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How To Wash A Black Girl’s Hair

Want to know how to wash a little black girl’s hair? Here you go!

There are so many things that folks forgot to tell me about parenting a daughter that I only learned after Ayva was born.

One of the biggest pieces of information that would have been super awesome to know ahead of time was how to wash a little Black girl’s hair. Gosh, it’s such lovely hair, too.

Thick and coily, and when it’s stretched, Ayva’s hair reaches nearly to her little booty.

But HONEY…this hair is work!

I wash my hair in the shower, and for some reason, I have no recollection of how my hair was cleaned when I was a little girl.

Well, after years of trial and tears (from both Ayva and me), we finally have a wash day method that works for us. (This post contains affiliate links)

How To Wash A Little Black Girl’s Hair

How To Wash A LIttle Black Girl's Hair

Step 1: Find a good spot to wash her hair.

I tried washing Ayva’s hair in the bathtub, but that was just not fun at all.

My back was hurting, she could never get comfortable, and it was just not a good option for us. I started washing her hair in the kitchen sink, and it works out much better.

Ayva just climbs on the cabinet, and leans her head into the (sanitized) sink. I’ve seen moms with younger children lean their high chair up against the sink backwards and have their daughter lean her head into the sink that way.

Different things work for different people, but just make sure whatever you decide isn’t uncomfortable for your little girl.

Make hair washing more comfortable with these items:

Stool (use to wash your girl’s hair in the sink)

Sink Sprayer to make rinsing hair easier

Step 2: Gather your tools.

Chefs call this mise en place when they’re cooking. That means to get all of the ingredients out that you are going to use, and have them handy so that you’re not searching all over for them.

When it comes to washing your little Black girl’s hair, make sure you have all of the tools gathered before you start. Pull out your shampoo, conditioner, comb, coconut oil, detangling spray, towel…everything you need to get ‘er done!

There’s nothing worse than having to wait for your mama to get a towel when there is water dripping down your face!

Tools you’ll definitely need:

Wide tooth comb

Microfiber towel

Step 3: Shampoo the hair.

Now that you have all of your tools out, it’s time to shampoo the hair. Since Ayva’s hair is super thick, here’s how I do it.

I squeeze nearly a handful of shampoo in my hand and massage it through her hair. I’m really careful about making sure I clean around her hairline in the front and back, and especially in the dense middle part of her hair.

Make sure you rinse the shampoo out completely, otherwise it’ll sit on your little Black girl’s scalp, making flakes and causing itchiness.

Our favorite shampoo at the moment is Mielle Organics. It has really helped to soften and condition my daughter’s thick hair.

Step 4: Condition the hair.

Conditioning the hair is really important. The shampoo strips a lot of the natural oils away, and the conditioner helps to start replacing those oils and seal the cuticles.

Massage the conditioner through the hair, avoiding the scalp as much as possible.

You can use a comb to start detangling during this time. When Ayva’s hair was shorter, I would detangle during the conditioning phase, but now, we wait until afterwards.

When you rinse the conditioner out of your little Black girl’s hair, you don’t have to rinse it completely like with the shampoo.

If you’re using the right conditioner, leaving a little bit of it on the hair won’t be a problem. If you’re using the wrong conditioner, you’ll know, because the hair will be dull and feel sticky.

We are loving Mielle Organics conditioner, too!

Step 5: Detangle and style the hair.

Ah, the last step of the hair washing process, and to us, it was the step that used to cause us the most grief. Now, I use a detangling spray on Ayva’s hair, and comb through it section by section. Here’s what I do:

  • Massage coconut oil (or some other type of oil) through the hair.
  • Spray the detangling spray.
  • Separate each section by hand before combing through the pieces. Start at the bottom of the section of the hair that you’re combing with your wide tooth comb, and grip the piece super tight so that your little girl doesn’t feel like she’s getting her hair ripped out!
  • Comb through each section, then braid it until you’re finished with her whole head.
  • Take out the braids, put a little more oil on her hair, and style it. Styling is a whole ‘nother blog post, y’all!

For more product ideas and to find everything you need to wash a little black girl’s hair, check out this all inclusive, super easy shopping list I created for you!

There you go. Five easy steps for washing your little Black girl’s hair. If you have any other tips to share to make it easier, please share in the comments!

Other posts you might enjoy:

How to prepare your tween for her first period
Hygiene Lessons To Teach Your Daughter
Self Care Ideas For Moms and Daughters


Sunday 4th of February 2018

As a 56-year old white woman, I have NO experience with a little black girl’s hair! I married a wonderful black man with a beautiful 3-year-old granddaughter and now I have to learn! Thanks SO much! I’m sure you’ve saved us some tears!

Natural Hair Products

Thursday 2nd of November 2017

she is so pretty! and by the way for conditioning it reminds me of my granny making home jojoba and coconut oil conditioner.. and we use that at least 2 or 3x a week..

Natural Hair Products

Thursday 2nd of November 2017

she is so pretty! and by the way for conditioning it reminds me of my granny making home jojoba and coconut oil conditioner..


Tuesday 17th of January 2017

This was helpful. I don't have children of my own but work with children and am now in a position where I need to learn how to do little black girl hair. I am mixed myself with very very thick hair but it has never been course - so seeing these tricks helps....A LOT. I want to do my best to make this girl's hair shine beautifully just like she is!

Deb Roseman

Saturday 10th of December 2016

Helping to care for my grand niece who's 7 and I have people telling me to only wash her hair every 2 weeks instead of every 3 or 4 days. She plays hard and gets all sweaty and her hair gets gross and stinky after a few days. If I go thru these steps how often can I wash it without damaging it? I've been using a salon shampoo for dry hair and argon or coconut oil after conditioning. what would you recommend?


Monday 12th of December 2016

Hi Deb! You know what you can do? You can do a co-wash! Instead of using shampoo every time, wet the hair and use conditioner. Rub her scalp and massage the conditioner in, then rinse out. Children that are more active need their hair washed more frequently, but this will help it not to dry out!