Back in November, I wrote a post called My Kingdom for a Hairbrush: Why Won’t She Brush Her Hair? in which I recounted my daughter’s tangled hair and her refusal to brush it. Like, ever. Part of why she doesn’t brush it is because it’s always tangled and it hurts. And it won’t be untangled until she brushes it. And the vicious cycle continues.
I was surprised at how many other moms responded to this post via comments or on Facebook. I’m not alone in this struggle, apparently!
And the really nice thing was that many of the moms gave me some wonderful suggestions to try to make the hair-brushing battle a little less intense. I thought it would be great to share some of these ideas with my readers, too!
Put them in pigtails. Keeping hair secured back during the day can help minimize tangles and make hair-brushing time a bit less stressful for everyone. Not always easy to require a tween to wear pigtails, though.
Braid it wet. One tip that worked for a lot of moms was washing their kids’ hair at night, gently combing out the tangles, and braiding it while still wet, and letting the child sleep on the braids and wear them until the next bath or shower. It’s hard for hair to get more tangled when it’s braided up!
Get a no-tangle brush. Some moms swear by these; we’ve had only limited success with the types we’ve tried. The three brushes I’ve seen for snarls and tangles are the Tangle Teezer, The Ultimate Detangling Brush and the Knot Genie. We’ve tried the first two. The Tangle Teezer definitely worked much better than the The Ultimate Detangling Brush. The Tangle Teezer seems to do much better on wet hair than on dry. We haven’t checked out the Knot Genie. I *do* think having your kid involved in picking the brush out will make it more likely they’ll actually use it!
Use a detangling spray or leave-in conditioner. We’ve tried several different sprays. The one that works best for us so far is REALLY expensive. It’s called It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product. It really smooths out the tangles better than anything we’ve used, so it’s worth the money to save the tears. However, other moms suggested HealthySexyHair’s Soy Tri-Wheat Leave in Conditioner or Johnson’s No More Tangles Spray. Again, these seem to be most effective on wet hair, not dry.
Use conditioner when washing hair. In addition to putting a leave-in product in Little CEO’s hair, she always uses conditioner on her hair after shampooing in the shower. It makes bathtime a little longer, but combining the two conditioners seems to really help.
Keep hair trimmed. Split ends can make tangles worse, so regular trims can go a long way toward helping minimize those tangles.
Try using argan oil. Putting a little Moroccan or argan oil on hair can smooth out tangles as well. If using dry hair, you’ll want to use a wet comb to help it get through the snarls.
Cut it short. Several moms couldn’t handle the daily battle over hair-brushing and tangles, so they simply got their children’s hair cut in a cute pixie cut or shorter bob. This is probably easier to do on a younger child than a tween. I can’t imagine my daughter sitting still for a forced haircut!
Threaten to cut it short. Sometimes, the looming threat of losing her lusciously long locks is enough for a child to do more consistent hair brushing. I’ve threatened a short haircut a few times, with sporadic success. It usually helps Little CEO straighten up and fly right for 2 to 3 days, but then we’re back at square one. The problem with threats (in my opinion) is that they’re only powerful if you’re willing to follow through. But I think it depends on the child. If they have a people pleasing personality, a threat might be effective. (My kid is not a people pleaser).
Any other ideas I’ve missed? I still need to try several of these myself!