Little girls with beautiful curls, long flowing locks, and cute
as a button pig tails… but as most parent's will agree - the
picture is not quite so pretty when it comes to combing their
little one's hair.
Children's hair is often quite fine and typically prone to
tangles. And life as a kid puts hair through its paces. Childhood
is all about embracing the elements, as can be seen by the twigs,
leaves, paint, and play dough regularly hiding in children's hair.
Combine this with children's sensitive scalps, and hair care
routines can become a dreaded (excuse the pun) nightmare. But hope
is not lost. Before you resign yourself to hats, or even scissors,
we've researched advice on minimizing tangles so every day is a
good hair day.
Children's hair does not need washing as often as we think.
Shampoos have detergents in them which strip hair of natural oils
making it more prone to tangles. One suggestion is to water down
kids' shampoos, making it milder and easier to apply. Wash hair
gently and avoid piling it all up on the head in that lathery way
that lends itself to cute photos. Only the scalp really needs the
shampoo, so if you leave hair loose and concentrate on washing the
scalp, the shampoo will work its own way down the length of the
hair, which actually probably wasn't that dirty in the first
Always use a conditioner after shampooing, as
this lubricates the hair making it easier to comb later. Comb
conditioner through to the ends of the hair with a wide toothed
comb, before giving it a good rinse.
Dry hair gently, squeezing excess moisture out
of the hair and patting it dry. Vigorously drying hair with the
towel is understandably going to be an unpopular approach.
Brush and comb
A general rule of thumb is use a comb on wet hair, a brush on dry
hair. Anecdotal evidence suggests starting at the ends of hair and
working your way up, tacking one tangle at a time, is a more
user-friendly approach than yanking your way from the top down. For
best results, brush hair well before bed, as slept-in snarls are
going to be even more resolutely matted together in the
Other hair management tips we've discovered include plaiting long
hair into a loose braid before bed to prevent unruly bed-hair first
thing in the morning. Of course this only works if your little girl
is happy with the wavy results of a plait come morning time.
Fine hair does tend to get tangled
overnight, especially if children move around a lot in their sleep.
Another suggestion for sleepy tangles is to use a satin pillowcase
for your child, as there is less friction than with a cotton
Need any product?
There are products available promising to smooth and detangle even
the tightest knots. Made4Baby have a great product in their
Made4Kids range - Spray In Knots Out which is an all-natural
leave-in detangler and conditioner, that's made in New Zealand!
Johnson's also do a no more tangles range.
You might not have to purchase anything special
however. If you have a spray bottle lying around, try making your
own detangling spray by mixing ¼ cup of normal conditioner with ½
cup of water, mixing it thoroughly and then simply spray hair
before combing. We find this works well on dry hair as well as
For super stubborn tangles you could try
applying a small amount of conditioner to towel-dried hair and
leaving it in. Massage conditioner onto the ends of hair first and
then gently work up towards the scalp. Avoid applying conditioner
directly to the scalp, as this will make hair look greasy.
While your little ones are probably keen on choosing their own
hair-style as a means of important self-expression, having long
hair tied up will help minimize tangles and reduce hair's exposure
to food, glue, paint, toothpaste…the list goes on. Soft covered
hair ties without any metal parts are kindest to hair.
As any hairdresser who tends to the locks
of little people will tell you, distraction is your friend. Brush
hair while your child is engaged in something other than your
detangling processes - a book or TV for example. Even conversation
about the day can help you get the knots out without being noticed.
Bear in mind that bad hair days are character building, and if all
else fails - pixie cuts are pretty darned cute.