The short, fine hair of the infant period gives way to longer hair for many toddlers. Toddler hair care presents several challenges, including tangles, haircut fears and uncooperative attitudes. A regular hair care routine for your young child keeps her hair healthy with fewer struggles since she knows what to expect.
Shampoo and conditioning products made specifically for children are generally less drying than adult products, making them the best option for your toddler. Combination shampoo and conditioner is also available. This option might work well for toddlers with short hair. For a child with longer hair, apply a separate conditioner to help release any tangles. A spray detangler is also an option for days that you don’t wash your toddler’s hair.
Combs work well on toddler hair. Brushes can snag the hair easily and result in pain. If you prefer a brush, stick with a paddle brush or choose a boar bristle style.
A schedule of two to three hair washings a week is usually sufficient at the toddler age. If your toddler’s hair is long or gets messy frequently, more washings might be necessary. Some toddlers resist the washing phase for various reasons. To make it less painful for everyone, use a bath visor to protect his eyes. Another option is to use a handheld shower head so you can avoid the eye area. Start with a small amount of shampoo to make rinsing easier. A huge pile of suds won’t get the hair cleaner and means you’ll spend more time rinsing.
Brushing or Combing
Choose a comfortable position when it’s time to comb or brush your child’s hair. If possible, provide her with a toy and a snack. Try a doll with her own little comb so she can style her doll’s hair at the same time. Another option is to pretend she’s at the salon for a comb-out and styling session. Many toddlers want a turn with the brush or comb to assert their independence. Give her a few minutes to comb her hair before taking over. Work in small sections to remove the tangles. Hold the section of hair above the tangle so the comb doesn’t pull at the scalp. Comb through the hair gently, a little at a time until the tangle is gone.
A toddler’s haircut schedule is a matter of personal preference. Longer hair means more combing and care but also offers more styling options. Home haircuts save money, but consider your toddler’s personality before grabbing the scissors. A squirming child could result in an uneven cut. Specialty salons for kids are often decorated in a child-friendly way with distractions to keep your toddler occupied during the haircut. If your toddler is nervous, many salons allow you to sit in the chair with your child on your lap.
A lighthearted mood during the hair care process keeps your toddler at ease and may help the process go smoothly. Singing and making funny faces sometimes help distract young children to take their minds off of the process. For toddler girls, ponytails and barrettes keep hair away from the face, reducing the amount of food and other messes in the hair. A ponytail can also help reduce tangles.