Little kids and long hair…it can be a daunting realm for some parents, as we know that kids don’t necessarily want to (or know how to) care for for their long hair, even though they swear with one hundred percent certainty that the world will end if they get a haircut.
Or, the roles might be reversed and you (the parent) are the one holding on tight to those long, luxurious locks.
Whichever the case (and we fully support gorgeous, long hair on those kiddos), it’s important to know how to care for those lengthier toddler-to-big-kid tresses, in order to minimize crying, whining and complaining from both parties involved.
So, if short hair just isn’t an option, from washing and drying, to brushing and styling, we’re here with some maintenance and care tips for your little ones’ long hair.
Little kids long hair care and tips
Whether you’re the type of parent that likes to read up and research everything before it happens, or you’re more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type, there are still some basics to know about caring for long hair.
If you have (or ever have had) long hair, you already know that it can be a challenge to minimize tangles and damage, while keeping your hair looking fantastic and healthy.
And if you’ve never had to care for longer hair, prepare yourself now for what may lie ahead in your future with determined little minds.
Brush hair daily, or even two to three times daily to minimize tangles. It’s best to use a wide-tooth comb or paddle brush as not to pull hair too much and cause breakage. Start brushing toward the ends of the hair first, then work your way upward toward the head. This does not mean to back-comb the strands toward the head; rather, start with a section a few inches from the bottom and brush that section, then, on the same strands, start higher up on the next brush stroke, and so on. If the hair is tangly, you don’t want to try and brush the tangle throughout the entire length of the hair.
You’ve probably heard that it’s not ideal to wash your hair every day, and that’s very true. We recommend washing hair two to three times per week, for a few reasons.
First, the hair has natural oils that help it stay hydrated and shiny, and washing the hair too often (like every day) can remove this helpful oil, causing unnecessary dryness and a flaky scalp.
Second, and more related to our little kids’ long hair topic, do yourself a favor and avoid the struggle of washing, drying, combing and styling EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. You’re welcome.
When you do wash your little one’s long hair, be sure to use conditioner to soften and moisturize the hair. If the hair is prone to dryness, or has a thick or coarse texture, opt for a deep conditioning treatment once per week to encourage smoothness.
You may also want to try a detangling spray or leave-in conditioner that can be used after the shower or bath, for longer-lasting tangle resistance.
After washing, just like with your own hair, gently squeeze extra moisture out of your child’s hair with a towel (or even an old t-shirt!). Be careful not to rub the hair back and forth or tousle too much, as this can cause extra tangles.
Opt for air-drying when possible, but if you must use a hair dryer, try to minimize the temperature and time spent under the heat. Less is definitely more when it comes to drying kids’ delicate strands.
To maintain long, healthy locks, it’s important to loosen up on your styling technique, at least some of the time. Styling hair in a tightly pulled back ponytail or barrettes can cause damage to the hair, hair breakage/loss and pain on the child’s head.
Try different hairstyles lke a low, flipped ponytail, half-up style or stylish braids to keep your kiddo’s hair looking healthy and stylish, while minimizing extra effort and time spent on your hair care routine.
Also, use snag-proof elastics (without a rubbery texture and the metal clamp) when securing your style. Now’s a great time to jump on the scrunchie-revival bandwagon and get creative!
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