Establishing a good hair care routine early on will help your child form healthy hair habits. Once children start school, and other siblings potentially arrive, time may become too short for you, but ideally your children’s hair should be washed at least once a week and always after sport – especially swimming.
Children often hate having their hair washed because water and shampoo get into their eyes. However, we’ve found that if you make it into a game, hair washing can be a fun activity. One tried and tested method is to give your child a face cloth to hold over her eyes and ask them to guess where you’re going to touch their head first. Or where the water will be felt – a bit like blind man’s bluff. Use of bath-time toys and stories can also be helpful.
Detangle long hair with a wide-tooth comb prior to washing. If you start off with tangles, you’re likely to end up with more. Start near the bottom of your child’s hair and work up to the roots. Do this until the hair can be combed/brushed from root to tip without hitting any tangles. If your child’s hair is exceptionally knotty, you can comb through first with a bit of conditioner or a detangling spray.
Children up to 3 years old should have their hair washed with a baby shampoo or a diluted version of your own shampoo. Thoroughly wet your child’s hair before applying shampoo. This creates good lather and also means less shampoo is needed.
Lather using both hands in a gentle kneading motion, working from forehead to nape. Don’t pile long hair up on top of your child’s head. This can lead to knots and time-consuming and uncomfortable de-tangling later on. Simply allow the lather to run down and rinse thoroughly.
Apply conditioner to the mid-lengths and ends of your child’s hair. A little is all that’s needed. Conditioner should be rinsed out, but your child’s hair should still feel a little slippery afterwards.
Gently squeeze excess moisture out with a towel – never rub. Rubbing can cause hair breakage and tangles. We suggest you gently comb through with a comb rather than a brush, starting at the tips and working up towards the roots. Wet hair is more vulnerable to damage and combs are gentler on your child’s hair and won’t pull as much.
Ideally your child’s hair should be left to dry naturally. If you do blow-dry, use a low heat setting and hold the dryer at least 15cm away from their hair. A child’s skin and scalp are very sensitive to heat.
Plait hair to the desired style. Remember, no tight braids and no forceful pulling of hair.
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