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Taming My Daughter’s Curly Hair: Tips and Routines

Taming my daughter’s curls is now my joy; that’s why I stick to a routine. I will often hear, “her hair is beautiful” or “she is so lucky,” and the one I like the most is, “She has your curly hair. I wish I had curly hair like that.”  All of this is true, but if only they knew that dealing with curly hair on a day-to-day basis is like a game of “Beat That Nest.”

I was that curly haired girl

As a little girl with curly hair myself, I remember people telling me I looked like Shirley Temple.  Once my dad remarried, my stepmother could not figure out how to control my brushed out lion mane.  She opted then to give me a boy-style short haircut, so she would not have to deal with it.  Living in hot humid Miami, one can only get used to it, though I never liked the haircut.  “I felt like I looked like a boy.”

I knew that once I was in charge of my haircut, I would take care of what God gave me.  I also knew that if I had a little girl of my own that I would help her love her hair and appreciate her gift.  Here are some of my curl taming tips.

Tips for taming curly hair

Cleaning dirty, knotty, curly hair can scare anyone into giving up.  I wash her hair once to twice a week, depending on how active she is.

  • Set the mood and run that bath.
  • Get her favorite bath toys
    taming the curls

    Before school routine

  • Dilute the shampoo with water (makes it easier to blend in)
  • Pour shampoo gently and make sure it does not get into her eyes
  • Put your fingers on her scalp and gently scrub the top
  • Smooth shampoo over ends, squeezing downward from the top
  • Rinse
  • Squeeze excess water
  • Add an anti-frizz or moisturizing conditioner and leave on till the end of bath (let her play)
  • Comb through with a wide tooth comb
  • Rinse
  • Squeeze excess water
  • Wrap in a cotton clean T-shirt or hair wrap towel

Clean, wet, knotty hair. Now what? 

It can be intimidating to see this small head with a wet nest-like object on it.  Take your time in taming those curls. 


Wide tooth comb, paddle brush, detangling solution or shine serum, hair ties.  (Note: curly hair requires light moisture, oils and serums to help maintain supple curls.)

  • You can add a little detangling serum to help detangle and shine her hair. (Adding too much can make the hair tough throughout the week)
  • Conquer a section of hair at a time

    Curly hair tools

  • Comb through
  • Then paddle brush through (depending on texture)
  • Gather all hair together and brush or comb through depending on curl texture

Now comes the tricky part.  What to do next? 

During the daytime, we usually let our daughter’s hair air dry and then style it. Before bedtime, we let it air dry.  My husband reads her a book or prays with her while I style my daughter’s hair. The objective is distraction or else we have chaos.

Nighttime routine

  • Spritz hair with detangling spritz ( water, oil or serum)
  • Section off hair
  • Comb or brush out
  • Make a side braid or 2 braids and fix with a hair tie. This will help keep the knots away while she tosses and turns through the night.

Morning routine

The trick to fixing curly hair before school is to give yourself enough time to style up her hair.  I am always afraid of lice season (my head itches just saying it) which comes as the days get warmer.  Styling her hair in a ponytail, braids, pig tails or bun is an easy way to help prevent this bug from messing with your precious time and her beautiful locks.  I let her play on Animal Jam to help distract her.

You could also add these to your detangling spritz: Coconut oil, tea tree oil, menthol, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, and rosemary oil. 

Friday is Hair Down Day

By Friday my daughter’s hair is dirty enough to hopefully not attract lice! Therefore on at the end of the week she wants to show off her beautiful hair.

Curly hair at the beach & pool

Living in the Sarasota area with all its pools and beaches brings other challenges to those with curly hair. Hence, when going to the beach, I coat her hair with a little olive oil.  This helps repel saltwater damage.  If she is going in the pool, then we try to get her to rinse her hair with clean water and condition it after.  Having a saltwater pool helps us skip rinsing her hair.

Sticking to the routine

Ready for school!

In conclusion, curly hair can pose a little more work. Since our daughter wants to grow her hair like Rapunzel, sticking to the routine is a must. Keeping her ends trimmed and wrapping her hair up before bed gives us a fighting chance.  As a mom that is not afraid of the curl, I am up for that task. 

I am a proud winner of “Beat That Nest” game in our household!

Imagine these curls at the end of the day!







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