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How to Take Care of a Child's Hair

Updated on April 5, 2013

Caring for a child's hair is different than caring for an adult's hair. Here are some easy ways to care for your child's hair.


How to Wash a Child's Hair

How Often: Children need to wash their hair less frequently than adults do. Once a week is usually enough for your child's fine hair. As your child gets a littler older, you may want to increase washings. In most cases, twice a week is enough for toddlers and every other day for school-aged kids. You can wash the hair even less often if your child has curly or African-American hair and include a conditioner once a week.

Young children usually have naturally oily hair and do not need conditioning. However, if your child has curly hair, which is naturally more dry and course than straight hair, then you may choose to use a conditioner in their hair once a week or so.

Which Products: Choose a gentle shampoo, free of laurel sulfates (the agents in shampoo that creates a rich lather). These chemicals may be harsh on both your child's hair and sensitive skin and it will sting if it gets in their eyes. Be careful to not get shampoo in your child's eyes, even the tear-free kind, because the soap still may sting.

Many children's shampoos come in a 2-1 shampoo + conditioner. This is a good option because it breaks the hair washing process down into one simple step.

No Tears: Make sure you have wash cloths or towels nearby when washing a child's hair. This way, if they do get soap or water in their face, you can quickly dry it up and avoid tears.

If you can make bath time and hair-washing a playful, it will become a time both of you look forward to, rather than a time of struggles, fights, tears and a very wet bathroom. My daughter did not want to take a bath for over a week. I finally managed to convince her by telling that we were going to wash her ponies' hair. And we did. Now she loves taking her ponies into the bath and she lets me was her hair without too much struggle.

Don't panic! There are some ways to fix a self-haircut.
Don't panic! There are some ways to fix a self-haircut. | Source

How to Fix a Child's Self-Haircut

There comes a time in every parents life, when they leave there kids alone for two seconds, only to find that in that short period of time, the kids have managed to find the scissors and perform a self-haircut. Ohhhh nooooo!

Well, don't panic! There are a few simple ways you can fix a child's self-haircut. If there is a big chunk missing, you may have to change hairstyles and parts to cover the hole.

For Girls: If the cut is in the front, blend in some bangs. Luckily, girls have a lot of options for headbands, clips and other hair decorations that can be used to help cover up the short pieces.

For Boy: Unfortunately, there's not too much that you can do for a boy's accidental haircut except to give him a shorter haircut and try to blend it in as much as possible. Luckily, boy still look super cute, even with a buzz cut.

If it's a serious hack job you're dealing with, take your child to the hairdresser for some professional help.

Have you had to fix a kid's self-haircut yet?

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Sample Products for a Hack Job Cover-Up

I understand how you feel! I took this picture of my daughter while thinking "what in the world am I supposed to do with this mess??"
I understand how you feel! I took this picture of my daughter while thinking "what in the world am I supposed to do with this mess??" | Source

Caring for Fine Hair

Normally, children will have fine hair for the first few years of their lives. Fine hair can be difficult to care for because it gets tangles very easily. Fine hair is also delicate so care is needed to prevent breakage.

To remove tangles, buy a kids detangler or leave in conditioner. Always brush starting at the roots and gently working your way up. Hold the hair tight in your hand if the pulling from brushing is bothering your child. I usually try to distract my daughter with a toy of some sort before brushing her hair and that usually makes our styling sessions a little easier (distraction is the best trick to childcare!).

  • Don't put your child's hair in a ponytail when the hair is wet. Hair fibers are weaker when wet, so a lot of styling or putting the hair tightly in a ponytail while wet is a good way to cause breakage in the hair. Using hair clips, headbands or braiding the hair when wet will keep the hair out of your child's face without causing breakage.
  • Trimming your child's hair at least once every 2 months will promote healthy growth of the hair. If hair goes too long without a trim, it may begin to develop split ends. Keeping up with trimmings will also help the hair to look thicker and healthy, instead of scraggly.

Detanglers Are Essential Hair-Care Products for Children

ORIG Srout Miracle DETANGLER 4 Ounce
ORIG Srout Miracle DETANGLER 4 Ounce

A good detangler will really help brush away snarls and tangles in addition to leaving your child's hair soft and smooth.


How to Brush Tangles out of a Child's Hair

  • Be as gentle as possible. Otherwise you'll get a fit every time you go to brush your child's hair.
  • Don't use ventilated brushes. They are pokey and the little teeth can snag.
  • Brushing dry hair is easier than brushing wet hair.
  • Spray a detangler to help loosen knots.
  • Detangle the hair before bathing. Bad snarls can get more matted when wet.
  • Always start at the root or hair, brushing tangles out of the bottom and then working your way up toward the crown.
  • Hold the scalp while brushing to prevent pulling and pain. If there are bad tangles, I hold the bottom of the hair tight in my hand and then brush to prevent as much pulling as possible.

Ideas to Keep Hair out of Child's Face

In most cases, this will be an issue for little girls, so most of these ideas are for girls.

  • Hair Accessories: There are a million different options of clips, headbands and hair ties available for little girls. Not to mention this little hair accessories are so much fun to shop for! Even when you pull your child's hair into a ponytail, you'll probably want to put a couple of clips in each side of the hair to prevent hair from falling out of the ponytail.
  • Mini-Pony or Pigtails: If your child has short hair, you might not be able to pull it back into a full ponytail. In this case, I like to use those little clear, plastic ponytail holders a either pull back half of the hair into a half-ponytail, or pull it into little half-pigtails that come together on top of the head. Not only are these hair styles effective, but they are also adorable.
  • Braids: When your child's hair gets long enough, you'll be able to braid the hair. I like to keep the hair out of my daughters hair by doing a mini-french braid that starts at a side-part, goes across the front of the head. By doing this, you are creating a sort of braid-headband that is not only so cute but also a very effective way to keep the hair out of her face.
  • Bangs: Bangs are another easy way to keep the hair out of your child's face.

Circle of Friends Hair Products for Children

Sophia and I eventually figured it out!
Sophia and I eventually figured it out! | Source

Styling Your Child's Hair

You can use the same styling products for children that are used for adults. The difference, however, will be in the amount you use. You don't want to load up your child's hair with different products.

For boys, a little styling gel, or the hair jam made for kids pictured left, will be enough to hold the desired style in place.

For girls, a little flexible hold hairspray should be enough to hold the hair in place. To get smooth locks, place a little flexible styling gel in the hair while wet and blow dry smooth. This will help the hair stay smooth and will hold the finished style better.

Avoid using styling product and heat-styling products on your child's hair too frequently. Don't forget that their hair is often delicate and more susceptible to breakage. No-heat, foam curlers that you can place in your child's hair at night will give you super springy, tight curls without the heat.

Don't forget to always treat a child's hair with care. And, of course, your child will be simply adorable no matter which hairstyles, accessories or hack jobs might accompany them.


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