How to easily tame dry, frizzy toddler hair

My daughter was pretty much bald until she turned one, so we didn’t have to deal with toddler hair issues until recently. Now that her hair is growing longer, we are dealing with dryness and frizz, especially in the mornings. This article is about how to tame dry frizzy toddler hair.

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One day, I was hanging out with my toddler and I noticed her hair was so dry that it looked like she had split ends on the back of her head. I wasn’t really sure what to do about it. At the time, we were using Johnson’s shampoo and body wash for her hair and washing it every day.

dry frizzy toddler hair
My toddler’s dry frizzy hair in the morning

Since the initial discovery of split ends and the realization that my daughter has wavy, mixed texture toddler hair, we have started using different products to give her hair moisture and to enhance the waviness.

Mixed texture toddler hair

I never considered that my daughter might have curly or wavy hair because my hair is dark, coarse, and straight. I am 100 percent Native American and my entire family has the same straight, coarse hair. It doesn’t require much styling or product.

On the other hand, my husband is Caucasian with dark blonde wavy hair. I actually didn’t know that he had wavy hair until a few years into dating because he keeps his hair very short. Apparently, as a child, he had curly blonde hair.

When my daughter’s hair started to curl in the back as it grew, my husband was not surprised at all because he has wavy hair.

Our toddler’s hair is very thin and straight on the top of her head and wavy in the back. In looking at curly hair charts, I would say that she’s a mixture of 2A and 2B wavy hair.

How not to take care of dry frizzy toddler hair

Prior to learning about wavy hair care, I was washing my daughter’s hair every single day and trying to comb her curls straight. Those are big no-no’s for wavy or curly hair.

Washing hair every day tends to lead to dryness, especially for children. So, we now wash my daughter’s hair every three days so that we’re not stripping her hair of essential, natural oils.

In addition, instead of trying to comb her wavy hair straight, I’ve had to shift my perspective and try to embrace her natural hair. This means trying new products and making changes to our styling routine.

Best products for dry, frizzy toddler hair

dry frizzy toddler hair
Products I purchased for dry frizzy toddler hair

Initially, we tried Johnson’s curl-defining shampoo and leave-in conditioner, Shea Moisture raw shea chamomile and argan oil wash and shampoo, and Shea Moisture curl enhancing smoothie.

Shea Moisture

I tried the Shea Moisture wash and shampoo first. Although this product helped to moisturize my daughter’s hair, I felt that she also needed a leave-in conditioner. Without additional conditioning on top of a hair wash, my daughter’s hair still tends to dry out.

Although we don’t use this product for her hair anymore, we still use it as a body wash because it is amazing on her skin. It’s a great alternative to Johnson’s or Aveeno baby wash products. I’m also looking into using a Shea Moisture kid lotion product in the future.

I also bought the Shea Moisture curl enhancing smoothie with the intention of using it as a leave-in conditioner for my toddler. My local Target was out of stock on most of the Shea Moisture kid’s hair products.

It turns out that this product should be used on adults and not kids because it really weighed down my toddler’s thin, wavy hair. I did not like it for thin, toddler curls. So, I continued to search for other products.

Johnson’s curl-defining kids

Johnson’s curl-defining kid products contain shea butter and are touted to smooth frizzy hair and define curls.

I was able to tell a difference with my toddler’s curls right after I shampooed her hair and added the leave-in conditioner. Her curls were moisturized and looked healthy. I was excited that we might have a solution to her dry frizzy toddler hair.

The morning after using Johnson’s curl-defining products, my daughter still woke up with a tangled mess. For us, using the shampoo and leave-in conditioner was not enough.

Even though the dryness wasn’t as bad as before, I felt the need to use a daily detangler in between hair washes.

Cantu conditioning detangler

Enter the Cantu Care For Kids Conditioning Detangler. At approximately $4.00 per bottle, this detangler is worth every single penny.

This product touts gentle care for textured hair and includes shea butter, coconut oil, and honey. It’s lightweight on my daughter’s hair, works out any frizz, and softens my daughter’s curls.

You have to shake the bottle before every use. I now use this conditioning detangler in between hair washes and it works wonderfully.

dry frizzy toddler hair
In the morning after using the Cantu hair detangler
dry frizzy toddler hair
This is after a full day of activities, including a nap and running around.

As you can see, my daughter’s wavy hair is still intact after a day of activities, including a two hour nap.

The Cantu conditioning detangler is the perfect companion to Johnson’s kids’ curl-defining products. We are using this trio of products, at least until my toddler’s hair grows and changes.

Find all the products listed above at Amazon (click images).

Final thoughts on dry frizzy toddler hair

As I write this article, I am brand new to toddler wavy hair care. It is very foreign for me. I found it difficult to write this article because I wasn’t sure if I was using the terminology “wavy” and “curly” correctly or if it was okay to use them interchangeably.

As my daughter’s hair continues to grow, I’m sure changes are abound. Will her hair become more curly? Is it possible that she may ‘outgrow’ the waviness? Will her hair color change?

I’m not really sure what lies before us but, as a parent, I just have to learn and adapt. For now, we have a solution for dry frizzy toddler hair using products with shea butter and coconut oil and that are designed specifically for children.

Thank you for reading and please comment with any helpful tips to tame dry frizzy toddler hair.

2 thoughts on “How to easily tame dry, frizzy toddler hair”

  1. Thank you so much! I am on a similar journey with my toddler’s hair! I have tried the first few steps and will try Cantu now as well! I am a curly girl and expected my daughter to have curls, and knew about not washing daily, but my mom has straight hair and never really knew how to handle mine, so as a parent I am new to this! I have been using water / leave in conditioner spray between washes just to detangle, but I felt something was missing, as there is one spot that always clumps up no matter what I do. So I am excited to try this and also feel very validated by your journey that I am not alone with this struggle! I felt I should naturally know what to do, and I just don’t. Thank you!!


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