4 Ways to Take Care of your Child’s Natural Hair While It is in Braids or Twists

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We’ve determined that protective styles are great, but be aware that putting your child’s hair in a protective style doesn’t mean that you’re free from dealing with your child’s hair completely until it’s time to uninstall. The hair and scalp still need to be taken care of. This way you can insure maximum growth while your baby girl’s hair is tucked away.

Here are 4 tips on how to take care of braids and twists along with how to get the most out of your child’s next protective style.

1. Want to keep the fuzzies away? You’re going to have to commit to wrapping up the style every night…

Whether it’s a satin bonnet, a satin scarf, a satin pillowcase (or a combination of the three – because let’s face it – most kids won’t keep a scarf on all night) you’re going to have to commit to finding some way to protect your child’s hair every night. This applies whether your baby girl has in a protective style or not.My little one has been using a satin pillowcase since she was a teeny weeny thing and it’s really paid off. The reality is that cotton pillowcases absorb all of the good moisture from hair and catch easily on hair strands which can ruin a fresh hairdo, and can even lead to breakage.

2. Watch that hairline!

It’s a fact that if braids are installed too tightly around the hairline they can cause breakage and, in some instances, can even cause permanent hair loss. Edges are fragile given that the hair there is naturally thinner and pulled the tightest most often. Keep hairline breakage to a minimum by making sure to tell your child’s stylist to not be so heavy-handed around the edges. Also be sure to keep edges moisturized along with the rest of the hair – which leads me too…

3. Continue to keep hair moisturized…

As I stated earlier, you still need to continue to keep your child’s hair and scalp moisturized while it’s in a protective style. If you haven’t gone out and bought a spray bottle yet, this is the perfect time to get one. Fill the bottle with a moisturizing cocktail of water, and a few drops of your favorite conditioner. Spray it on your child’s hair every other day and then seal it all in with a bit of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) or any oil or butter. To use the oil, put a dime-size to quarter-size amount in your hands, rub them together and then run your oiled hands down the length of the braids or twists from root to tip. Add more oil to your fingertips and get the scalp as well.

If your baby girl has in a style that she’ll be wearing for an extended amount of time (two weeks or more) you’ll want to cleanse the scalp with a dry shampoo or astringent. A clean scalp will make for an optimum environment for your child’s hair to grow.


4. Don’t be afraid to extend the style… but not for too long…

Want baby girl to get a little more wear out of those box braids. Don’t be afraid to take out the first row or two of braids and re-braid for maximum wear. You can make a protective style look brand new just by doing a little maintenance around the edges. After redoing the front braids, have your child rock a ponytail or half updo and no one would ever be the wiser. With that being said, if your child’s style is creeping towards the 2 – 2 ½ month mark, it’s probably time to take the braids down and let the hair breath. Uninstall the style, and have your child wear a braid-out or puff for a week or so to let the hair “do its thing”; and then feel free to put another protective style in if you desire.

Follow these tips and be prepared to see some amazing growth!

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About Author

Creative director, graphic artist, wife, and most importantly, mother to two Afro Babies - Kesha Phillips has appeared on shows like CBS Better Mornings Atlanta and AMHQ with Sam Champion featured as a parenting and lifestyle expert. Find Kesha all over the web sharing her knowledge and opinions on parenting, family life and social issues.


  1. Love your blog, thank you so much!
    If I want my little one to have a puff or wear her hair loose, or just in a pony or puff, must I put it in a protective style at night? Or just let her sleep on a satin pillow? Which protective styles are recommended? 🙂

    • So glad you’re able to gain some things from the blog! Thank you!
      To reduce tangles and knots, it’s best to protect loose hair by putting it in a couple of twists or braids at night. Nothing fancy. A loose twist or braid (just to keep the hair secure), coupled with a satin pillowcase can stop drying and breakage a great deal.

  2. Jasmine Kennette Hutchison on

    I have a five year old daughter and when I twist her hair without the rubber band the next day it looks so frizzy..Which products are best?Right now I’m using cantu..

  3. My 5 yrs old daughter started out with soft, and it used wrap around my finger and bounce off. Now it dry, and brittle, but still has the length. I use olive oil, coconut, and shea…but she does not use a satin pillowcase, or a scarf, because she wont sleep with it on.

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