A curly one

Calling all people with curly hair or have kids with curly hair I NEED YOUR HELP! This has happened to Daisy’s hair:


It hasn’t always been the way. It used to look like this when she was little. LOOK AT LITTLE DAISY!

PicMonkey Collage Hair 1

But now she is BIG Daisy and with each passing year what started as curls at the very base of her neck that could be brushed and tamed into submission, I fear that it’s no longer the case and that I need to embrace those beautiful, thick, big, bouncy curls. But the problem is, I have NO idea what you are meant to do with curly hair. In fact from reading some of my past posts you would think I had NO idea about hair in general!

You helped me out in this post when I asked about thick hair. Comments are where the business is AT. And I am calling on your help again. What do you DO with it? No brushing, only combing? Special curl shampoo and conditioner? Special brushes? How do you do it for School? And any special brushes that are out there? I bet I have them. I have ALL OF THE DIFFERENT BRUSHES. I do!

Last night I washed it, brushed it and afterwards put in a conditioning treatment as it was in such bad condition from weeks of swimming in pools and at the beach. It then dried naturally and the curls bounced on up. When we were on holidays I basically just left it be…no brushing, no drying and brushing just taking the main moisture out and then letting it dry naturally and the knots and thickness seemed to sort itself out. Is that the solution?


Any help gratefully received…thank you! I still can’t believe that Rob and I made a kid who is now this BIG kid who has this beautiful hair.

Do you have curly hair?
Did you ever have straight hair that went to curly hair?
Reckon at puberty the lot will go curly?


  1. we are a family of thick curlies:
    – no brushing!
    -comb when wet with a wide tooth comb
    -plaited for bed time
    -coconut oil once a week
    -no products because it dries the hair and makes for frizz
    -find a curly hairdresser who knows how to cut into the hair to take out bulk but leave curls intact

    Good luck!

  2. As a kid I had dead straight hair that would only go wavy when a storm was around. Once I hit puberty it went super curly, ringlets everywhere. A good nourishing shampoo keeps them in good condition, and helps with controlling wiriness and frizz. Comb it as little as you can, the more you play with curls, the more uncontrollable I found they’d go. Love curly hair though, it’s so versatile, and holds shape really well.

  3. I used to get my hair permed back in the 80’s but in the last 10 years with a better haircut I have lovely natural curls. I use a rake style comb not a brush and a little bit of curl cream and use the diffuser on my hairdryer to dry it for about a minute and then let it dry naturally. Easy peasy.

  4. I have really curly hair so can fill you in on what I do!

    Don’t over wash it, every 3 days tops as the curls will turn to frizz (for me anyway). I only comb it while it is lathered in conditioner. I’ve tried all different shampoo/conditioner combos and find a moisturizing one best… I find the specific curly ones don’t really make any difference but cost way more!

    Once out of the shower I use a lot of leave in conditioner, a curl balm (something with a little weight in it, I constantly chop and change), if it’s humid a add mouse to keep in from going a little cray and I generally let it air dry…. If in a hurry I’ll hot blow dry the roots!! I normally start day 1 with it out, day 2 a pony or some sort then day 3 a plait…. It’s normally at it’s best on day 2!!!

    Good luck and certainly don’t brush/comb while dry… Ouch!!! And I think it will get curlier as she hits puberty for sure!

  5. first, for curly hair, THROW OUT ALL THE BRUSHES!! Those bitches be nasty on curly hair us know!! A wide toothed Afro comb is the go.
    Next. Conditioner. It will be your God. Get a leave in conditioner. Put in a generous amount through the ends after every wash. Also, never brush it when dry, get a spray bottle of water (with a bit of normal conditioner mixed in) and give her hair a good spray down before combing and doing it each morning.
    Lastly. Even if you do all of the above, dry dead ends will bring you all undone. Get it trimmed regularly. I go every 6-8wks (but as a mama it’s now about the time out as much as anything, mum used to get mine done at the start of each term when I was young).

    A good, curl specific shampoo and conditioner will help a bit but isn’t essential.

    After 30 yrs of thick curly hair, this is my strategy and it’s working well!!

  6. my daughter has gorgeous curls too but not quite grown up thick hair yet, though it’s getting there! I’m using original mineral 7 day miracle masque once per week through her hair to combat dryness and wash it not very often (nightmare 3 year old who hates washing)

    I’ve found plaiting it seems to protect it from getting too knotty and unmanageable too.

  7. I’m a curly one, although short so no one realises. And the miss is a curly girl. I know how to manage curls. But I read Kirsten’s post recently and discovered I was using mousse in the wrong order. The Miss’s curls have never looked so good! http://www.kirstenandco.com/how-to-style-curly-hair/

  8. Avoid brushing if possible, and de-tangle in the bath while hair is wet. Washing once to twice a week is preferable. The products you use are really important – anything sulphate free and silicone free is what you need to look for (Eco brand from Woollies is fine, or Sukin from Priceline/Chemists Warehouse). Use shampoo, concentrating just on the scalp. Rinse then smooth conditioner over hair, working in gently from ends-up to gently separate tangles, using your fingers or a wide-toothed comb. Try not to rinse all conditioner out, use an old T-shirt to dry by scrunch-squeezing upward toward roots. If she has high frizz, use a little gel while hair is still wet. Let her hair dry naturally, or use a diffuser attachment to cup and dry her curls. A lavender spray in morning or detangling spray if no time for morning wash (also don’t need to wash every day!). There’s a group on Facebook called Aussie Curly Girls which can help enormously. Good luck! x

  9. I have very curly hair. Be careful how much conditioner you use, esp. the leave-in conditioner. Too much will attract dirt, and while it might not be so bad on an adult, kids will get into more dirt while playing.

    Also, I was told not to work the conditioner down to the roots. It weights the hair down. I just smooth it over the outer surface of the hair and then rinse it out. Enough will get through to do the job, but it won’t pull the hair down.

    Daisy has beautiful hair! Curly hair looks so good when loosely put up. She will appreciate this when she’s older.

  10. if you do get a hair brush, get a tangle teaser. You can brush hair when it is wet. Saves the screams!!

  11. I had ringlets as a kid and have always had thick wavy hair that turns into curls with humidty, water, sweat (Oh my lord it’s hot in South East Queensland right now). I use smooth and groom from Justice Professional Hair Products http://www.justicehair.com/products/smooth-groom. It’s great, I squeeze a dollop into my hair and smooth over my hair and then comb through. After that another dollop to rub between hands and gently shape curls scrunching …. No frizz and makes hair stronger.
    PS. Beth Daisy’s hair is beautiful.

  12. Hi Beth,

    My daughter has ringlets and I have found the best way to deal with them when she gets out of the shower/bath/beach is to use instant detangler / leave in conditioners. Garnier Fructis do one called “Nutri-Repair3 – Instant Detangler or Innova Wonder Treatment also have one which is more expensive.
    I also picked up a special brush from the hairdresser which helps to “not pull” on her hair when brushing the knots out….(worth it to stop her screaming at me). I’m thinking a “rake” is another good option.

    Good luck on this mission!

  13. Amy Cadusch says

    Great beach curls! My 2 cents from years of curl management: I fully agree with the approach of ONLY combing hair when wet with conditioner in it (with a wide tooth comb). Never brush or comb it when dry. If there are knots when dry, detangle with fingers (it’s often helpful to do a bit of a finger de-tangle before washing). After rinsing conditioner, squeeze the extra water out, towel dry a bit without mussing up (kind of gather the hair gently in the towel and squeeze moisture out). Revitafoam is a great product which is in between a leave in conditioner and a mousse without crunchy hold – fab for kids. You can add this before or after the towel squeeze, both works. Preferably air dry or if using a hair dryer, use a diffuser and mainly aim dryer upwards from underneath. If curls are a bit fuzzy when dry, there are a lot of options like some gel diluted with water or a little smoothing cream/leave in conditioner. Oh and I agree Day 1 after washing can be a bit dodgy – I think most curly hair is better with at least a few days between washes, if not more. Good luck with it all!

  14. ok beth!
    I’ve been a hairdresser and seen this before!
    usually it’s the opposite though! … baby curls then that terrible hairdresser cut them off!
    NO! it was baby hair that’s all!
    my sister had straight hair until she was 55 then it went curly!
    in my opinion, daisy’s beautiful curls are here to stay! … she will learn how to manage it!
    kirsten from Kirsten and co just explained on her blog how to deal with curly hair and did it extremely well! good luck and lots of conditioner! it’s been sun and sea kissed too! … lovely!
    love m:)X

  15. Beth, Daisy’s hair is beautiful!!

    I have lots of thick, curly hair so can help with this one. First thing’s first, no brushing! It just brings on the frizz so unless I’m aiming to channel Jackson 5 or have had it straightened, brushing is out.

    Conditioner is your friend, shampoo not so much. I shampoo twice a week at the most, but condition every day – either with a conditioner in the shower, a leave-in conditioner, or both. I also do a deep treatment once a week.

    I find that it’s that after the shower time while it’s still wet that is the most important. I gently pat my hair a bit dry (not too much because if it starts frizzing from overzealous drying, I’ve already lost the frizz battle and broken the natural curls), use my fingers to separate my hair while running some conditioner through it and then I don’t touch it. If I can resist the urge to touch it, the curls will dry without frizzing and they’ll form a really nice shape on their own.

  16. My daughter has super thick/curly hair. I find it’s best to brush it when it’s wet and leave it to just dry naturally. If I need to brush it to put it up, I spray it again with a water bottle and then let it dry naturally again.. That way we don’t end up with a big frizzy mess! πŸ™‚

  17. My boy has curls. I agree, don’t brush her hair. Only use a wide tooth comb. I towel dry, get a thin conditioner in my hands (just enough to lightly coat the hair). Run my fingers through his hair, then comb it. He ends up with perfect hair.

  18. I, like you also had to wrap my head around this curly hair business as my daughter has a head full of curls. It took me a while to work out what suited her best.

    Things I’ve learnt:
    β€’ you don’t need to brush everyday
    β€’ same with washing not needed everyday.
    β€’ a tangle teaser brush works best and seems to cause the least pain.
    β€’ only brush when wet, preferably after a wash
    β€’ wash about once or twice a week with normal shampoo but I use Paul Mitchell the detangler conditioner afterwards, do not wash it out, leave it in
    β€’ after the wash I use the tangle teaser band brush her hair, I then add a small amount of Moroccan oil through her hair.
    β€’ if her hair starts looking ratty in between washes I rub in a small amount of Moroccan oil which usually gives it a bit more life.

  19. Gorgeous- wash it as rarely as you can stand and lots of conditioner, no brushing ever, if you can stand it just use your fingers to get knots out. Ponytails are good for school but let the braid/plait become your go-to. Braid it wet and it should last a couple of days at least. Good luck!!

    • Thank you…her hair is SO thick plaits and braid are often too thick and rope like!

      • Leah Martin says

        Oh poor Daisy I know exactly what you mean- welcome to my world! A braid on each side always worked for me as a kid- only half as thick. That was about as adventurous as my mum was and I’m sure all there was time for, but always in wet hair πŸ™‚

  20. My name is Daisy and I also have thick, curly hair! Don’t over wash it and use a brush that doesn’t have too many bristles, as brushing leads to frizz in curly hair. It’s more of a matter of embracing the curl than trying to tame it! Also, avoid cutting too many short layers into her hair, as longer hair helps weigh down the curl.

    Good luck!


  21. My hair has always been curly, but when I turned 12 I pretty much woke up one morning with hair that looked like a spiral perm and it’s stayed that way ever since! It’s high maintenance hair and if you’re not used to dealing with curls it can be a bit overwhelming. My top tips are: Only brush it when it’s wet. If it’s dry and needs a brush, wet it using a spray bottle filled with water and a bit of conditioner. Use a brush first and then run a wide tooth comb through it. That will help even out the curl as it dries. Don’t play with it while it’s drying or when it’s dry – that will only mess the curl up and cause major frizz issues! Putting some mousse through it when it’s wet will help with the frizz and when it’s dry, a good spray of hair spray with stop the frizz factor as well. And funnily enough, I wrote a step by step guide to styling curly hair on my blog last week. Won’t spam your comments section with the link, but it’s on the home page of my blog if you’re interested πŸ™‚

  22. My hair was thick and dead straight till the hormones started to kick in and then it went really curly.
    I only use a wide tooth comb and only once I am straight out of the shower. I usually let it air dry as the hair dryer makes it crazy. If it is looking really dry I put some Argan oil or something similar through it.
    My daughter is just starting to “deal” with her curls, I just tell her to be thankful that I have been there done that, as my mum had no idea, as she had dead straight hair.
    Good luck!

  23. 2 words. tangle teezer.
    my son has hair similar length & curls to daisy. we mostly don’t brush it at all, but when the dreadlocks start the tangle teezer gets them out – NO tears!!
    serious a miracle brush.

  24. Oh how I loved being asked to brush Daisy’s hair! I think you have two options … the no brush after washing (but do use a wide tooth comb or tangle teezer when the conditioner is on in shower to get big tangles out). Or do the comb/tangle teezer when out of the shower as well as in the shower with a spray-on detangler or hair oil. Let it dry naturally and it will then be easier to brush if wanting the brushed out look. Alex’s hair is very much like Daisy’s and I got her doing it herself this way from about Daisy’s age (with a little help from me) but got her to take ownership of it. The tangle teezer works a treat on her hair still. Made for less tears all round.

    Also, get her a copy of Hair Romance and she’ll start to play and create her own styles based on how she wants to wear her hair. Chrissie’s hair is curly and strong so many are very much suited to that. x

  25. WOW! IT is soon beautiful. I have a friend who had super curly hair. Went DEAD straight during puberty and no she’s had bubbas – curly again. Crazy hormones.

  26. My hair was straight and became increasingly curly with each baby. Crazy shit happens when you bear children! Miss 10 has thick curly hair and we use a Tangle Teaser hairbrush, awesome on wet hair, and before school when hair is dry we spray with water to make her hair wet. She was the swim queen and so we used to scrunch Wella Enrich into the ends to keep them conditioned and shiny. Plaits are the go to keep out the knots and that’s what we do after showering and before bed, but she’s all about doing her own hair now and during school time it’s invariably just a ponytail (‘cos I’m a headlice freak and won’t let her wear it down!). I’m sure you’ll figure out what works for you guys, and what a gorgeous head of hair Daisy has!

  27. I’ve always had very curly hair. As a girl and still now, we never brushed my hair dry. It was only ever brushed with conditioner in it or when damp after bath etc. Then it would just curl up naturally. As an adult, I use a conditioning oil in the ends after each wash and sometimes even when dry, which just let’s the curls sit nicer and more tame. Curly hair is super dry, so any conditioning product is beneficial. Embrace them! I’m sure Hair Romance would have some great tips!

  28. Oh Beth, being a hairdresser I think it’s beautiful!!
    It sounds like you’ve pretty much got it under control! My Lyla has some crazy curly hair and I only brush it after a shower when it’s wet. I then plait it for bed to stop knots appearing overnight. In the morning I take the plait out and either leave it out or put it up for preschool, if it needs brushing when dry I re-wet using a spray bottle and put in some leave in conditioner, like what Kirsten said. x

  29. Hi Beth, I have wavy hair that tends to FRIZZ and my Lilly has curly hair and heres what we do: always spray detangler (found at supermarkets in shampoo section) into the hair before brushing. Lilly prefers the paddle brush (http://www.lookfantastic.com/aveda-large-wood-paddle-brush/10541409.html) than the tangle teasers, afro combs and many other brushes we have tried over time. She finds it pulls her hair the least. The most important thing that has saved her beautiful hair is shampooing and conditioning with Argan oil shampoo/conditioner. no more Frizz and way less knots! her hair is beautiful and shiny too. i use this one on her hair and myself and love it! doesn’t break the bank either πŸ™‚ http://beauty.allwomenstalk.com/natural-beauty-products-to-try-this-spring/4/

  30. After years of experimenting with my youngest’s very thick wavy locks, my tips are:

    1. Shampoo infrequently.
    2. Condition frequently. Sometimes just conditioner in the shower (no shampoo) and then comb through. If it’s knotty – comb it through while she’s still in the shower, and keep adding conditioner and working it through til the knots are dealt with.
    3. I like to use a leave-in spray conditioner and also add some tea tree oil to the bottle to keep the nits away.

  31. I have “lots” of hair and curly. I use a wide tooth come. Wash it only 2 or 3 times a week. When I was I use a non sulfate shampoo and conditioner. Then I put in a leave in conditioner and comb thru. I never use a hair dryer or heat. Then either a messy bun or down with some sea salt beach spray to make the curls bounce. When I was little my mother would braid it or pull the front back with clips.

  32. Two girls with madly curly long hair. Currently using Tresemme Keratin Smooth shampoo & conditioner (not too heavy on the wallet). After washing and towel dry use vita five CPR Phase 1 Frizzy Smoothing Creme and brush out with a paddle brush. There is really no quick fix for the curlies. It’s a long hard tangling road until they are old enough to do it themselves. Happy brushing x

  33. I will be following avidly as Kitty’s has done the same.. I hadn’t thought to wash and leave but everytime I brush it it is a mass of tangles unless it is plaited straight after washing.. GAH!!

  34. I have always had naturally curly hair (apart from my pregnancies when for some unexplained reason it went dead straight!) and for years I rejected it, straightened it and was very unkind to it. Since I embraced my curls a few years ago my hair and I have a much healthier relationship!

    I have a fabulous hairdresser who has given me a terrific cut which makes managing the curls oh so easy. I never brush or comb it when it is dry but I do run a brush through it when it is wet. I use a good quality, nourishing shampoo and conditioner that I buy from the hairdresser but I don’t use one specifically for curls as it doesn’t really make much difference. I use a conditioning treatment once a week but don’t leave it on for too long as that makes the hair too heavy. I only wash my hair twice per week as too much washing makes it frizzy.

    After towel drying I apply a tiny bit of curl cream mainly to the roots and mid sections (I use Juuce Smooth Control ‘Kinky’ http://hairjamm.com/juuce-styling-smooth-control.php), I like this one as the curls don’t go ‘crunchy’ and I’m not a fan of the ‘crunchy curl’ look. Then I give a quick blast with the diffuser for about a minute and let my hair air dry.

    My hair is shorter now but when it was longer plaits and braids worked a treat at keeping things under control.

  35. Love all this advice as my little one has ringlets! I love a good braid – not just a plait but a tight braid for school

  36. I have no advice. I have dead straight hair. Flat as a tack. I’ve just started using a straightener to add body and waves – took me long enough to figure it out haha.
    Your daughter’s curls are just divine. Good luck taming them – they’re so pretty.
    Grass is always greener on the other side haha.

  37. At 35 years of age I have tried a few things over time to keep my curls in tip top condition. It’s really trial & error. What works for one U.S. curly haired lasses will not work for the other. The main things to do are

    NEVER brush it. Use an Afro comb only
    Only wash it every 4 or four days
    Products are your friend. Mousse or a cream work best

    lately I’ve been using Lush products. They are doing wonders for my hair. You can order them online too πŸ™‚

  38. Lisa mckenzie says

    Yes I have curly hair and I hate it! Only use a wide toothed comb no brush and a good conditioner I like the aldi Moroccan oil one and the shampoo too,just use a water sprayer if you want it neater,you can scrunch but it makes more curls and let it air dry,good luck xx

  39. Another vote for the conditioner with Moroccan oil. Let us know what you find works best for your lass!

  40. Leisa Flanigan says

    Hi Beth, Google Neel loves Curls, that’s all you need! He is in Victoria but has a blog, IG & FB. I have had curly hair all my life and only embraced it 2 years ago from reading Neel’s information.

  41. Gorgeous! Love them curls. That girl got spirit alright! Don’t tame the curls, don’t tame the spirit!

    ‘Curly Girl’ by Lorraine Massey, great book, you need to get it.

    Different curls need different care, Daisy has Botticelli curls, the long softer curls. I’ve got a mixture, my sisters are cork screw curly girls, which if not managed = plain frizz!

    Agree with everyone else, NO HAIRBRUSHES! Not even the tangle teaser, it will stretch the curl and make it a disaster. Use wide tooth combs or fingers.
    There are so many different oils and products on the market, you have to try them.
    But as Daisy is just a young buttercup you don’t want to smother her hair in chemicals, so go for more natural things. The Curly Girl book gives you lots of ideas.

    Enjoy her curls! Yay, we need more curly girls in the world πŸ™‚

  42. My daughter (she’s 6) has super curly hair. She was basically bald until she was 3 and then BAM it came in thick and fast. She has very dry hair, so I don’t over shampoo her hair. Maybe once a week or every 10 days I will shampoo and condition. I never brush, I only comb it out and let it dry naturally (I use the tangle teezer brand). Because she’s 6 I don’t add any products but I’m sure as she gets older we will start using curling mousse and the like. Every morning before school I will wet her hair with a spray bottle full of water and comb it out. Once I comb it out and get it in the right part etc I DO NOT TOUCH IT. If I leave it be, her hair will dry into perfectly formed ringlets. If I mess around with it too much while it’s drying it tends to go very frizzy. We embrace Sadie’s curls and she loves them. The one time I blow dried her hair straight and used a straightner she burst into tears.

  43. Wow that’s exactly what is happening to my 5 yo!! I’m so glad you have asked..I now have some great tips! I think the humidity has played a huge part in exactly how curly my girl has gone! Very beautiful! X

  44. My little poppet is 3. She has amazing curly hair. We wash it & comb through with a wide comb with conditioner. I plait it at night otherwise she ends up with dread locks. I love it & I hope she loves it when she is older.https://www.facebook.com/happylittlelifestyleblog/photos/pb.618797374818989.-2207520000.1421673123./854607587904632/?type=3&theater

  45. Both my girls have thick ringlets – I use normal shampoo and conditioner, then comb with the old rake-like combs. To comb it when dry, I use a my own mix of a bit of conditioner and lots of water in a spray bottle, wet their hair , then comb and pull back however they want. This also protects their hair from the matting that chlorine causes.

  46. Coming from a long line of curlsters + with 2 junior curlsters in training… I can only tell you this: do not anger the beast. Attempts to brush into submission will only result in a wilder, crazier and BIGGER beast. Coconut oil to soothe beast, wide tooth comb wet and LET IT BE. That’s all I have. May the force b with u xx

  47. I love girls with curls. My #favouritehuman (my darling almost 7 year old niece) has curly hair, just like her mum does.
    When Curly started primary school last year, my sister bought herself a book on braids, plaits etc etc and does curly girl’s hair in an assortment of styles from uber fancy to perhaps my favourite hair related word (and a simple style) – bunches. Good old bunches. I wore em with fat felt-ish ‘ribbons’ in the 70s – who remembers those things?
    Embrace the curls, let them be wild every now and then.

  48. I love Daisy’s hair Beth, and it looks like it’s here to stay. My hair was straight and blonde when I was little and became curly as I hit puberty. There’s some excellent advice in the comments here about not washing too often and only combing gently when her hair is wet. A wide comb is great and I love the tangle teezr too.

  49. So many comments!

    I have short-ish hair, so I *do* scrunch because that is what works for me. I also never ever brush my hair (I never even comb it, but I understand that probably doesn’t work for long hair!) which is the number 1 most important thing, as well as conditioner!

    This blog post is really great: http://www.thereoncewasacurl.com/blog/squish-to-condish
    Even without leaving it the conditioner in etc, the squish method itself is really good.

    My other recommendation would be to get yourself a copy of the Curly Girl Handbook. It is only $15 on Book Depository (http://www.bookdepository.com/Curly-Girl-Handbook-Lorraine-Massey/9780761156789) and is the BEST resource – it talks about absolutely everything you need to know in one handy place, and has a whole section on kids’ hair. But your daughter will keep this book forever, it is so useful.

    The only curly hairdresser I know of is for adults and he is in Melbourne, you can follow along on Facebook/Instagram.. he posts great photos and tips and links.

    • These are all such great tips – thank you! I have been following Neel on insta & FB since I originally wrote this post he is the business!

  50. Give Karmin a try. πŸ˜€


  1. […] have a curly one so I was reading all the comments and advice with great […]

  2. […] a month agoΒ I wrote this post asking for help on dealing with Daisy’s curls (the comments are where the action IS). You see […]

Speak Your Mind