Ask Rogelio – My Baby’s Curly Hair & Growing it

Today, we have an interesting question from a mother whose baby boy has curly hair, and she wants to know how to groom and manage his curls and long hair.

 

My son is 15 months and I’m trying to figure his hair type out. I believe he is type I his hair looks more like Hugh Grants. He was more of a type II before his first hair cut I let his father talk me into:(

But what I’m wondering is by this time would the curls have just fallen off if it was just “babys curls” or is this going to be his permanent hair? Now its really just straight in the front and holds big but tight finger width curls in the back. I’m scared to cut it again and I really want to let it grow if it means it will be Long and curly.

I don’t know how to care for his hair properly and I want a product that will help his curls show their true potential. (If any) this may sound stupid. (My post) but I know nothing about curly hair. I would post a pic but don’t know how off my phone. 

Amanda (via our site)

Hi Amanda,

Hope all is well.

For starters, it doesn’t sound stupid at all. I get questions all the time from mothers like you asking me about their sons’ (and even daughters’) curly hair, and it is a certainty that all mothers (and fathers) want to start getting used to grooming and managing their child’s curly hair. Moreover, a baby/toddler with curly is just too manly in a cute-baby kind of way, and I’m very happy to hear of mothers like your who want to make the most of their sons’ curly hair.

Let’s get to business.

Don’t be afraid to cut your baby son’s curly hair again. His hair grows the same no matter what you do to it; the curving pattern of his hair strands is determined at the follicle level (the follicle is where the hair grows from), and this curving pattern is genetic (inherited from either you, your husband or both; hair genetics is complex). However, what I tell mom’s like you who come to me for advice on their child’s curly hair is to never use a hair clipper to trim his hair as the hair clipper will be scary to him (from the noise it makes and the need to have his head held secured). Thus, always trim his baby curls with scissors and ideally with scissors that have the tips rounded and not sharp so as to not injure his skin were him to move his head when you are cutting the hair.

 

Child with curly kinky hair

 

I really would discourage at this time for you to start using hair products on his hair except for baby shampoo. Remember, the scalp (skin from where his hair grows from) is just like any other skin area of his body; it will absorb chemicals that can penetrate the skin barrier, and, unfortunately, there are some hair product manufacturers out there whom you cannot trust to deliver safe products. Ergo, the less ingredients you expose him to, the better. Like I say, a conventional baby shampoo (they’re very mild) will suffice at this stage.

If you want to grow your child’s hair long, it will take about a year as his head will also be growing in this timespan. Furthermore, to groom his hair (i.e. manage it), use the water from the shower and your fingers to mildly detangle any knotting of the hair that occurs. Once you have detangled, style with your finger and use no hair grooming products. I really would leave hair products out except shampoo until at least a few years from now.

Lastly, don’t worry about your son’s curl type right now. Quite likely, your son’s curly hair will change over the years and, most especially, when he hits puberty as the increase in sex hormones alters the hair follicles in boys who enter puberty; with curly hair, boys normally go one curl type up from their then-current curl type. I was a soft and bouncy head of Type II curls and then I turned puberty and my curls became beastly coils of Type III and IV nature. Likewise, his curl type will start to become more discernible when his hair grows a bit longer, and curl types Types I and II are not easy to identify when the curly hair is short as is your son’s current case.

Allow me to finish by encouraging you to cherish your son’s curly hair, and I’m very happy to hear that you are doing so already and looking to have him sporting a manly head of baby curls!

If you need more help, feel free to let me know below in the comments.

All the best.

Rogelio

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Rogelio

Rogelio is the go-to guy when it comes to men's hair. Having embraced his natural curly hair for over a decade while living in 5 countries, Rogelio has learnt a thing or two along the way. Rogelio is the author of the two bestselling men's books "The Curly Hair Book" and "The Men's Hair Book", and his motto when it comes to hair is, "Gentlemen, having a good head of hair should not cost us our testosterone".

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7 comments for “Ask Rogelio – My Baby’s Curly Hair & Growing it

  1. September 9, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Hi there .. I am living a nightmare! My son is 3 and has, or shall I say, HAD beautiful cork screw curls. I have straight hair and his dad has Afro hair so he took his dad’s gene in the hair department. Anyway cutting a long story short I sent my son off to nursery with his dad the other morning and when I picked my child up, he had no hair! His dad had shaved, YES SHAVED, it all off.

    He never really liked his curly hair and has always wanted him to look more like a “boy” but I am so upset I feel heartbroken!!! How long will it take to grow back and will it grow back just as curly? If curly at all?? Please help me I want my baby’s hair back!!!

    • Rogelio
      September 10, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      Hi Jess,

      Don’t worry, a baby’s own hair grows extremely fast; in fact, baby hair grows faster than the hair of an adult. Depending on how long were your baby’s curls, it will take between 2 to 4 months for him to regain his curly mane. Babies can get almost a whole inch of hair growth per month, whereas the average adult male barely reaches half an inch per month.

      About regaining the same curly shape after having had his hair shaved, do not worry about this either. Shaving or buzzing hair doesn’t have any effect on the shape of the hair that will regrow. This is a huge myth in the same manner that many people believe that shaving hair makes it grow thicker and stronger (this is another myth and is even more widespread than the former myth).

      I’ve actually discussed many of these issues (as per above) in my book, The Curly Hair Book. It will do you and especially you husband) to read the chapters of the book on hair care so that your husband is aware of his son’s curly hair care and can teach it to him when he (your son) is older.

      In any case, feel free to keep me updated on how your son’s curly hair has grown.

      Best,

      Rogelio

  2. Rosa
    February 26, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Hello! Im really hoping you can asnwer & give me hope about my 20mnth old son’s curly hair. He had amazing curly hair like Shirley Temple , unfortunately it was time to cut & so I cut off his curls (big mistake) I was expecting for his curls to curl up right away, but unfortunately its a little bit wavy & feeling like its getting straight, in this case im wondering if his hair will curly or are they’re gone forever? Help?!

    • Rogelio
      February 27, 2015 at 12:52 pm

      Hi Rosa,

      Unlike the prevailing old-time myth, curly hair does not change its shape or thickness if cut. Hair is growing continuously as genetically determined, and, in the case of curly hair (and its varying degrees of curliness), it will grow in a looped form caused by asymmetric building of the hair in the follicle. Essentially, what this means is that your son’s curly hair has the same inherent pattern right now as he has prior to his haircut and that all you need to do is to let his hair grow to the same length that he had so that he regains the same look.

      Do bear in mind that, the longer that curly hair gets, the more “shaped” it looks (i.e. the more of a prominent ringlet-like shape it gets), so right now, your son’s short curly hair will not have that “Shirley Temple” curls look as his hair needs to get longer. Hair growth in infants is slightly faster than hair growth in adults, but, to give you an idea, your son will grow about half an inch (or about 1.5 centimeters) of hair per month. Depending on how long his curly hair was prior to the haircut, it will take you less or more time to regain the favoured look.

      Let me re-emphasize the following, though: your son’s curly hair isn’t gone and you have not changed anything in his curls that has to do with the shape and structure of it, so do not worry whatsoever about what you may have caused by cutting his curly hair. Give it some time, and his curls will naturally go back to the Shirley Temple curly look!

      Hope that helps.

      Rogelio

  3. Paul
    December 14, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    My son is two yes of age and has not had his first hair cut. He has curls but his hair is thin an you can see his scalp a little. Everybody is telling me to cut his hair so it will grow back thicker. I’m scared because I don’t wanna lose his curls. His hair is a nappy thick fell to it but still thin as in you can see his scalp.

    • Rogelio
      December 14, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      Hi Paul,

      He won’t lose his curls; don’t worry about that. It’s a huge myth (which I cover in my two books) that hair grows thicker, faster or changes shape when cutting it or shaving it. Simply cut his hair if you feel like he needs a haircut, but do not worry about his hair changing whatsoever. However, there is a chance that, once he hits puberty, his hair texture changes; for curly men, it’s usually that their hair gets curlier.

      About seeing his scalp through his hair, that’s absolutely normal and you have nothing to worry about. However, when in doubt (always), consult your pediatrician; usually when there’s a scalp problem in toddlers/children, it’s either lice or some scalp inflammation, and not hair loss in itself.

      Hope that helps and feel free to keep me updated here or ask more questions.

      Best

      Rogelio

  4. Mary
    March 9, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Hi! So glad I stumbled on this page!

    I have two sons, biracial Mexican Chinese. Both had a ton of hair when born, on the finer side.

    When wet, hair is very curly. Once it dries, it is fluffy with traces of curls/waves. When our oldest son’s hair just kept growing and fluffing, we cut it short. And now, our second son, at three months, is growing out in the same way. My husband wants to cut it because it’s starting to look like mad scientist but I don’t want lose the curls, however slight they are. Will his hair be curliest if we grow it out? Or is it just a curly when wet thing? Or how can I manage it so that it’s curly vs just fluffy?

    Thanks!

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