The most important thing to keep in mind when dealing with curly hair is to avoid drying it out. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. The curlier hair is, the more care needs to be taken with it. Flat irons will indeed bring curl under control, but without a great deal of care is taken, flat ironing can quite easily damage hair, and long term can even lead to baldness. This is, of course, in addition to the risks of burning the hair while using the iron. Excessive washing is the number one enemy of curly hair. The tighter the curls in the hair, the less washing it should receive. It should ALWAYS be conditioned after every washing, with a conditioner that specifically says upon the bottle that it is a moisturizing conditioner. After washing and conditioning, hair should be just blotted dry enough to no longer be dripping wet and then combed and brushed.
A spray on leave-in conditioner should now be applied, such as the one made by Ion. To avoid having a wild unmanageable riot of a head of hair in the morning, braiding the hair after applying the leave-in conditioner works wonders. Before brushing or combing at any other time, wetting the hair down with a spray-in conditioner / detangler is a good idea. This makes combing and brushing much less of an ordinal, with fewer snags and less painful pulling, which is always a boon when dealing with children's hair. Also, applying a shine spray when brushing or combing at times other than post-shampoo helps revitalize hair, making it glisten while also moisturizing.
The methods and manner of brushing and combing play a big role in curly hair management. First, it bears repeating, NEVER BRUSH DRY. Use an aforementioned spray, or at the very least dampen the hair. Second, it must be done in stages to avoid breakage. A wide tootted comb should be used first. The comb should not simply be dragged through the full head of hair. It needs to be done in section. Once the wide-toothed comb is no longer hitting snags and tangles, switch to a hard bristled brush, again staying in sections. Once this is no longer hitting snags, then a fine toothed comb is called for, still working the head in sections. Finally, a soft brush can be used. Depending on what manner of styling is being done, the sections may or may not need to be maintained any longer. For example, if the desired style is a half-dozen separate braids, obviously the sectioning needs to be kept. However, if a simple single ponytail is the coiffure du jour, the soft brush is sued to sweep it all together gently.
Source de Michele Adams