How to Curl Toddler Hair: Tips and Tricks for Cute Curls!

Toddlers are fun and enthusiastic, and their hair can be just as vivacious. If you have a toddler with curly hair, you may find it difficult to manage at times. However, with the right techniques, you can easily create cute curls that your toddler will love. Here are some tips and tricks to help you curl toddler hair.

Understand the Hair Type

Before you start curling your toddler’s hair, it’s essential to understand the type of hair they have. The hair type will dictate the method you use to curl their hair.

Straight Hair

If your toddler has straight hair, you can use a curling iron or wand to create loose waves or tight curls. You will have to use a heat protectant spray first and then wrap small sections of hair around the curling iron, holding them for a few seconds before letting go.

Wavy Hair

If your toddler has wavy hair, you can use a diffuser attachment on your blow dryer. Apply a volumizing mousse and then scrunch the hair while blow-drying it on low heat. This will enhance the natural waves and give the hair a slight bounce.

Curly Hair

If your toddler has curly hair, you already have a head start. It’s best to avoid using heating tools like curling irons and blow dryers as much as possible. Instead, you can define the curls with a curl defining cream or gel. Apply a dime-sized amount of product to your palms and then scrunch the product into their hair.

Prepare the Hair

Preparing the hair before you start curling is crucial. Here are some steps to make sure your toddler’s hair is ready for curls.

Cleanse the Hair

It’s best to start with clean hair as curly hair can easily become dry and tangled. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for curly hair. Rinse thoroughly and avoid rubbing the hair with a towel.

Add Hydration

Curly hair requires a lot of moisture, so apply a leave-in conditioner to keep their curls hydrated. You can also use a detangler to make the hair more manageable.

Section the Hair

When curling your toddler’s hair, it’s best to work in small sections to avoid tangling. Use a wide-tooth comb to section the hair before starting the curling process.

Curling Techniques

Now that you have prepared the hair, it’s time to start curling. Here are some techniques that work best for toddlers.

Curling Iron

If you decide to use a curling iron, select a small barrel curling iron as it will be easier to maneuver around your toddler’s head. Be sure to apply a heat protectant spray before using the curling iron. Section hair, starting from the back, wrap hair around the curling iron and hold for a few seconds. Release the curl and move to the next section.

Flexi Rods

Flexi rods are a fantastic way to create curls without using heat. Apply a lightweight styling cream or gel, section the hair, and twist around the flexi rod. Leave on overnight or for a few hours, then remove for bouncy curls.

Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are a protective style that can create curls while also protecting the ends of the hair. Section the hair, apply a leave-in conditioner, twist, then knot the hair at the base of the twist. Leave on overnight or for a few hours, then remove for defined curls.

Final Touches

Once you have created your toddler’s curls, there are a few final touches you can do to perfect the look.

Use Oils

After you have curled the hair, you can apply a hair oil to add shine and reduce frizz. Use a lightweight oil and apply a small amount onto your palm before running it through the hair.

Set with Hairspray

Lastly, use a light holding hairspray to set the curls and help them last longer. Avoid heavy hairspray, which can weigh down the curls.


Curling toddler hair can seem daunting, but with the right understanding of hair types and the proper techniques, it can be easy and fun. Have patience and make the process enjoyable for both you and your toddler. With these tips, you’ll be able to create cute curls and make your toddler’s hair look and feel amazing.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Can I use a curling iron on a toddler’s hair?
  • A: Yes, you can use a curling iron on a toddler’s hair, but take precautions and use a small barrel curling iron and heat protectant spray.
  • Q: What type of curl defining cream or gel should I use?
  • A: Look for lightweight and non-greasy curl defining creams or gels that won’t weigh down your toddler’s curls.
  • Q: Can I create curls without using heat?
  • A: Yes, there are many ways to create curls without using heat, such as overnight flexi rods or Bantu knots. These techniques also have the added benefit of protecting the hair from heat damage.


  • “10 Easy Hairstyles for Little Girls,” Parents, accessed on November 10, 2021,
  • “How to Curl Hair with a Curling Iron,” wikiHow, accessed on November 10, 2021,

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