4 No-Heat Natural Hair Hairstyles for Kids

Emmy-award-winning hairstylist Angela C. Stevens says these four no-heat natural hairstyles are sure to leave your young one feeling fly and fierce as they head black-to-school!

Black mother sits on bed while she does her little girls hair
Photo: Kristen Curette & Daemaine Hines/Stocksy

Summer is ending, pumpkin spice lattés are on the horizon, and the hustle and bustle of prepping school supplies, lunches, and school looks is here. Kindred by Parents spoke with Emmy-award-winning hairstylist Angela C. Stevens about her recommendations for kids' hairstyles for natural hair to make your daily routine easier. Best of all, these styles don't require heat.

Stevens is passionate about making the haircare experience more simple. She penned the children's book Hair to help children to take more pride in their natural hair and care for it better. She helps folks understand "the how and the why when it comes to natural hair care and Black hair care specifically because we have such a range of textures," she says.

Why Opt For No-Heat Hairstyles?

"I don't want to be a heat hater, but if we're not properly taught how to use heat, it's very easy to misuse it," says Stevens, who notes that heat can be used safely to achieve certain looks and to stretch the hair to examine its ends.

Excessive heat styling, however, "starts chipping away at the cuticle and the elasticity of the hair," she adds, noting that heat damage looks like "a rubber band that's been stretched out too far," causing the hair to lose strength.

Stevens says that no-heat styles enable the usage of more water-based products on the hair, aiding its nutrition: "The combination of using water-based products and oil-based products instead of heat is always going to set the hair up for a better feel overall: healthier, fuller, filled with my more life." Plus, more growth is often a bonus of no-heat styles!

Here are a few easy no-heat hairstyles, some for tots and some for teens:

Mini-twists or Mini-braids

Black girl with mini twist hairstyle
Courtesy of Cantu

To create the look, you simply create small boxes of individual twists throughout the head. Part the hair in about four sections and make a square parting either at the nape or side of the head. Make sure each parting is no more than an inch wide and part out your squares, making sure they're similar in size. You will grab two pieces if you're creating twists or three pieces if you're creating braids, and then twist or braid downward until you reach the end of the hair and finger coil the ends. Stevens recommends spritzing the hair with water and applying a creamy-based product like Cantu Avocado Curling Cream to give hydrate hair and control it.

This style elongates the hair and enables you to create versatile styles, like buns and ponytails, within that style. Accessories for twists include colorful beads, clips, and bows at the ends or throughout the hair.

"If you have time, this one is going to be good because it is time consuming when you do it, but it lasts a really long time," says Stevens.

To care for this style, simply oil the scalp as needed, apply apple cider vinegar to the hair to address any buildup or itching, and keep it well moisturized. If you like laid edges, use a little pomade or edge control on the sides. At night, don't forget that bonnet!

Row, Row, Row Your Ponytails

Although this style may not have an official name, simply put — it's rows of ponytails that connect to each other. To start, create several medium-sized or larger boxes throughout the hair, making sure that you have a few rows of boxes horizontally and vertically. Make sure that the hair in each box is secured with a non-snagging hair tie. Then, starting at the top box, twist the hair and bring that hair from the first box into the second box below, where you mix the tresses from both boxes and secure it with a rubber band. Then the hair from the second box fuses with the hair in the third box, where you secure it with a rubber band. You work from the top box down for each row, creating a playful take on the classic head-full-of-ponytails look.

Products for this no-heat style vary depending on the hair type. Gel can work on various hair types, but 4c hair would use a pomade, and 3c hair would need a lighter, water-based gel.

This style "could last about a week, maybe two weeks, depending," says Stevens. Each morning, simply slip off the bonnet, smooth the edges, and walk out the door looking picture day ready!

Two Flat Twists & Two Buns

Another great no-heat style is crafting two flat twists into two buns. To achieve this look, simply part the hair down the center, spritz a little water on the hair, and smooth the hair with the product of your choice. Gather half of the hair and create one flat twist going away from the face. Then twist downward, following the side of the head down to the nape. Once there, secure the hair with a ponytail holder and wrap the remainder of the hair into a bun. Then do the same thing with the second half of the hair.

Stevens says that this style requires different products: "You want to use something that's going to give the hair control and hold, so anything in the gel family or in the pomade edge control family is going to be ideal," she says, adding "You also can use oil and cream for the ends."

This jazzy style takes less than an hour and just minutes if you're quick with the flat twists. It can last up to a week, depending on how much control your products provide and whether your scarf falls off in the middle of the night…

The Classic Curly Bun

Little girl sitting out side with a curly bun hairstyle
Lupe Rodríguez/Stocksy

The final no-heat hairstyle that's perfect for back-to-school is the no-fuss curly bun. This is great if y'all are in a hurry, but you don't want your child's hair to look like y'all were in a hurry!

To achieve this classic look, simply pull the hair into a ponytail. If the hair is super thick, separate the hair in half, guiding the bottom half in the direction you want the ponytail to sit, and simply wrap the bottom half of the hair in a ponytail holder. To secure firmly, use water and your favorite product to hold the hair in place. Then combine the top portion of hair with the bottom portion into one larger ponytail so that they look like one unit. To finish this look, Stevens says, "just take it piece by piece and do little ringlets with your finger, allow them to air dry, and put a little light oil on the curls."

This look takes less than half an hour to execute and can last for days. You can re-fit the ponytail and recoil the ends as needed.

These four no-heat natural hairstyles will leave your young one feeling fly and fierce as they head black-to-school!

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles