Ah, the trials and tribulations of getting our kids out the door looking like they didn't just wake up and roll out of bed! My son, who is three and has fine blond hair (which is getting quite long now), wakes up every morning looking like a little Rastafarian with two dreadlocks, both on the left side of his head. If we're lucky, we can partially comb it out every day. If we're not, we have to do a little scissor work every few weeks.
Keeping it Clean
Circle of Moms member Jyothi J. has a good answer to this dilemma. Her secret is keeping her child's hair very clean; dirty hair seems to be more resistant to tangling in the first place. Many moms recommend looking for shampoos and other hair care products that are chemical-free or formulated to be gentle for kids, who might get them in their eyes.
Dry, curly or kinky hair presents special challenges, namely that it tangles easily and you can't get the tangles out without wrecking the curl. Experienced moms of curly-haired kids find that daily conditioning is the best solution. Without it, dry or curly hair can become "a ratted up mess," as Tessa A. puts it.
Whether you choose a leave in conditioner or a rinse-out version, it should be thick enough to penetrate the curls. Paula uses conditioner on her daughter's fine, curly hair every day, but only washes it once or twice a week to avoid drying it out.
Several moms recommend rubbing specific kinds of oil into hair that tends to tangle, to keep it soft and manageable. Gael W. likes natural argan oil, which was recommended by her hairdresser, and Valarie R. suggests shea butter. Other moms go with tea tree oil or a shampoo that contains it, like California Baby shampoo with tea tree oil, which Cari S. likes, but reports is expensive. Still others are partial to kids' haircare products from Mixed Chick or Carol's Daughter.
Sleeping with Satin
Though it may seem ultra fancy strange to outfit a small child's bed with a silk or satin pillowcase, several moms swear by it, including Lydia R., Erin G., and Heather S. Along the same lines, Lisa J., suggests a satin cap at night, to lock in moisture and prevent the rubbing that makes a child's fine hair tangle so readily in the first place.
When all else fails and you're faced with a rat's nest of tangles, Shannon T. recommends television and patience. She has her daughter watch Sesame Street while she methodically works the knots from the bottom up with the help of a detangler spray. This would work equally well with a combination of conditioner and water in a spray bottle, as Jenny B. suggests, or with the help of a little baby oil rubbed into the knots, as Kim E. suggests.
Other moms go straight for the wide-tooth comb, which is gentler than a brush or a regular comb, and good for tight or particularly stubborn tangles. And a mom named Erica H. found a product at a kids' specialty hair salon that she and several other moms swear by: Knot Genie, a firm brush with closely spaced teeth of multiple lengths that conform to your child's head.
How do you manage your child's hair?
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