Conditioners are crucial to any child’s hair care because they are meant to restore moisture back into the hair, after shampooing. They are also formulated to condition the hair, repair the hair shaft, and strengthen the hair so that it continues to grow healthy.
So if you’ve ever struggled with dry hair, breakage, and manageability with your child’s hair, you will find a lot of value in this post. And this is the reason why I have written this article to provide a list of the best natural hair conditioners for kids’ hair. You can also use these conditioners on toddlers and mixed or biracial children’s hair.
Before we get into recommending the best conditioners and deep conditioners for your child’s hair, I’d first like to answer some frequently asked questions about the role of conditioners on children’s hair in this quick guide.
What is a deep conditioner and what are the benefits of deep conditioning childrens’ hair?
A deep conditioner is a type of conditioner that is often thicker in consistency and is formulated to penetrate deeply into the hair shaft. Deep conditioners are applied to the hair after shampooing, and it’s recommended to let it sit in your hair for about 20minutes or longer. You can also use heat such as a heat cap for better absorption and a more thorough deep condition.
A deep conditioner is beneficial to a child’s hair as it restores moisture, softens hair, strengthens, and prevents breakage, and minimizes ends.
What is the difference between a conditioner and a deep conditioner?
The differences between a conditioner and a deep conditioner or treatment masque are the consistency, potency, and ingredients in each product. Regular conditioners are meant to lightly condition the hair, soften your hair, and make it more combable so that you can easily detangle your hair.
Whereas, deep conditioners usually come in a tub because they are thicker in consistency so that you can scoop the product with your hands. Deep conditioners usually have a larger quantity of conditioning agents in the ingredients than regular conditioners. For example, a protein deep conditioner will have a larger portion of proteins in the product, than a regular protein conditioner from the same product line.
Also, a regular conditioner can be used every day while a deep conditioner is only used about once a week or so.
Another distinction between these two types of products is that regular conditioners can be washed out after 3 minutes or so, whereas, deep conditioners are meant to stay in the hair for about 30 minutes for deeper penetration. You can also use a regular conditioner to pre-poo, co-wash, and detangle your hair. Whereas, a deep conditioner is best for deep conditioning and treating your hair.
You can say that a regular conditioner is like having a quick shower, while a deep conditioner is like having a full bath.
A final distinction I’d like to make is that deep conditioners are often more expensive than regular conditioners. This is mainly because deep conditioners aren’t used as often as regular conditioners.
Can you deep condition your child’s hair with a regular conditioner?
From the several distinctions that I outlined above, I wouldn’t recommend deep conditioning a child’s hair with a regular conditioner. The reason is that both products are formulated for two distinct functions.
You can however turn a regular conditioner into a deep conditioner by adding conditioning agents such as avocado, shea butter, honey, mayonnaise, and greek yogurt. You can also add natural oils like coconut oil, olive oil, or castor oil.
Can I use homemade deep conditioners on my child’s hair?
Yes, you can use a homemade deep conditioner like mayo, avocado, or raw eggs in your child’s hair if you find it to be more effective and economical than store-bought products.
I steer clear from homemade DIY hair products because they are messy, and I am too lazy to make them. Also as someone with a science degree, I understand that I cannot make a homemade product that will be as effective as what a team of hair professionals and chemists created in a lab. And so for that reason, I usually recommend store-bought hair products that were formulated by teams of professionals.
However, I understand that hair products can be a luxury item for a lot of women, so I often suggest that they can use whatever works for their hair and budget.
Can regular deep conditioning grow my child’s hair?
Regular deep conditioning will grow your child’s hair if done frequently and effectively. Hair that is thoroughly deep conditioned will stay healthy and continue to grow. However, hair that is excessively dry, weak, and breaks easily will not grow long.
So while deep conditioners are meant to condition and moisturize the hair, they can also help with length retention and hair growth, if done properly.
Should you deep condition babies’ and toddlers’ hair?
You don’t need to deep condition babies’ hair since their hair is at its healthiest state. Because the thing is that most parents do not manipulate babies’ hair like they do with older kids. This means that babies hair will be in a healthier state than an older child’s hair.
This is why it’s not recommended to deep condition babies’ and toddlers’ hair. But if your baby or toddler struggles with dry hair and breakage, you can incorporate bi-weekly or monthly deep conditioning treatments.
At what age can you start deep conditioning children’s hair?
You can start deep conditioning your child’s hair from the age of two. The reason is that they will have grown a few inches of hair which will need to be cared for on a regular basis. Remember that the end goal of deep conditioning is to repair and restore the hair. Meaning that any child younger than two years old should not need her hair to be repaired, because babies do not change up their hair as often as adults and older kids do, so their hair should already be in a healthy state.
Babies who struggle with dry hair and breakage will need regular conditioning, which can be achieved with a leave-in conditioner. You can also look into your child’s diet, if she struggles with dry hair, at such a young age.
How do you deep condition a child’s hair?
It’s very easy to deep condition children’s hair. It’s the same process as deep conditioning adults’ hair, except that you want to make sure that your child is in the mood and distracted with a toy or TV program.
This is how you go about it:
- The first step is to cleanse her hair with one of these kid-friendly shampoos.
- Section her hair and apply the deep conditioner to her hair one section at a time.
- Work the product through the strands of her hair, starting from the roots to the ends. Be sure to focus on the ends because this is the weakest part of the hair.
- Cover her hair using a shower cap, and add some heat, by using a thermal heating cap. The heat opens up the hair follicles to allow the conditioner to penetrate deeply so that you get an effective deep conditioning treatment. You can also wrap a towel on her head to trap some heat in, if you don’t have a heat cap.
- Let the product sit in her hair for about 30 minutes and rinse the product out.
- You can then proceed to styling, after applying one of these leave-in conditioners in her hair.
ALSO READ THESE POST:
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Please watch this video by Naturally Crowned UK who details how to detangle children’s hair.
Can I deep condition my child’s hair overnight?
It’s not necessary nor recommended to leave your child’s hair deep conditioned overnight. Deep conditioners are designed to work effectively in the duration stated in the instructions. It’s also not safe to leave deep conditioners in children’s hair overnight, because they may somehow end up ingesting some of the products in their sleep. Please remember kids will always be kids, and so it wouldn’t be right to expect them to be as responsible as an adult would.
Should I shampoo after deep conditioning or deep condition after shampoo?
You should shampoo then deep condition. Ideally, the reason why you deep condition is to replace the moisture and nutrients lost during shampooing. You will also notice that the instruction on the deep conditioner is to use the product after shampoo.
Remember that your hair products were formulated by hair professionals and scientists who have expert knowledge in hair chemistry. So if they say to deep condition after shampoo for best results, you should do that.
Shampooing after deep conditioning will also be a waste of product and effort because you will be washing away conditioning agents that are meant to stay in your hair.
Do you deep condition or condition first?
Honestly, there is no need to condition your hair if you are still going to deep condition it. A deep conditioner does the same work a conditioner does, only better. It penetrates deeper than a conditioner does. It’s pointless doing both at the same time not to mention a waste of product, money, and time. You can also prevent the deep conditioner from doing its job if you apply a conditioner first.
Deep conditioners work best on freshly washed hair, so if you will be layering another product on your hair prior to using a deep conditioner, the conditioning agent in your deep conditioner will not be able to penetrate into the hair. Because it will be prevented by the elements in the conditioner that are covering the hair cuticles. The image below shows what a conditioner does which is to coat the hair cuticles so that they’re smoother and lays flat.
Should you rinse the deep conditioner out with cold water?
Yes, you should rinse the deep conditioner out with cold water to close the hair cuticles in order to lock in moisture. Using warm water will leave the cuticles open and some moisture will be lost, rendering the entire deep conditioning process pointless.
How often should I deep condition my child’s hair?
How often you choose to deep condition your child’s hair will be dependent on a few factors such as the following.
1) How old the child is. Toddlers will only need their hair deep conditioned about once a month or every six weeks. While babies do not need their hair deep conditioned.
2) The length of your child’s hair. Kids with short hair won’t need their hair deep conditioned as often as kids with longer hair.
3) The environment you’re in. If you live in a dry environment, you will need more deep conditioning sessions.
4) If your child has excessively dry hair, you will need to deep condition every two weeks.
5) If your child struggles with growth, you should look into deep conditioning every two weeks or once a month.
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What are the best conditioners and deep conditioners for children’s hair?
If you find a discontinued product on this list, please do let me know so I can keep this post updated. I’d also like to inform you that brands change their product packaging from time to time, which means that the product picture in this post might look a bit different from the retailer’s website at the time you decide to make a purchase.