I used to LOVE styling Lila’s hair. It took just a minute to brush, and then we’d spend some quality time putting it in the cutest little updos. I’d section it off, put it in cascading ponytails, or braid it. At the very least, she had sweet little pigtails (with matching bows, obvi). I was pretty sure I would be that mom- you know, the one whose daughter always has perfect hairstyles, the mom who doles out hair brushing tips for kids to all the other moms. I was going to NAIL this kids’ hairstyles thing.
Then her hair got longer. And wavier. And drier. And more tangled. All those sweet memories of styling? They were replaced with a fight equivalent to trying to wrestle an angry baby possum. And at the end of it, her hair still looked like this.
I found myself with no choice but to up my game. You can spend a year or two figuring it out, or you can do yourself a favor- follow my tried and tested hair brushing tips for kids to get your little lady’s hair in check without the fuss.
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Step One- Wash with Rock Your Hair Shampoo
First things first- we’ve got to get all the sand and sticks and stones out of this hard-playing little girl’s locks. We use the Rock Your Hair Shampoo to get Lila’s hair squeaky clean first (have you heard of this brand yet? It’s beyond amazing. And I think Lila tolerates this step better because the shampoo happens to come in a super-pink, super sparkly bottle!) Rub it into the hair and scalp gently to make sure that you’re not adding extra tangles during this step.
Step Two- Apply a Cream Hair Mask
For a while, I was using the classic two-in-one kids’ shampoo and conditioner sets. As Lila got older and her hair got drier, it just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I used adult conditioner for a while, but I wasn’t pleased with the weight it added- her hair began to look greasier as time went on. Finally, we found a solution- hair masks.
These deep conditioning treatments are best used about once a week (or more if you find it’s needed and your child’s hair responds to it). We love two- the Moi Moi Hair Masque, which is on the pricier side, and Garnier Whole Blends Nourishing Hair Care with Avocado Oil & Shea Butter Extracts, which is much more affordable. I apply it when she is in the bathtub, let her play for a few minutes (these bath tub crayons work wonders to keep them busy!), and rinse it out. Be cautious, though- these are adult products and are not certified Tear Free.
Step Three- Apply Rock Your Hair Detangler
After trying a MILLION detanglers, we finally happened upon the BEST.ONE.EVER. We were lucky enough to receive an up-do from Rock Your Hair’s creator, Michael O’Rourke (the genius behind the Big Sexy Hair brand). He’s turned his attention to younger clients now, and we could NOT be more pleased with the products. The detangler in particular is light, fresh, and smells delicious. It doesn’t add any weight to the hair, and it makes combing it out about a million times easier than it was before.
Step Four- Use a Wet Brush
I’m gonna cut to the chase- the Wet Brush is a miracle. The design doesn’t appear to be any different than a typical brush when you first look at it, but it is able to get through the finest (or thickest!) hair without pulling or snagging. It smoothes out the hair like magic, and can decimate a rats’ nest in just a minute or two. If you only follow one of our hair brushing tips for kids- let this one be it.
Step 5- Comb it Out
Now we do love the Wet Brush, but if you are trying to brush kids’ hair with lots of tangles, it may pass over a spot or two without handling all the little knots. At least once a week, we do a big comb out. I am shameless in my use of snacks and YouTube videos, as this can be a less than comfortable experience. But since most days consist of a quick session with the Wet Brush on the way out of the door, the careful combing is essential to keeping your little lady’s hair respectable.
Step 6- Protect Their Hair
If you know that your child’s hair tangles easily, take steps to prevent tangles as much as possible. Immediately after combing, I put Lila’s hair into braids so her hair won’t get into knots as she sleeps. Avoid putting your child’s hair in messy buns, as the hair is likely to tangle as you put it up or take it down. And if you’re heading to the beach or pool, treat your child’s hair with Rock Your Hair detangler before they go, and wear a swim cap when you can. Prevention is the first step in keeping your child’s hair healthy and strong!
These six steps will make brushing tangled hair so much easier- both for your kids and, if we’re being honest, for you. What’s your hair care routine like for your kids? We’d love to hear any of your hair brushing tips for kids below!