There's nothing more fun than a DIY  spa day with your daughter, especially when it comes time to test a new 'do . Not all hair, however, is created equal. "Ethnic hair is much more dry and because of this, is much more fragile," says Cozy Friedman, CEO of Cozy's Cuts For Kids  and author of Cozy's Complete Guide to Girls' Hair  ($13, originally $16). Because of this, multicultural hair may require specific products and rituals to make it perfect. Here, tips from the veteran hairstylist on caring for natural hair.
When shopping for shampoo and conditioner, Friedman says to buy "alcohol-free products, so as not to dry out the hair." She also advises against buying petroleum or mineral oils. "They are too heavy and clog the pores, as well as actually prevent moisture from being absorbed into the hair." Instead, she suggests buying "light oils that will hydrate, like jojoba, avocado, coconut oil, or shea butter."
"You should not wash hair more than once or twice a week," Friedman says. "Overshampooing dries out the hair and scalp of its natural oils, which will cause hair and scalp to become dry and brittle."
During the postbath brushing, Friedman says to use a wide-tooth comb. "It will be much more gentle on the delicate hair than a fine-tooth comb and cause less breakage." She also suggests wrapping hair in a silk scarf at bedtime, using silk pillowcases, or doing an old-fashioned hair wrapping. This will help prevent breakage.
Now that you know how to care for your daughter's hair, learn how to style it with three looks straight from Cozy's Complete Guide to Girls' Hair.
The Basic Braid
- Start with damp hair — either towel-dried or misted — and use the wide-tooth comb to detangle hair.
- Using a fine-tooth comb, divide the hair into three equal sections: right, left, and middle.
- Hold the right section in your right hand and the other two sections separately in your left. Cross the right section over the middle section and hold with your left hand. The original right section is now the middle section. Pull the sections away from each other to tighten the braid.
- Now cross the left section over the middle section. The original left-hand section is now the middle section. Tighten again.
- Continuing alternating right and left sections over the middle, until you reach the end of the hair. Secure with a ponytail holder.
Friedman adds that braids should never be too tight. You should also braid the hair all the way to the very bottom and secure with a coated elastic. "Leaving the tiniest piece of unbraided hair can cause split ends and breakage," she says.
- Starting with dry hair, comb or brush the hair to smooth and detangle it. Part the hair down the middle of the head.
- Hold the hair from one side of the part, and make a low ponytail below the ear on that side, using a cute ponytail holder. When you pull the hair through the holder for the final time, don't pull it all the way through: leave the ends stuck in the holder to form a loose loop below. The longer the hair, the larger the loop will be.
- Repeat on the other side of the part. Use your fingers to make the loops about the same size on both sides.
The Wispy Loop
- Starting with dry hair, brush or comb hair to detangle. Part it where you choose or smooth hair straight back.
- Gather the hair in the center of the head as if you were making a ponytail. Twist the hair up and around loosely — more looped than coiled — in an elongated bun shape, leaving a few short, wispy ends sticking out at top or bottom.
- Secure with the clip at the center of the twist to hold the style in place.