Words by Rebecca Lindon.
As the mother of two children with wild curls, I'm the first to pounce on other mums of curly kids and ask them what hair products they recommend. Eczema is also an issue for us and I've tried every remedy under the sun - and discovered that the best remedy really is the warm sun and a dip in the sea (not very useful when you like in England where hot days are few and far between).
Thanks to my endless quest for recommendations, we have put together some of our favourite bathtime products which successfully help me to navigate grump hair-combing and applying body lotion to a wriggly toddler. Oh and please do comment below if you have a product that you adore (I'm all ears).
Up until a month ago, my 4-year old son had a long afro and hair-combing had become a really anxious time for him with tears and sometimes tantrums. It was something I didn't look forward to either. The arrival of some products from Shea Moisture made our hair washing and combing process so much easier. We first tried the Coconut & Hibiscus range but it's the Black Castor Oil Range that we have stuck with - in particular the shampoo, leave-in conditioner and treatment masque. The shampoo is sulfate-free and the range promotes growth and strength and most importantly for us, detangles wonderfully and allows to gentle combing. The conditioner is free of sulphates, parabens, synthetic colour, paraffin and mineral oil so is gentle on young hair.
Bubbles are big news in our household - bubble beards, bubble Elvis hair and bubble boobs.... all that good stuff. The children require big bubbles and I'm looking for products that aren't pumped full of chemicals, so we've settled on Paddy's Bathroom. If you're familiar with Ella's Kitchen then this brand is from the same company and is certified organic and natural (73% organic and 98% natural).
Our favourites are the pineapple and mango 'Squirty Stuff' and rosy apples 'Foamy Stuff' body wash that all smell good enough to eat! I can confirm that they also successfully remove felt-tip pen from toddler's faces.
When my son was smaller his skin reacted to so many products (even simple E45 in the bath) and I found Infacare to be the only baby wash that did the job. We still use it regularly and I recommend it to anyone who's littles have sensitive skin.
Eczema has been an ongoing problem for my son and my daughter also has patches of dry skin, particularly in the colder weather. I've tried everything from prescribed creams to homeopathic remedies and the only body lotion that really helps is Aveeno Skin Relief. It contains a title oat complex (oatmeal, oat oil and oat essence) and shea butter and for us, is nothing short of a miracle worker. It's not cheap but it works and I use nothing else on my son.
A lighter cream I fully recommend and use on myself is Embryolisse lotion which was developed by a Parisian dermatologist. It's fast-absorbing and hydrating so perfect for warm days when you don't want cream sitting on your skin.
THE ALL-PURPOSE MIRACLE WORKER
Coconut oil can be used for anything - cooking, haircare, cleaning... it's a multipurpose wonder. We use kokoso baby coconut oil which is a premium raw virgin oil that is 100% natural and organic. It's great for smoothing on baby skin and bottoms and wonderful for gently removing cradle cap. You can buy a little baby brush set that's designed for that exact purpose and worked a treat for us.