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Curly Nikki

Natural Hair Care for Mommies

By January 27th, 202123 Comments

I am Your People writes;

One reason my friends won’t go natural is because they don’t have time to balance the maintenance of natural hair with caring for young children. I don’t have kids, so can the curly moms out there let me know what advice to give? Thanks!

CN Says;

Twists. Hats. Twist-outs. The occasional bun.

Those are my staples.

I used to style my hair twice a week, but now I’m lucky if I can squeeze in a monthly session. No longer ‘doing the most’, my hair is just as healthy, if not more. I’m going to modify and share my routine with you soon, but basically, I’m only wetting my hair once a month.

  • I shampoo, and deep condition once a month (henna if I’m motivated).
  • Rinse the DT, apply a leave-in (Salerm 21), a little frizz serum, and roller-set to stretch the hair.
  • After air-drying over night, or sitting under the dryer, I remove the rollers and twist the hair (10-11 sections) using a teeny bit of leave-in conditioner (Salerm 21 or Qhemet’s Cocoa Ghee).
  • I leave the twists in 90% of the time (rocking them under satin bonnets, under hats), moisturizing the ends just about everyday (with Qhemet’s Cocoa Ghee), and oiling with the Amla Pomade. I re-twist when they get fuzzy, and twist-out about once a week.
  • I sleep in a satin bonnet at night.

This routine keeps me sane, my hair moist, and allows a lot quality of time for (spoiled) baby G.

Yes, I agree that natural hair care maintenance can be time consuming, especially for the newbie. But just like everything else, if you really want it, and you’re motivated, you’ll make the time! Learning and applying the basics in a consistent manner usually yields awesome results.


  • curlybean says:

    I actually appreciated the non-parent's response because it reminded me that I just do what it takes to make it work. I work full-time in a demanding job and have two great kids age 10 & 6. I have been natural 16 years. I have learned from this website and love it. But I also disregard stuff too. I never had time to do Curly Nikki's full routine/pre baby G or the tightlycurly method. And one day it dawned on me both ladies don't have kids! But I wash my hair once a week, moisturize daily and wear it out two or three times if I can stretch my twist out. I don't like protective styles because I like to wear my hair out…so I will get up early on days I feel like or I won't. So much that seemed important got modified once the kids arrived. Like housekeeping. 🙂 But I like getting my nails manicured, brows done, and my hair out. I stretch my visits into months but I find time in between homework, work, dates with the hubby or dinner with the girls (rare),and baseball games to do it. I've been jugging for so long I forgot. So thank you to the no-kid woman who remembered and appreciated her mom and other women with kids as examples!

  • julia @ simple truths says:

    Anonymous who just had a baby 4 weeks ago.
    First, congratulations!! and welcome to mom-hood.

    Second, pick 2 hairstyles that don't have to be "done" every day. Flat twists, or two strand twists are great because you have one style for 4-5 days and then you can un-do them for a twist out for another few days. Also, get some cute scarves, headbands, and flower clips. A combination of those can save just about any awkward hair day or extra old braid-out.
    Don't feel like you need to do something new with your hair, everyday. Pick a signature style or two and rock them.

  • julia @ simple truths says:

    Mom's make it work, just like everything else.

    I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 4 month old. I cut my hair at the beginning of my pregnancy. I'd had very low maintenance locs before my BC so I was a little concerned, but it truly hasn't been a problem.
    When my hair was too short to style (I cut it to about 1/4 of an inch) at most I'd throw on a cute headband or a flower clip and keep in moving.

    Now that it's longer I still don't have much of a set regimen. I wash every week or two. Typically I start by coating my hair with coconut oil in the morning, washing it out at nap time and leaving it to style after everyone has gone to bed. Not that it's longer (I've got a year of growth)I'm a fan of braidouts, puffs, flat twists on the sides and occasionally I do small box braids and leave them in for a couple of weeks.

    Two youtubers I like have kids so take a look at waht they've been able to do: Kinkycurlycoil‬‏ (she also has two little ones and was pregnant shortly after her BC) AFRICANEXPORT‬‏ her hair is gorgeous!

    My thought was always, if I feel like it's too much I can always get braids – I haven't felt yet that i've needed to.

  • Alta Angel says:

    My girls and I are natural and I have managed to set a routine that works.

    I wash their hair every three weeks on Friday and Saturday. I unbraid their hair, detangle with Suave Coconut conditioner and rebraid into 6 braids. I then wash, condition, apply Shea Moisture Hair Milk and then rebraid/style.

    I do my hair weekly on Friday nights by essentially doing the same thing as stated above. After I finish washing/conditioning/steaming, I apply the Kimmaytube Leave-in and let my hair dry in 10 braids overnight. In the morning, I wear a braidout, roll and tuck, or a bun, etc.

  • I Am Your People says:

    Great ideas! i'm glad everyone was more creative than suggesting braids 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    If you don't have kids, please shut up. Thank you.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love how people who don't have any kids always have something to say. I don't have any kids, but…but then shut up!

  • Anonymous says:

    I just had my baby 4 weeks ago and after looking crazy for 2 weeks I did a blowout. But that has challenges too. I have no idea how to do my hair in 5 min or less!

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the template Nikki! I will def pass it on to my 3 month-preggie sister who is currently transitioning:)She's been debating on whether going natural will be conducive to her lifestyle w/ her little munchkins*

  • Shakirah says:

    i struggled with this very thing with my 1 yo. keeping my hair looking and feeling the way i liked it was too time consuming for me as a stay-at-home mom. now that i'm preparing to go back into the workforce, i decided to chop it. TWA BABAAAYYYY!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hello this is my first time writing but I am natural and I have two girls ages 11 and 5 both natural as well. Here is what has worked for me I ususlly wash and condition their hair friday night. while one is being washed the other is being conditioned. they I either braid or twist their hair while its we with Shea Butter, olive oil and peperment oil. the stlyes can usually last two weeks. As for me i usually twist my hair nightly while watching tv. I have found a routine that worked for me because I know with all the activities that my girls are in time ts tight. Hope this helps

  • Unknown says:

    I agree with the last Anon comments. Hair is just another thing we have to juggle in. I'm single mother of 6 year old twin boys. Thank God there is not much to do with their hair except hair cuts every two weeks and brushing every morning. But I wash my hair every week, twist every night and that's about it. My regimen along with all the other things I do is part of my lifestyle. I have friend that every two weeks is still struggling to find a babysitter that will sit with her two kids while she does the waiting game at the salon for hours on end on Saturday. Make your regimen that fits your life. As mothers, we should always put ourselves as a priority. There is nothing wrong or selfish with that!

  • Ebbie says:

    I forgot to say that I cleanse the youngest's hair 2 times a week during bath time and my own once a week.

  • Ebbie says:

    As a mommy of 3, count them, 3 girls (God have mercy) I can tell you what I do.

    I cleanse and deep condition my older girls (8 & 5) hair once a week then give them a protective style w/ regular moisturizing at night.

    The youngest (18months) I moisturize and style her hair in the morning b/f we start the day.

    I do my own regularly @ night, after the kids are in bed, and while watching my shows, lol. It usually takes less than 45 mins & consists of wetting, moisturizing, & braiding. The reason that I do mine daily is b/c I workout daily and sweat like no other.

    My advice to you is to create a routine that fits your lifestyle and you and your child's needs. Don't make hair a punishment, make it a treatment! Also keep it as simple as possible. Good luck and congrats!!

  • Unknown says:

    I have a four year old little girl so I understand the woman's concern about going natural but it's definitely not impossible. For awhile it was difficult to take care of both of our heads at the same time, so one of us would end up going neglected. Through trial and error I have found a routine that works best for us. For myself, I try to co-wash weekly and have found the following styles easy and fabulous for my hair: twist, twist-out, braid-out, a cinna-bun, bantu-knots. Like the previous poster said, Simple is definitely more. You can definitely do some creative things with these styles that are simple and time-effective. Sometimes I will do two of these styles in the week just to switch it up or if the style is looking like it needs to be re-done.
    As for my daughter’s routine, we do a deep conditioning every two-three weeks. I have this scheduled on a calendar (we call it “Hair-Care Weekend”) so I know not to plan anything significant that weekend or to plan events around this weekend. After we do our routine I do a style that will last awhile and is versatile. For example, I may flat twist the front of her hair and two-strand twist the back. After about a week or two I may take the two strand twist out from the back of her hair and let her wear a twist-out for a few days. By then it may be time for a deep conditioning. I also make sure to co-wash her hair about every week or so. Twist and braids are popular styles with her hair. I try to make our hair-care weekends fun as well. I paint her nails and we do facials and watch movies etc.

    I hope this helps and provides some insight.

  • Anonymous says:

    Um, why do you put hair in a separate box of things? I think moms juggle a lot of things, and hair is just one more…I think that like a lot of other things, work, exercise, etc. you get it in when you can. And yes, you might have less time to primp but if you were one of those people who was practically married to your hairdresser, wasn't that a huge time investment too?
    I'm not judging and I don't have kids, but since a lot of women in my family didn't perm their hair, had long hair, had kids and jobs, I'm not sure why it has suddenly become this onerous task.
    Don't get me wrong, if you are a new mom, then you are still figuring it out, but I'd say my mom did her hair and many other things after we were asleep.
    And black women were not always married to perms. I feel as if really young women think that the way things are for them are the way that things have been for the entire history of black people, and that simply isn't true. My family is from deep South/rural America, so hairdressers and relaxers were never an option. You did your hair however your hair was willing to be done…

  • Anonymous says:

    Nikki, are you still exercising regularly? I don't have children, but I would like to not have to wet/wash my hair on a weekly basis. However, I find with working out and sweating a lot (hot yoga is where significant "damage" is done), I just can't do it. I do a TnC and then style in a protective style for the week. So, just wondering if you are still regularly doing your 3 mile walks like you did in the past? If not, do you think that is why you are able to go longer without washing?


  • He's Faithful says:

    Washing and styling (twists/twist-outs)happens when my kids are asleep, either at night (ideally) or during the day at nap time. I started transitioning when I had a toddler and a newborn. What worked for me was to get the kids on a consistent schedule and then I could plan the rest of my day a lot more easily. I had to learn how to work fast and eventually when my newborn started sleeping for longer stretches I could do henna, deep treatments, etc. Now I am 3 yrs. post and got a healthy head o'hair!

  • Anonymous says:

    I have a 3 yr. old son. I shampoo once every Saturday morning because I don't have to rush to get to work. Every night after I put him to bed, I flat-twist my hair in about 8 twist using some leave-in or a moisturizing product, and spiral set the ends on perm rods or sponge rollers (sponge roller work best for me). If needed, I oil my scalp a little between the parts. In the morning, I put a light oil on my hands and release the twists. A lovely twist-out is the result. If I feel like it, I wear headbands or flowers in my hair, braid the sides, or just however I feel like wearing my twist-out for that day. There are so many ways to wear it, so I haven't gotten bored yet. If you can't flat-twist, try making 8-10 plaits or 2-strand twist. The result is similar.

  • Kathleen says:

    I'm regularly reminded of why I love this site so much! I absolutely echo CN's comments about no longer doing "the most" and having a healthier head of hair.
    I'm not a mom yet so I certainly can't speak to that perspective but I work in private school admissions and as a result, have no time to do my hair weekly – as I write this, I'm actully 4 weeks post-wash. I keep my hair in twists which I will sometimes wear up or down depending on the level of humidity and I moisturize a couple of times a week making sure to seal the ends with castor oil.
    My hair feels and looks amazing and I've retained more length doing this than when I was washing every week!
    I'm still a believer that simple is more and I would imagine that a simple routine is exactly what a mommy might need 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm 14 months post and i have a 2 yr old.It is challenging finding the time to care for my two textures but isn't impossible.
    My styles have been varied but i would say my most popular has been braid outs and cute hair accessories!I have recently discovred box braids and braided my own hair! yay me lol
    I must say this style is so child friendly and i can wash it as much as i want without having to dread detangling.

  • TiAnna Mae says:

    I totally agree with Nikki! I would recommend protective styling as she mentioned, as well as, air drying over night and deep treating over night. This way, you're not tied up with a hooded dryer all day, as opposed to tending to children, cooking, cleaning…you know, the usual. Lastly, if you don't mind ordering online, get your products online. If you prefer getting them from the store, try products that you can find and popular retailers, so you don't have to make special trips. I enjoy that I get SheaMoisture in Walgreens and HE at WalMart.

  • Latoya says:

    Thanks Nikki, for the advice! I look forward to seeing your full updated routine. I just had my baby girl 2 1/2 weeks ago and I can already say that shampooing my hair once a week is just NOT going to happen. I need to look for a good dry shampoo.

    I feel you on the twists, twist-outs, and hats. They were my staple during pregnancy. My hair was in twists the week I gave birth so it was very easy for me while in the hospital.

    I agree. If you really want something, you will find a way to make it work.

    I look forward to seeing other's advice on this…

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