Your daughter has a head full of thick, very curly hair and you're at your wit's end dealing with the tenderheaded issues. When she sees you coming with the comb, she looks like she's about to cry. Hair grooming shouldn't be a painful process, for her or for you! Before you reach for that home kiddie perm kit, hold on.
Is your daughter even old enough to get her hair relaxed? Just because you know someone who relaxed a three year-old's hair doesn't make it right. Relaxers are better left to children over the age of twelve. Until that time, if you still think relaxing is necessary, you should find other, non-chemical ways of making your child's hair manageable for you.
Although straightening in any form really isn't necessary, if you want to straighten hair in a way that won't damage a still-developing scalp and hair follicles, try these methods.
You can style hair in a way that will loosen its tight texture pattern. After shampooing and conditioning, apply natural oils and/or a clear, light gel. Then braid or twist your child's hair. The number of plaits or twists is up to you. Small braids and twists will leave hair more tightly curled than larger braided or twisted sections. Let the hair dry. Once dry, unravel the plaits or twists. The hair's texture will be slightly loosened and relaxed, while still retaining a good amount of volume.
Another way you can relax some of the tight curl in hair is with a blow dryer. You can use one with a plastic comb attachment, but you'll need to be gentle so that it doesn't tug so much on the child's hair. If you don't have an attachment, a wide-tooth comb or plastic bristle brush will do. Again, start with freshly shampooed and conditioned hair. After applying natural oils, the hair should be parted in four to six sections, depending on thickness. Beginning at the bottom of the hair, direct low to medium heat on one section at a time as you comb or brush the section down. Work your way up the section until you reach the scalp. You're not aiming for complete straightness; you're simply relaxing the texture.
You may find it easier to comb through hair whose tight curls have been relaxed somewhat. Using wide-tooth combs is still essential to avoid pulling on the hair and scalp. By holding off on chemical treatments as long as possible, you're creating a healthier environment for hair, which will help it thrive.