Red hair is a beautiful and unique trait that sets both children and adults apart. And in that uniqueness, their ginger hair requires special care to keep it healthy and vibrant. Added bonus? When you enrich their haircare, you'll likely enrich their pride and sense of identity, too.
GENTLE INGREDIENTS FOR HAPPY STRANDS
When it comes to cleansing and conditioning, red hair, particularly in children, tends to be more delicate and prone to dryness than other hair types. Sulfate-free shampoos are crucial for this, and you'd be surprised that many products out there claiming to be aimed at children are not sulfate-free. Look for products that specifically state they are free from sulfates. Want to check your product's ingredients list? The most common one is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).
Instead, sulfate-free products will be gentler when cleansing so that the scalp isn't left too dry after washing. You'll already know that children don't need baths every day because of the harshness the water alone can be on their skin, so keep that in mind when cleansing. Essentially, the gentler the better.
This will help maintain natural moisture levels and minimise the risk of dryness and frizz. Remember to rinse thoroughly to avoid any product residue that may weigh down the hair.
Moisture is key for maintaining healthy and manageable red hair. If you feel your child's hair could do with extra moisture, particularly if their hair is quite long, regularly moisturise your child's hair with a nourishing and gentle conditioner. Look for products containing natural ingredients like aloe vera or coconut oil, which provide hydration and promote softness. Lightly misting the hair with water and applying a small amount of leave-in conditioner can also help in managing tangles. Above all, make sure there are no silicones in the ingredients. As a general rule of thumb, you want to avoid any words with '-one' at the end.
SUNCARE IS ALWAYS IMPORTANT
You'll likely already be extra diligent with your little redhead's suncare on their vulnerable skin, but think of their scalp and hair, too. Sun exposure can cause hair colour to fade and lead to dryness and, of course, sun burn. Encourage your child to wear a sun hat or use a scarf to shield their hair and scalp from direct sunlight. If hats are not an option, consider using hair products with built-in UV protection to prevent damage and colour fading. A bit of conditioner before sun exposure could help to protect the strands from becoming too dry, too.
KEEP STYLING AS SMOOTH AND GENTLE AS POSSIBLE
As a child, having your hair brushed can be stressful, so when it comes to detangling, easy does it. Use a wide-toothed comb or a detangling brush specifically designed for children's hair to gently work through any knots or tangles. Start from the ends and work your way up to minimise breakage and discomfort. Applying a leave-in conditioner or detangling spray can make the process easier and less painful.
Whether your little redhead's hair is curly, straight, wavy, fine or thick, there's nothing more empowering than being proud of how your hair looks. If your child has a wave to their hair, learning to embrace and encourage it is a powerful way to instil confidence, that will hopefully also stretch to their red hair colour, too. Avoid excessive heat styling, and instead, use gentle styling techniques, such as braiding, twisting, or soft hair accessories.
POSITIVITY IS POWERFUL FOR RED HAIR PRIDE
Underlying all of these tips is the very important lesson of teaching your red-haired child that their hair colour makes them special and that being different is something to be proud of. Celebrate their unique beauty and help them understand that what matters most is how they feel about themselves. Websites like Ginger Parrot is a great place to start – it's full of articles about the wonderful ways of having red hair and the genetics behind it. (Coincidentally, it's where Gingerful began!)
All of Gingerful's hair products for redheads are safe to use on children's hair, recommended from the age of 3 but we know of plenty of parents who use on redheads much younger. The products are all sulfate-free and silicone-free, contain nourishing and colour-enhancing ingredients, and above, instil a sense of positivity about being a redhead. It's the coolest club in the world!