When we set out to make the gentlest, most natural, most moisturizing coconut oil conditioner for kids, we turned to the best market research team we know: our community of Bubbsi-using parents who are deeply committed to seeking out the healthiest products for their little bubs. And during the 13-month process of formulating our coconut oil conditioner, we learned something surprising: 52 percent of parents never use kids’ conditioner on their children’s hair, and 15 percent only use it sometimes. What’s more, of the people we surveyed, 59 percent of girls use conditioner, and only 29 percent of boys use it.
After hearing some of the top reasons why parents aren’t using kids’ conditioner, we asked children’s hair care expert LaToya Borris, a mother of two who owns Pinkyz Place Children’s Salon in Brooklyn, to weigh in. Turns out, some of the most common hair conditioning hang-ups that she hears from her clients are the very same ones we’ve been hearing from parents. Here, we share LaToya’s advice, as well as what we’ve learned in our own research and experience about using coconut oil conditioner to care for babies’ and kids’ hair.
Myth 1: Kids don’t need hair conditioner.
Experts agree: Babies and children benefit from hair conditioner in the same ways as adults with similar hair types: for curls, it helps define the locks and eliminates frizz. For super thick or coarse hair, it softens and detangles. For finer hair, it smooths, shines and protects.
So, when’s the best time to start using kids’ conditioner? If you’ve gotten to the point that you can’t brush your child’s hair without tears (or, at least, a fair amount of wriggling and resistance), it’s time.
Myth 2: Conditioning works the same way on every head.
Experts agree: Coconut oil conditioner is the ultimate multitasker: it nourishes, it softens, it improves texture, and it tames. But that doesn’t mean the application process is one-size-fits-all.
“Everyone’s hair has different textures, but everyone’s hair gets tangles,” LaToya explains. “How much you use, how often you use it and the way you put it on, all depends on how dry hair is and how much moisture is needed.”
Shorter hair, for example, only needs to be conditioned once or twice a week, because when the strand is short, it receives more nutrients from the scalp. Longer hair needs more frequent conditioning because not as many nutrients get from scalp to strands. (Check out our blog on helpful tips for applying Bubbsi’s Creamy Coconut Oil Hair Conditioner.)
Myth 3: People with fine hair should avoid using conditioner.
Experts agree: Conditioner is great for fine hair. It adds definition, helps avoid knotting, and reduces friction between hair strands, making hair more manageable and reducing damage from harsh brushing. But, there’s one one important caveat: it should only be applied to the ends, never directly to the scalp.
“Some people with finer hair don’t like to use conditioner because they think it makes their hair flat and greasy-looking,” LaToya explains. By using coconut oil conditioner on the ends, you can keep them from splitting and drying out, without worrying about the top looking matted and oily.
Myth 4: You should wash with shampoo every day.
Experts agree: Not necessarily. LaToya recommends not washing hair unless it’s dirty. And, for most kids, their hair just doesn’t get that dirty every day. Washing every day is especially not recommended for children with coarse or curly hair as it can cause scalp dryness.
On the other hand, wetting down the hair and applying coconut oil conditioner can be done daily. “Applying kids’ conditioner replenishes hair’s nutrients, just like moisturizing skin after a bath. As we like to say, moisturize early and moisturize often,” says LaToya.
Myth 5: Only girls need to condition.
Experts agree: First of all, some boys have long hair, same as girls! Both girls and boys have an outer layer on each strand of hair called a cuticle, which is easily damaged by things we come in contact with everyday, including brushing, wind, sun, hats and environmental irritants. When you condition hair, you seal the cuticle, making hair healthier and preventing future breakage and damage. Plus, because coconut oil conditioner moisturizes, it can help counteract any stripping caused by shampoo.
“Everyone who washes hair can benefit from conditioner—coconut oil conditioner in particular,” says LaToya. “Do your little man a favor and teach him to moisturize!”