Styling Fun for Little Curls: Curly Hair Baby Care Routine

Those perfect little curls on your baby’s head are the cutest things ever, aren’t they? But along with the adorableness of curly baby hair comes a bit of a learning curve for new parents. Curly hair, especially on infants, requires some special knowledge to keep those ringlets healthy, hydrated, and looking their best.

As a curly baby hair expert, let me assure you that caring for your little one's curly locks is totally doable with the right techniques and natural baby products. With a little guidance on the curl basics and some professional tips, you'll quickly become a certified curl whisperer for those gorgeous hairs.


The Science Behind Curly Strands

In simpler terms, curly hair gets its shape because of its irregular oval-shaped hair strands. Straight hair strands just grow outward in a straight line because their circular shape doesn't cause any bends or curves. But those slight oval shapes in curly hair make the strands grow in a spiral, curving pattern as they get longer.

Another thing about curly hair is that it tends to be a bit drier and has more raised edges and spaces than straight strands. That makes it easier for moisture to escape and causes those strands to become tangled more easily. That's why curly hair requires more hydrating care to prevent frizz and breakage - especially for babies whose strands are still developing and extra delicate.


How to Gently Detangle Curly Baby Hair

Detangling is a way of life with curly hair, and it's best to work those little knots out gently by hand. Here are some tips:

  • Work in sections, separating the hair into manageable parts
  • Detangle in the shower or bath after letting water and conditioner soften the strands
  • Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to slowly work out tangles from the bottom upwards
  • Apply a dab of hydrating leave-in conditioner for detangling spray made for curls before detangling dry hair
  • Go slowly and steady and be extra gentle as you remove shed hairs and work through knots

The key is taking your time, being patient, and never over-manipulating or pulling too hard on those baby curls.


Choosing the Right Hair Products for Curly Baby Curls 

Infants are born with a delicious scent for a reason - their scalp and strands are pristine and undamaged! Those fresh curls need water-based curl creams, and gentle co-washes to cleanse while maintaining their optimal moisture balance. 

Tips for selecting the best baby products for their curls:

  • Pick Water-Based Formulas: Avoid heavy cremes, waxes, or oils that sit on top of the hair shaft and create nasty product buildup on the baby's fine curls.
  • Favor Gentle Hydration: Look for ultra-moisturizing ingredients like aloe, marshmallow root, coconut milk, and glycerine to hydrate spirals while forming a protective sheath.
  • Find the Right Curl Type Match: Use natural baby products tailored specifically for your baby's curl pattern for the most optimized curl clump, definition, and frizz control.
  • Ditch the Sulfates/Silicones: These harsh detergents and sealants can cause scalp irritation, dryness and may unnecessarily coat curls over time.
  • Stick With Leave-In Formulas: Delicate curls need moisture replenishment daily, so find a lightweight leave-in milk or curl cream to maintain suppleness.


How to Wash and Style Your Baby's Curly Hair

Cleansing is important, but you don't want to strip away curly hair's precious natural oils too often. Try washing just 1-2 times per week with the best baby hair shampoo and using a rich, creamy rinse-out curl conditioner.

When it's time to style, leave some conditioner in and add a small amount of curl cream or any other styler while the hair is soaking wet. Then gently squeeze out excess water with a microfiber towel or old t-shirt rather than rough cloth.

As curly hair dries, you want to allow those spiral strands to clump and form defined curls rather than interrupting their pattern by twisting fingers through. A great shortcut is to plop or micro-plop the hair after applying the product - it's a no-fuss way to let curls dry undisturbed while you go about your day.


Protecting and Maintaining Those Precious Spirals 

While the choice of newborn baby products certainly plays a pivotal role, there are additional curl-conscious steps to incorporate into your little one's hair routine to minimize damage, tangles, and frizz while optimizing their curl's longevity and bounciness. Like:

  • Finger Detangling with Conditioner: Skip brushes entirely. Use a thick rinse-out curl conditioner or detangler and your fingers to gently separate clumps
  • Plopping After Washing: "Plop" curls onto a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt after bathing, gently wrapping to allow curls to cast while removing excess moisture.
  • Air-Drying as Much as Possible: Constant heat styling can cause significant curl damage over time. Allowing curls to dry in their natural pattern maintains definition.
  • Protect at Night: Use a silk bonnet or pillowcase to reduce frizz-inducing friction and moisture transfer when slumbering.
  • Refresh With Moisture Mists: In between washes, refresh dried-out strands with a hydrating curl moisturizing spray or leave-in smoothie.
  • Deep Condition Regularly: Curls crave moisture, so weekly intense deep conditioning treatments are crucial for retaining elasticity and curl pattern integrity. Dry hair = damaged curls = frizz, breakage, flyaways, you get the idea!
  • Scalp Massage & Protein Treatments: Work scalp massage into your curl care routine to stimulate growth and periodically use protein masks to patch damaged areas and strengthen strands.

Creating a gentle, low-manipulation routine surrounding moisturized curls will yield lasting defined ringlets for their entire childhood and beyond! Plus, those perfectly formed spirals make for the most adorable post-bath photo-ops ever.



Start nurturing their unique curl pattern from day one without any aggressive brushing, blow-drying, or tension that prematurely destroys those flawless spirals. Let their baby curls set their blueprint before forming bad habits!

By nourishing and caring for your little one's curls properly from the very start, you'll not only avoid frizz and damage - but instill a lifetime of confidence and positive associations surrounding their stunning locks.



1. Why does curly hair require special care, especially for babies?

Ans. Curly hair tends to be drier and has more raised edges and spaces than straight strands, making it easier for moisture to escape and causing strands to become tangled more easily. 

2. What is the best way to detangle curly baby hair?

Ans. To gently detangle curly baby hair, work in sections, using a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to slowly work out tangles from the bottom upwards.

3. What types of hair products should I choose for my baby's curly hair?

Ans. Select natural baby products tailored specifically for your baby's curl pattern and stick with leave-in formulas for daily moisture replenishment.

4. How often should I wash my baby's curly hair?

Ans. Wash your baby's curly hair just 1-2 times per week with a gentle baby hair shampoo and use a rich, creamy rinse-out curl conditioner to avoid stripping away precious natural oils.

5. How can I protect my baby's curls while they sleep?

Ans. To protect your baby's curls during sleep, use a silk bonnet or pillowcase to reduce frizz-inducing friction and moisture transfer.

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