone the use of extensions for as long as possible and help them love their own hair. Involve them in the care of their hair so they know what to do, and understand why they are doing it.

It builds their confidence and appreciation for your efforts!


  1. THIS!!! I 100% agree. When I see little kids with their hair tightly braided or twisted, it takes everything in me not to say something to their parents!

    Berry Dakara Blog

  2. Excellent post! I agree that little girls should be taught to love, understand and appreciate their own hair, it's so important.

  3. While I agree totally with everything said here about hair.. It goes beyond that, for example the little girl in the last picture with the lovely "natural" hair is wearing make-up!!! Why does a little girl need make-up/chemicals on her face so early in life? We can't preach natural with one side of our mouth and then put lipstick on a 5yr old...i don't get it!

  4. I really feel sorry for that little girl. Is it by force????? Will styling her hair make her any less a baby girl????? I keep saying I will not do anything to my children's hair until it was long enough to comfortably pack one or until they are two. Just afro, a cute bow ....shikena. Their hair and scalp is just too delicate to withstand a lot of stress! I'm ready to become a mother tiger to anyone that has a contrary opinion to how I style my children's's that serious.!