Even little ones need special attention paid to their hair to ensure tiny curls grow as strong and healthy as possible. Livestrong.com offers these tips to help make your children’s hair care routine as easy as 1-2-3:

Wash. Black children’s hair is incredibly fragile and prone to dryness and breakage. Keep their hair healthy and clean with a once-a-week wash. Minimize tangling by dividing hair into sections and washing each part separately. (Opt for shampoos without the oil-stripping ingredients lauryl or laureth sulfate.)

Moisturize. Because the scalp doesn’t produce enough oil, African-American hair requires daily moisturizing. Try leave-in conditioners with natural oils, such as jojoba, coconut or avocado. Once a month, use a heat-activated deep conditioner.

Style. When styling black hair, don’t use strand-breaking rubber bands. Instead, choose elastics or cloth-covered bands. If braiding your child’s hair, plait from root to tip to protect unbraided strands from split ends. And use a wide-tooth comb and boar-bristle brush to minimize snagging and hair breakage.

About special treatments. Perms and relaxers may seem like a good way to make your child’s curls behave, but they also have major drawbacks, according to Livestrong.com. These chemical treatments contain harsh, potentially damaging ingredients and require constant upkeep as your child’s hair grows. If you do opt for these treatments, look for milder all-natural or organic products and speak with a professional before using them.

And don’t forget your tiniest tots! Babies need hair love too. For tips on caring for precious newborn strands, click here.