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From rats’ nest to flicky and fantastic. Tried and tested tips for super curly tween and teen hair.

Q: “My daughter has exquisite hair. Well. After a 3 hour wash, blow dry, straightening session. Her hair is very curly and frizzes. We use product for Africa. Wash her hair regularly and keep it short for my own sanity. But it still turns into absolute rats nests if we don’t go through this massive process every two to three days max. She has to brush her hair 5+ times a day or keep it in a French braid. Does anyone have any tips to help her especially with the knots? Detangling sprays don’t work, not even the ridiculously expensive ones from the salon!”


A: ” Leave in conditioner sprays, like L’Oreal’s Elvive Total Repair Conditioning Spray . Works for my child’s long curly hair and doesn’t dry it out.  You can get it at Clicks for about R100 I think. It lasts a while and you can put on dry or wet hair.

” I’m a stylist and I have done Brazilians ( Or Keratin treatments as they are also called,) on teens’ hair. The process uses quite a strong chemical though, so you would have to consider whether you are comfortable with that, on your own child. Brazilians are also expensive. But if you are okay with both of those downsides, the results are fantastic,  A Brazilian will straighten and add shine. A smoothing treatment – such as a Cezanne – is good for frizz.”

I use Palmers Leave In Conditioner for my girls’ hair. Helps a lot with detangling!”

” My daughter also has long and curly hair. She uses Tresemme silky smooth shampoo and conditioner,coconut oil on her roots after washing. She only brushes it when it’s wet, and keeps it either braided or in a bun.”

” Go with the curls. Her hair is perfect the way it is, so let it do what it naturally wants to do.”

” Use sulphate free shampoo and conditioners. Anything that has silicon or laure lsulphate dries the hair out and makes it frizzy.”

” Kerastase Pre Blow Dry Leave In is expensive but works! I have the same hair and this works for me.”

” GHD spray for heat treated hair. Keeps the frizz down and helps comb or brush glide through the hair.”

” A friend has beautiful curly hair and swears by Aqueous cream when still wet after washing to tame curls.”

” Get a Tangleze brush, from hair salons. My daughter has such thick hair, curly and it was past her waist until she left school. She has had about 5 Brazilian treatments over a period of 4 years. They have worked wonders and she now shaves underneath area upto about half way up her ear, got rid of some weight at the back. The brush can be used wet or dry and she only washes once a week.”

” Look at the Curly Girl method. My daughter has ringlets and frizz – impossible to maintain. Curly Girl method has turned her life around. Now she washes her hair with conditioner, combs out with a wide tooth comb, and then wraps her hair in an old Tshirt to dry before adding more conditioner. I purposefully don’t have her hair straightened as I want her to be proud of and embrace her curls, yet also have the tools to care for her hair as she grows old. This method works with the curls and not against them.”

I really used to battle with long and sort of curly hair that was always knotty too. I used to used a leave-in product called Kair silicone that made it so much easier to get a brush through after washing. I also got myself a detangling brush which really helps.I use Clicks Oh So Heavenly for dry and damaged hair and it works wonderfully. The conditioner is SO important. What I think actually helps the most is learning how to wash your hair properly to avoid knots. Don’t ever put all your hair on top of your head and scrub the shampoo in. Instead, only massage the shampoo onto your roots while leaving the rest of your hair hanging down your back. When finishing off, run the foam through the hair that’s hanging down and then rinse. When applying conditioner, focus it more on the ends than the roots. This made a huge difference to me as I used to get out the shower with a huge birds nest that I’d need to brush out. Brushing it out damaged my hair and gave me split ends which in turn gave me more knots. I also don’t blow dry my hair much but rather let it dry naturally as this also damages it and makes it more dry and knotty.”

” I have tremendously curly, frizzy and very thick long hair….. I have micro kryaten done every 5 to 6 months. It is like a Brazilian but lasts longer and my hair is straight and easy to manage. Wash, light blow dry brush and boom, baby! Straight soft and manageable hair. Worth the R1000 every 6 months…. If you add up all the tonics and treatments you buy, it is certainly worth it.”

” I’d say go with the curls and embrace them. Teach her to love them and not wish them away. Straightening them is going to be a life-long battle/bane of her life and is most certainly going to ruin her (what my hairdresser would call) ‘virgin’ hair. Not only that, she needs to be able to handle her own hair and not be reliant on you as her hairdresser.
I have curls. I use the John Frieda curl range of shampoos and conditioners and I hardly rinse out the conditioner (on my hairdresser’s recommendation). Towel dry in shower. Comb through once til tangle-free and don’t EVER brush again until next shampoo, conditioner in wet hair etc. Brushing dry curls makes FRIZZZZZ and awful looking fluffy hair as you’re separating each curl strand.
Wake up and re-scrunch the next day with wet hands at a tap until curl ends are revitalised (all over head) for the day. Add a touch of conditioner to her hands if necessary while scrunching ends/tips to avoid fluff/frizz. Tie up or wear a style as required. I wash mine ever two to three days – not because it’s dirty but to revitalise/reshape the curls and avoid too many knots.”

” Never, ever, brush her hair! A comb thru when you’re conditioning only. Carlton Hair has amazing products for curly hair – shampoo, conditioner and a mousse or serum. A little pricey but truly worth it.
That said, it’s different strokes for different folks and you have to try diff products until you find what really works. Took me years. Finally, you need a hair stylist that understands curls. Not everyone does!”

” Your battle is because the hair is dry and everything you are doing & trying is drying it out more/further.
Get good salon advice. Nothing is a solution until its a solution for your daughter who must be totally able to manage and control her hair herself. A part of this may be hormonal or nutritional.
In the meantime you can deliver some surface relief to the hair using anti-frizz sprays or soothing creams. Also consider upgrading to a salon bought (better quality,ionising) hairdryer, etc, or a brush with an ioniser. Its more soothing to/for the hair.”

” Hair is often gets tangled when there is a lack of oil within. Evening primrose oil capsule from clicks work – take 6 capsule a day of the extra strength ones. Works well but will take a while to work!”

I won’t recommend Brazilians because of the chemicals, as a long term is not a solution. Sesame oil for 1 hour under a plastic cap. A shampoo as René Furterer and a hydratant mask same brand. Put big rolls all the night and you will see the différence. Wash the hair once per week.”

” When she’s off to the pool or whilst hair is wet make twistees. If you plat it it will become knotty but twistees jumps open when the hair is dry then you have tamed curls. I have to put my daughters hair in rollers otherwise #dreds and lastly.
… when she’s relaxing at home rub coconut oil into the hair and leave. Wash off when convenient. Some even sleeps with it bit it might mess on her bedding. Dry hair with a tshirt no towel or micro fiber cloth.”

” Make sure she sleeps with a silk pillow case!”

” Tackle the detangling part with “The Original Wet Brush” it took detangling my daughter’s long thick, curly hair from 5 mins down to 15 seconds! And there is little to no damage (unlike the Tangle Tease or combs).
The one with holes and not a solid back behind the bristles helps the hair dry faster because whilst drying & brushing the hot hair gets through.”

” I do Brazilian and protein blow outs and it last me a up to three months. Go to a salon where they don’t only do “white” hair. If they are used to do all sorts of peoples hair the result has always been better and cheaper.
Until then brush her hair in the shower with the conditioner in. Rinse with ice cold water so not all the conditioner comes out and air dry (no towel, no hair dryer) and never sleep with wet hair.”

” Apart from that kerastase keratin range never ever ever ever ever use a protein range. Protein products make your hair more hard and brittle. People say if your hair is damaged you need protein. But over time it actually makes it worse. Only moisture moisture moisture. Bucketloads of conditioner, never blow dry.”

” I “Botoxed” my hair. It changed my life. It’s actually a fast working Keratin treatment, which boosts moisture, reduces frizz and makes it more manageable. It only takes about 20/30 minutes, which is much better than Brazilians and makes my hair feel much softer and smoother than its ever been before. I have long hair and it costs me about R900. R700 if your hair is shorter!”

” Look out for a brand called IntrinsiCurly Me, developed by a good friend of mine who has curly hair and was tired of the lack of decent products on the market It will help enhance her curls (also reduces frizz) and also contains no silicons, bad stuff etc. you can buy it online.”


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