Help me with my daughter's dry, brittle hair

FoofsMumFoofsMum Registered Users Posts: 4
Hi everyone, our situation is a bit specific... I am a (straight haired) adoptive mum to a little three year old with Afro hair. Since she came to live with us I have done a LOT of research, so I know the basics at least (I think ...) but the issue I have, is that my daughter has special needs (cerebral palsy and learning disability.) So, although I have been able to keep most of her hair in good condition, moisturised, detangled and styled, the back of her head that constantly rubs on things is in SUCH a state. I only wash it occasionally (every 1-2 weeks) use sulfate free shampoo, leave in conditioner, moisturise with creams with shea butter in, never brush it dry, always finger detangle or use a tangle teaser. She sleeps on a satin pillow and I usually style it in two strand twists.

The hair at the back of her head is so, so dry that it constantly matts and tangles, and even after I really detangle and condition it it still feels dry and brittle within a day.
The other problem I have is that (here is also where the learning disability comes in) she doesn't understand about holding still, won't sit in front of the television either, and really, really screams when I do her hair. Trust me when I say I am as gentle as I can, I go slowly, finger detangle, sing to her... She stops crying the second I stop touching her hair. But it's so hard to listen to all that screaming every time! I can just about manage to do two strand twists in her hair, I've tried and tried but I can't do anything else (even thick braids, the hair back there just starts locking within days and then I struggle to take them off.)
Any ideas about what else I could do are welcome. Suggestions of specific products are welcome. I love her curls and want to keep them in good condition. I did wonder if putting extention braids (wraps?) in would help her hair recover as it wouldn't be rubbing anymore (I had one hairdresser insist that was fine for such a young child, but I'm not sure?) Should I consider locks for her? I don't mind taking her to a specialist hairdresser every so often, but it can't be too frequent because there is no one where I live and I would have to travel. I don't want to torture her and I also don't want to just chop all her hair off...

I'll post a few photos to give you an idea of her hair. The first is freshly moisturised and de tangled. The others are the way it usually is.


  • FoofsMumFoofsMum Registered Users Posts: 4
  • FoofsMumFoofsMum Registered Users Posts: 4
  • bomegabomega Registered Users Posts: 1,355 Curl Virtuoso
    Your daughter looks adorable, and she looks like she is such a joy in your life. :love2:

    I am not a parent, and I'm not African American, so you can take what I say with a grain of salt. I've seen when parents ask this question, the advice is to go to a black hair specialist. So, I would trust what the hair dresser says if they specialize in black hair, but I think its fine to get a "second opinion" from another one if you can. Another thought though is can you talk to an occupational therapist or disability specialist who is also black?
    Low-poo: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing Shampoo for Fine/Thin Hair (summer), Alaffia Coconut & Shea Hydrating Shampoo
    Clarify: Kinky Curly Come Clean
    Rinse-out: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing Conditioner for Fine/Thin Hair (summer), Alaffia Everyday Coconut Ultra Hydrating Conditioner
    DT: Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioner
    Leave-in: As I Am Leave-in
    Styler: Lily of the Desert 99% Aloe Vera Gelly
    Treatment: Daily tea spray; Coconut oil overnight treatment; Citric acid rinse for hard water; 2-step Henndigo w/ amla to cover gray

    2C, fine, low porosity, low/medium density, protein sensitive

    Looking for styling products and tools

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  • Barbarella90Barbarella90 Registered Users Posts: 3
    what is her hair porosity? hair porosity is everything not all curly hair is the same
  • adwoa140adwoa140 Registered Users Posts: 1
    Hi Foof Mum,
    Beautiful little girl with beautiful hair. Just seeing her hair tells me that you need to stop stressing and take a deep breath. My daughter's hair is very dry and brittle at times as well. Have you ever tried the LOC method? Liquid (Water), Oil (Just try one, for now, such as olive oil, Conditioner (Leave in Conditioner) You can do this method and two strand twists her hair before bedtime and put the satin bonnet on her hair. Also, buy satin material and sew it to her headrest in her car seat, or her hat b/c it's probably rubbing on the material. I sometimes keep a spray bottle of water and aloe vera mix in my pocket book. Please refrain from putting extensions in her hair for right now. You can two strand twist and in the morning untwist it and put a headband or pretty bow in hair and let it be free. The other option you can do is don't put locs in her hair find someone who can do finger coils in her hair and leave it alone. You can just moisturize her coils and decorate it with a beautiful headband. You can look this up. You're doing a great job already but it's just a matter of having patience.

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