How to Style Your Daughter’s Curly Hair (for Newbies)

Are you stuck on how to style your daughter’s curly hair?

It happens. Straight haired lasses have curly girls and boys. And then they…

Panic? Find themselves at a loss? Get out the flat iron???

No way.

They learn to care for ringlets, waves, coils, kinks, and curls.

Yep. You can learn how to care for your daughter’s curly hair. But trust me, it takes some work! Not to worry, though – I am here for you!

If your daughter has curly, frizzy hair, and you have no idea where to begin, well, you’re in the right place. I’ll show you just what to do!

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How to Style Your Daughter’s Curly Hair

For today’s tutorial I am using Cantu brand exclusively.

Mostly because,

A) It’s easy enough to find at your local drugstore (try the ethnic section if you don’t see it with the normal shampoo and products) or online, and

B) It’s inexpensive, and

C) It’s Curly Girl Method approved.

Products to use when styling curly hair - Cantu

I’m not a hardcore CGM devotee, but I do think it’s a good place to start when you’re learning about your (or your kiddo’s) curly hair.

Mainly, the method involves staying away from dry brushing, sulphates, silicones, and heat.

For more details on CGM, you can read my guide on how to do the Curly Girl Method the easy way.

Help! My Daughter Has Curly Frizzy Hair!

Funnily enough, the fruit of my looms have pin-straight hair. I seriously don’t know if they were all switched at birth or what.

Changelings? Could be. Except they look like me and are total weirdos, so I am forced to claim them.

Me with my daughters
Our faces after curly-haired mama attempted to straighten her hair, and straight-haired daughters tried to curl theirs.
Me (and my curls) with my son (who has a slight wave)
My son has a bit of a wave, but still nothing like my coils.
Why does my child have such straight hair!?!?
I mean, seriously. Who has hair this naturally straight?? Weirdo.

My point is, while I don’t have any daughters with curly hair, I’ve had to deal with it all my life and I’ve picked up a thing or two about it.

So for my first Hair Salon In My Kitchen Tutorial I went out and found myself a little cutie pie.

No, no, I didn’t do any light kidnapping; I simply borrowed a ten year old with gorgeous spirals and bribed her with cookies.

Curly Hair - Before and After
Meet Ireland! (Before styling)

Actually, there were no cookies. I’m not sure my salon will catch on…

Ireland’s mama has totally straight hair and she told me Ireland got her ringlets from her dad and her grandma.

And while they work around the curls and try to encourage them, they mostly go up in a bun for daily ballet classes. Oh, and when I asked if I could use her for this blog she said,

Sure! Umm… you should know she has A LOT of hair.

She wasn’t kidding.

For fun, I used the exact same products and methods on my own hair that morning so you could see it on two different hair types.

Mine is quite thin, 2C-3A, and high porosity. Ireland’s is incredibly thick, 3A-3B, and low porosity. But honestly, the same products and methods worked well on both our heads!

Me and my curls
Here’s me, after using all Cantu.


Ok let’s dive in. I’ll cover the hair products and accessories I used, then we’ll go step-by-step from start to finish on how to style your child’s curly hair.


Here’s the lineup of what I used:

They all have a nice scent! The shampoo lathers well, the conditioner is thick and creamy and full of slip, the Curl Activator Cream is more like a butter (so a little goes a long way), and the gel is a flexible hold. You really won’t go wrong with Cantu.

Learn More: My Favorite Curly Girl Products – What Works, What Doesn’t


I also used my:

Products and hair accessories needed

Oh, yeah. And my husband’s clean T-shirt for squeezing and scrunching out excess moisture.

You will need a good comb!

While I used considerably less product on my own head than I did on Ireland’s thick tresses, the method was the same.

How to Style Your Daughter's Curly Hair (BEFORE)
Here’s the “before (like, right before)” pic

Step 1 – Shampoo

Start by giving her a good shampoo.

The Cantu lathers well and smells delicious. I used the BaByliss PRO scalp massager just to really get in there with Ireland’s hair because SHE HAS A LOT OF IT.

Like, a lot, a lot.

Rinse well.

Wash Well! Curly Hair Tips
Just getting thick hair thoroughly wet takes a while! I had no idea what you voluminous gals go through.

Step 2 – Condition

Next, condition your daughter’s hair.

I applied plenty of conditioner and worked it in. Her hair is surprisingly not super-tangled. I was pleased that I didn’t have to spend a ton of time detangling it, or making her cry buckets of tears.

Honestly, I get worse tangles and shedding than she did.

How to Style Your Daughter's Curly Hair

Hey there! Yes, you! Have you read my books yet? You should! Check out my works here.

Comb the curls until all the frizz is gone
Barely a tangle!

Step 3 – Section

Then we sectioned up her hair in three sections.

I usually separate mine into two, because I have like, 1/4 the amount of hair she does.

Comb out all the frizzy tangles!
Please ignore my double chin.

Step 4 – Cream

Do steps 4 through 6 (cream, gel, scrunch) for each “section” of hair.

I started with a quarter size amount of the Curl Activating Cream for the bottom half of her hair.

For me, this would have been way too much, so adjust accordingly.

I smoothed it through, raked with my fingers, then finger coiled some of the pieces that looked wonky or stubborn.

Step 5 – Gel

Then I applied a quarter size amount of gel and used the praying hands method. This way you won’t break up the curl clumps.

Step 6 – Scrunch!

Then I scrunched. You could hear the squishing sound that signifies nicely moisturized hair!

Then I repeated the process (steps 4-6) with the other two sections, and scrunched out some excess moisture with the cotton T-shirt.

Step 7 – Blow Dry

It would have been good to let her air dry as long as possible, but the sweetpea had places to go and people to see!

Once I had my hands in her hair I knew diffusing was going to take approximately 34 years, plus 40 days and 40 nights, and 8-10 business days for shipping, but we went for it anyways.

Curly Hair Styling Tutorial (for Girls)
Ireland wondering what day of the week it is now.

I used the hover method (not physically touching the curls with the bowl) for a while.

As she aged before my eyes from 10-1/2 to age 12, we switched to cupping the ringlets in the bowl.

How to Style Your Daughter's Curly Hair
We diffused upside down for a while, not because she needed the volume but because I was just trying to get the hair near her scalp dry!

After a good 45 minutes, she was not exactly dry, but not dripping wet either.

I’d say the bottom half was almost completely dry, but the upper half near her scalp was still quite wet.

Almost done! Whew, this has been a long one...
I’m like a proud mother hen as I separate some clumps.

She turned out so pretty!!

At this point, I would normally fluff it all out at the roots, shake, maybe use a pic. BUTTTTT she really was not fully dry and you don’t want to do that when there is still moisture and wetness in the hair, because FRIZZ CITY IS WHERE YOU WILL BECOME THE MAYOR OF.

Curly Hair Style Guide (for those who don't have curly hair)
Still not totally dry.

Her mom said “you turned her into a teenager!”

Oops. Sorry about that.

How to Style Your Daughter's Curly Hair
She is tu-tu cute!

I hope this helps if you, too, are a straight-haired parent, with a curly-haired rugrat!

Also, I encourage you to keep learning… learn about their textures, types, what works, what doesn’t, and most of all teach your babies to love their natural hair!

How to style someone else's curly hair
About a half hour later, her mom sent a new picture. “Ireland LOVES her hair!”
Guide to Styling Someone Else's Curly Hair
Same products, same methods, totally different hair!

Stay tuned for more Salon In My Kitchen tutorials.

Next up, How To Style Men’s Curly Hair.

Oh yeah. It’s happening.

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Help! My Daughter Has Curly Frizzy Hair!