Curly kids: our hair routine


I’ve been getting lots of questions lately about how we do the girls’ hair. It is a lot of work, but we love the girls’ curls, and it’s always been really important to us to keep them natural and teach them to love their hair.

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I first wrote about our hair care regimen over at My Big Fat Afro, when Claire was 2. (Check it out if you want step-by-step details and product info!) Not much has changed –  we are still strictly a NO SHAMPOO family, with regular co-washing and detangling with our fingers.


The one thing that has changed over the years is that we’ve started incorporating protective hair styles once in a while. I’ve done French braids and box braids for Claire myself on occasion over the years, mainly to give us a few days’ break from the detangling routine and to give her a change in look.

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Last year, Claire had her hair plaited professionally for the first time. She LOVED it! I thought she looked gorgeous, but it also amazed (and scared) me how grown up she looked. My four year old suddenly looked like she was 13!

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Heidi’s hair is quite different from Claire’s. Her curls are tighter, and her hair feels drier and more fragile. Detangling Heidi’s hair used to be no big deal, but it has become more of a challenge since her hair has gotten longer. (It looks quite short, but when you pull out a curl it stretches to 2-3 inches long!) While we left Claire’s hair loose and curly for her first 3 or 4 years, I’ve already started experimenting with some protective styles for Heidi, to save her from daily detangling.

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Heidi doesn’t have the patience to sit still for cornrows, so I’ve experimented a bit with finger coils, twists, and box braids. The styles don’t last long for her, and start getting fuzzy after 2-3 days, but it’s a start! As she gets older, we might experiment with cornrows and see if we can get more longevity out of her styles!


As a curly mom with curly kids, it has always been important to me that my girls love their hair. I spent a good part of my younger years fighting my curls, and wishing my hair was different. I want Claire and Heidi to love their curls and embrace them for their beauty, uniqueness and personality. Their curls are an extension of their beautiful personalities, and I want them to know it!

(Photo of Heidi on the grass in our garden courtesy of Natasha Sweeney.)

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10 Responses to Curly kids: our hair routine

  1. Herine says:

    Real patience there good job mama

  2. Kate says:

    What hair oil do u use?

    • Mama Mgeni says:

      We don’t use any on Claire (our 4 year old). We’ve started using some on Heidi (the 2 year old) because her hair is much drier. Right now we’re using a bottle of Purology Precious Oil that someone gave us. When it runs out, we’ll need to do some experimentation!

  3. julie says:

    Where do you find the right products in Nairobi? We are currently in the states and are able to get a product line called Mixed Chicks for Kids that has shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner and a tangle spray. It works great but once we get back to Kenya we will have to find something else.

    • Mama Mgeni says:

      I confess – we bring products from the US! We use Deva Curl One Condition and No-Poo. If we run out of the One Condition, we get Tresseme Naturals or Suave Naturals here in Kenya. We never run out of the No Poo, because a couple of small bottles lasts us all year!

  4. Marie says:

    I see both of them have Crocks, did you find them in Nairobi? If yes, I’d be interested to know where 🙂

    • Mama Mgeni says:

      Do you mean the shoes? We get ours second-hand at Toi Market near Adam’s Arcade! I am sure they’re not real Croc’s brand, but they work for us!

  5. Ruby says:

    I have done French interlaces and box meshes for claire myself once in a while throughout the years, fundamentally to offer us a couple of days reprieve from the detangling routine and to give her an adjustment in look.

    • Mama Mgeni says:

      Yes, we LOVE the break from detangling! And the braids are also super cute… 🙂

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