A child’s hair is hair at its purest form. It has not been subject to harsh chemicals, dyes, and products, and you should do everything you can as a parent to keep your child’s hair in this beautiful condition.
Let’s face it — they’ll be dying it behind your back or attempting to cut it themselves before you know it! So while you have the chance to preserve your child’s hair, it’s essential to learn what products to use, how to detangle and condition hair and solve common hair problems.
You can learn how to save those precious locks for as long as possible in this blog.
1. Tailor Your Child’s Hair Care to Suit Their Needs
The hair of a child is very different from that of an adult. For this reason, a child’s hair care regimen should be tailored to suit. Their hair is raw, untouched, and delicate, so it’s essential to treat your child’s hair differently from your own.
With a well-balanced diet (check out gummy hair vitamins for more on this) and a good hair care routine, you can keep their hair in pristine condition.
Your first step in establishing a hair care routine is to think about your child’s hair type. Is it curly, straight, wavy, oily, or dry? Remember this rule-of-thumb: the younger a child is, the less often their hair needs to be washed. This may change as your child grows, and the weather changes, though.
Here are a few standard considerations to keep in mind:
- A toddler’s hair should be washed approximately two-three times a week
- If your child has oily hair, it’s best to wash it every other day
- If your child has dry hair, it will only need to be washed once or twice a week
- For very curly or African-American hair, shampooing is only advised once a week
These are just average considerations, though. Ultimately, you’ll know what works best for your child. But remember that over-washing certain hair types, such as oily hair, can do more harm than good.
2. Use Neutral or Natural Hair Products
Your child does not need harsh products to clean their hair well. In fact, their scalp is not ready for it. Whether your child is a baby or a toddler, stick to neutral pH, non-alcoholic, non-perfumed shampoos. Harsh products can dry out and even ”burn” the scalp, which can damage the sensitive skin lead to issues down the line.
Natural and neutral pH shampoos have plenty of benefits. They gently clean your child’s hair without stripping it of natural oils and drying out the scalp. They are hypoallergenic, which protects the scalp and skin on the face. Most of these shampoos still smell great but are gentle enough not to harm.
3. Condition Your Child’s Hair Based on Their Needs
Bear in mind that a child’s hair does not need conditioning like an adult’s hair does. Unless, of course, your child has very thick or curly hair.
You can choose from instant or daily conditioners, deep conditioners, and leave-in conditioners. Your child’s hair type will determine which conditioner you use. Here’s what to consider with each type:
- Instant/ daily conditioner — these products coat the hair, leaving it soft and shiny, and should be used sparingly
- Deep conditioner — these products must be kept in the hair for at least 15-minutes before rinsing. They are ideal for children with thick, curly, and knotty hair
- Leave-in conditioner — these products are not rinsed from the hair and can help with the detangling and brushing process. They are also ideal for thick, curly, and unruly hair
Depending on the condition of your child’s hair, you don’t always have to apply conditioner. Excessive conditioning can lead to product build-up and leave your child’s hair limp and greasy. However, if you’re looking to tame your child’s hair, conditioner in the right amount can be beneficial.
4. Become a Pro at Detangling Hair
Your child’s hair is most likely to become knotted and tangled throughout the day, especially if they are busy toddlers. But detangling a child’s hair can prove difficult when they don’t want to sit still or find the process painful.
It’s super important to create a pain-free experience when detangling your child’s hair for the first time. This way, they won’t want to run away and hide every time it’s time for hair brushing. A few important tips include:
- Make sure you choose the right comb for your child’s hair type — stick to wide-toothed combs that gently detangle hair and stubborn knots
- Invest in a hair detangling comb specifically designed for children’s hair if it’s very thick, knotty, and unruly
- Detangle their hair in the shower with a little deep conditioning treatment
- Always start at the ends of the hair (the bottom), and work your way upwards when detangling hair
You can also be methodical about the process by dividing the hair into smaller sections as you detangle it. Apply a leave-in conditioner and let it sit for a few minutes before detangling if their hair is incredibly matted, knotty, or tangled.
5. Avoid Harsh Products on the Scalp
Aside from using harsh shampoos, it’s also wise to avoid other harsh products to protect the scalp and hair. This includes products with an alcohol base, highly perfumed products, hair gels, hairspray, powder, and more.
Not only can your child breathe in some of these toxins, but harsh products can alter the pH level of the scalp. This leads to a build of oil, causing skin conditions, dandruff, and greasy hair. If you want to style your child’s hair for a specific event, look for pH friendly, alcohol, and perfume-free products.
6. Make Sure to Brush Your Child’s Hair Every Day
It’s easy to fall into the trap of neglecting your child’s hair care, especially if they are resistant to washing or detangling their hair. But don’t make the mistake of ignoring a regular hair brushing and washing routine. This is a quick way to develop bad habits and matted, knotted, and untameable hair.
Brushing your child’s hair should be as regular as brushing their teeth. It should also be as important as brushing your hair. Would you leave the house with an unruly mop? If not, your child shouldn’t either! Not only is hair brushing essential to keep it in good condition, but it also encourages healthy hair growth.
7. Wash Hair With Tepid Water
Never use scalding, hot water to wash your child’s hair. It’s dangerous as it can burn the skin on their face, damage the hair’s quality and the scalp’s skin. Remember that your child’s skin is far more sensitive than your own, so stick to warm or tepid water when it comes to bathing.
How to Handle Common Hair Issues
It’s no secret that kids are prone to numerous hair accidents. Some may not always be ”by accident”, but rather the result of curiosity, playtime, and experimentation. Welcome to parenthood! Here’s how to deal with common hair mishaps:
1. Gum Removal
Removing gum and other sticky substances from your child’s hair are like a rite-of-passage as a parent. The good news is that you don’t have to cut their hair to remove it. It’s as simple as grabbing a jar of peanut butter or vegetable oil from your pantry.
Apply a generous amount of peanut butter or oil over the gum and hair with your fingers or a toothbrush. Let the product sit in the hair for a few minutes. It should be far more pliable and easy to remove. Wash their hair thoroughly to finish.
2. Glue Removal
Sticky or matted hair caused by glue is also pretty common. Luckily, it can also be removed without having to cut the hair. For this, you can use any conditioner.
Wet the hair, apply a decent amount of conditioner to the area, and let it sit for roughly 20-minutes. From there, use a fine-toothed comb to remove the glue and other residues. If the conditioner does not do the trick, you can also use baby oil.
3. Dealing with Head Lice
Another rite-of-passage as a parent is handling the issue of head lice in children. While the thought may freak you out, it’s common for most children to face the problem of head lice at least once in their childhood. Here’s how you do it:
You can find many products that help to kill head lice, such as medicated shampoos, creams, and rinses. Just make sure they are suited to your child’s age. Most over-the-counter shampoos are suited to children aged two years or more. These products are not suitable for children aged two months or younger.
For particularly stubborn head lice, you may need to visit a doctor who can recommend the right product to suit your particular region.
Once you have killed the lice with the appropriate product, it’s best to remove them and any other unhatched eggs by hand. This is the best way to finish off the job completely. Use a fine-tooth comb on wet and conditioned hair to brush through the hair strands and remove the lice/eggs. Repeat every three-four days for three weeks!
Are You a Special Needs Parent?
Staying on top of your child’s hair care needs is key to keeping their delicate locks in great shape. By making their hair care routine, it will help ease the struggles of hair brushing and washing. If you’re the parent of a special needs child and looking for helpful content, be sure to explore the rest of this site.