Everything we discuss here about caring for our daughter's nappy hair may be applied to our sons, especially if our boys have hair longer than two to three inches. Managing boy's hair can be easier, because we expect to see our sons in short hair cuts. Their hair dries quickly, and may be soaked daily (our girls may enjoy the same--but our son's experience it every day already). Spritzing with plain water or a mix containing conditioner and oils, makes grooming easy.
While short nappy hair probably tangles less than longer hair, we should remain mindful that tight curls may still intertwine enough to cause resistance to combing. Most boys don't like to stand still as we fuss over them, but your son's screams as you groom his hair may indicate pain. By following the steps below we can eliminate most discomfort.
1. Start by having your son's hair cut in a good shape. My husband and I find it easy to cut our son's hair at home by using clippers with guards. However, a trip to a good barber shop is often quick and affordable.
2. Wet the hair daily. Lorraine Massey, author of Curly Girl, revolutionized our thinking about cleansing hair when she introduced her no-poo regimen. She teaches that basic conditioner contains enough cleansing agents to replace shampoo for curly heads. Her system keeps the hair moist and minimizes frizz. If you want to try this, be sure to choose simple moisture rich conditioners without cones. For more info read my post on selecting conditioners. An occasional wash with shampoo may be necessary for some heads. Pay attention to the health of the hair and scalp to determine what works best for your situation. For example, a persistent flakey scalp is often a sign that something is wrong somewhere.
3. Spritz with conditioner mix before picking or manipulating the hair. Again, we can sometimes rip through our son's hair while ignoring the crackling snap of their strands. We may even attribute our son's protest to rebellion when in fact our ministrations hurt. Please be mindful to apply the same principals when detangling short hair as we would with long hair.
Many of us marvel at how much healthier our son's hair can appear when compared to our daughter's hair. I attribute this to the fact that we generally leave our son's hair alone. I believe we should keep their regimen as simple as possible and respect their input. My son doesn't enjoy having his hair combed, but he doesn't mind brushing. We've chosen to maintain a low cut.