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Caring for Kids' Hair
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Caring for Kids' Hair
My daughter loves having long hair but hates having it brushed.
Every morning involves whining and crying to get her hair brushed
and in a ponytail. I have tried many tactics to lighten up the
situation; singing, letting her comb out the tangles, pretty hair
clips, etc. but with little success. It's a bummer to have this
onerous morning task. Any suggestions ?
- Rapunzel's Mother
Braid her hair at night. My daughter takes a shower in the
evening, and I braid her long hair while it's still damp. Also,
have you tried detangler spray? We don't need it as much when her
hair has been braided, but we still keep a bottle on hand for the
We had a similar issue with my daughter. What we ended up doing
was braiding her hair before bed after a long hairbrushing. She
would read a book or listen to an audiobook while I did it. The
morning routine is too busy and sometimes we parents go too fast
for brushing hair and end up hurting our long-haired kids. When
you braid at night there is less chance of tangling up.
The trick is to start from the bottom and work your way up. And,
go slowly. Hold the hair in smaller parts, for example a 2-3 inch
lock, hold it at the bottom, and start brushing it out starting
from about 2 inches up. Work your way up inch by inch until you
can brush it all the way through, from top to bottom, with no
tangles. Then do another part. I would usually do it in 3 or 4
parts, often saving the rat's nest stuff for last. Sometimes
spraying with water would help (the tangle conditioners didn't
seem to help much) if I had a hard job ahead.
I had two brushes: the ''tangle brush'' and the ''shiny brush.'' The
first one was just a regular goody brush but the second one was a
boar's hair brush. It did make her hair shiny, and the smaller
bristles was little massage on her head and felt a lot better.
A few months ago she got lice and I cut her hair up to her ears
to ease the combing. It has been heaven because the brushing
chore disappeared. Now it's longer and tangles are returning. Ugh.
Been There, Done That
Put her hair in braids at night to minimize tangles. Get a wide
tooth comb for long hair instead of a brush.
Oh! I remember going through this myself! When I was that age, I
had very long, fine hair and hated to have it brushed. I felt
that however my mom tried to brush it, it pulled and she was
being too rough. She was so exasperated with me, and I with her.
I think the thing that finally motivated me to keep my own hair
brushed (myself) was that if I didn't brush it, my mom would. I
had her show me a few simple ways of keeping it pulled back and
neat (braids and ponytails), and from then on, I took care of my
Brushed the Wrong Way
Cut it - I'm serious, cut it, not short. Shoulder length. When
your daughter wants longer hair she will either be able to
comb / brush it herself or let you do it without the carrying on.
Cut it for a year - Now my daughter cares for her own hair
I don't have a daughter with long hair, but I have very long
hair myself. I never use a brush as it tangles too much. I use
a wide-tooth comb. I wonder if that might help your daughter?
When I go to get my hair cut the salon insists on brushing it
after washing (instead of using a comb) and it tangles, snags
and catches on the bristles quite a bit - not pleasant at all.
If your daughter is experiencing similar unpleasant sensations
while having her hair brushed maybe switching to a wide-tooth -
not fine - comb would help. Conditioner might also help if she
does not already use it. I assume you are brushing her hair so
you can put it in a ponytail for her - not sure if it's an
option, but maybe you could let her brush it herself and wear
it down? Good luck!
How about doing the tough brushing of Rapunzel's hair at
night? Maybe incorporating some make-believe Princess Hair-dos
that involve braiding the traditionally tangled tresses and
crafting a crown on top of her head? A few pins to secure
the ''crown'' and Bob's your Uncle! Your little Rapunzel will
awaken with beautifully waved tresses that were saved from the
nighttime trauma of head-turning turned tangling.
I had to do the same with my daughter, and she is now 15. She
still brushes her hair at night, braids or twists it up on her
head to avoid tangles and then does a quick (and very thorough)
brushing in the morn.
I know it sounds harsh, but when my daughter started
complaining (at 5 years old) we told her that if she didn't
like taking care of her hair (meaning letting us brush it, comb
it out after a shower, pull it back for sports, etc.) she would
have to cut it. We got so far as calling the salon to make the
appointment to have it cut.
I think that now that your daughter is 7, she is old enough to
understand that long hair-while beautiful, requires a lot of
First, check to see if you have a good brush. Some hurt more
than others. Then, if they agree at the beauty supply store that
you have a good brush for long, tangled hair, tell her she has to
stop whining and crying or she has to get her hair cut. If she
doesn't stop, cut it short. She's old enough to understand and
you don't have to put up with that every morning.
Had the same issue when I was a kid...same age. Long hair,
screaming when my mom would try to brush. She took me to her
hair guy and got me a ''buster brown'' haircut (I'm 55...this was
a long time ago).
How about using a conditioner in your daughters hair so there
will be no tangles. Isn't there a spray on ''tangles out''
formula that you can put in right before brushing?
Otherwise....is this a battle you need to fight? Let her not
brush her hair for a few days...She will either not mind
looking desheveled, or she will. Next time it's washed, use
conditioner and the tangles from not brushing will come out.
mom of boys
Here's the deal I have with my long-haired six-year-old daughter:
She allows me to brush her hair, tangles gone, without fuss, or
we march right out and cut it short - Right away. I have followed
through on this deal several times. It does grow back in 6 months
or so. If she wants to keep her long hair, she must allow it to
be properly brushed. I personally would prefer her to have short
hair all the time, but I allow her to grow it long if she allows
it to be brushed - No debate, no arguments. This works for us: We
wash it and condition is heavily. When it is still wet, I brush
it, braid it tight, and it stays in in for two days. The truth
is, most children really do not have the skills to take care of
long hair until they are about 11 years old, maybe older. Be
willing to give up the idea of having a pretty long-haired
daughter and follow through on the ''We'll cut it short next time
you fuss'' promise. Girls with kicky short hair are adorable
Tell Rapunzel that if she won't settle down to have her hair
brushed, you will take her and have it cut short. And mean it.
Cut it off. Only let it grow back if she starts brushing it and
keeping it brushed. Sounds harsh, but it will work.
Went through the same thing about the same age. You set your
standards of how you want to be treated. ''Any more complaints
and I'll take you to the hair-cutter.'' ''Long hair involves
longer care.'' Since I always follow throguh on consequences my
daughter quickly changed her ways. Same thing with homework.
She couldn't stand it when she got math wrong and gave me
outbursts while correcting it. I told her that I deserve better
and announced that if she continues to behave like this, I will
no longer review her homework and she can explain to the
teacher why she got stuff wrong. Once in a while I had to
remind her about this, but generally she has been great with
homework for the past 4 years.
She' 7, not 3. You don't need to try and distract her in order to
her hair brushed. That's just silly. Give her a week of telling
her to sit still and let you (or her) properly brush her hair
out, or else you're going to get it cut short. If she still
throws a fit after a week of trying this, then cut it. It's hot
out and short bobs look adorable.
p.s. The only other advice I have is to braid it at night, so
that in the morning there are less tangles. Oh, and you can try
using a leave-in detangling or spray conditioner, too.
not threatening, just common sense
You know, I'm a pretty permissive mom by some people's
standards, but this one is a no-brainer. Give her a choice:
Stop whining, or get a short haircut.
At seven years old, she should be capable of washing and
brushing her own hair most of the time. There's no reason for
you to have to put up with this. Plus: Hair grows. She'll have
plenty of second chances.
Mom of a 7yo with long hair
I was shocked to see so many people posting the advice to ''tell
her to stop fussing or you will cut her hair off''. One of the
very worst memories of my childhood was my mother saying this to
me when brushing my long hair. I would sit silently with tears
streaming down my face as my mother ripped a comb through my hair
harshly. Sometimes my scalp would hurt for days. Little girls
love their hair and they aren't about to say, ''Sure, cut it off!''
Now I have a 5 year old daughter with long hair. After her bath
we use Johnson's No More Tangles spray and a wide-tooth
detangling comb. Any tangles get gentle teasing with the comb
while holding the section just above the tangle. Immediately
after brushing, I blow it completely dry. She never fusses and
she doesn't have tangles in the morning.
Love my girl's tresses
We are just about to cut our 7 y/o daughters hair to just above
shoulder length. She has very long hair. I have never used a
brush. I only use a comb and if there are alot of tangles then
I use a wider tooth comb. I take sections of the hair (divide
head of hair into about 5 sections) and hold the section like a
ponytail, combing below where I hold so that the scalp isn't
pulled. I keep moving my hand up the section until there are
no tangles - this takes about 3 minutes on average. She
doesn't complain much but we have had our tears. She uses a
conditioner (the spray detanglers never worked well) which
makes a HUGE difference. Now that she is doing her own hair
washing and bath, I think we will add hair combing after the
haircut to get her to start doing it herself.
I hated getting my hair brushed as a kid - and now I use a leave-in
conditioner. I use
one by l'Anza, but I imagine any would work. Curly hair is often dry,
and the leave-in
conditioner is the only way I can get my hair lubed up enough to drag a
it. ( Plus the other things other people have said, starting at the
bottom, braiding at
night, wide tooth comb, etc.)
Help! My toddler has fine, straight hair that never sits right
and is always a complete mess in back. I drive her crazy fussing
with it when we're out and about. Having spent most of my life
wrestling with thick, curly hair, I'm at a loss about what to do.
Anyone with experience with this kind of hair have any advice?
Ready to find a new hobby
My kids and I have that same hair. My daughter is three and hates having her hair
brushed even though I try to be as gentle as possible. She often has a poofy rats
nest in the back after she wakes up and it is still sticks out after I brush it.
things help, one I cut her hair in a short bob with a bit of a A-line so it is
the back. I also put a blob conditioner in the hair in the back while washing her
or I just use conditioner and no shampoo (her hair is dry right now). Also, the
California Baby spray detangler seems to help speed up the hair brushing and
down the ''poof'' in the back.
I think you need to let her have fine straight messy hair. It'll
probably get thicker as she gets older adn if it doesn't....????
Oh well!!! You're right...you need a new hobby. Probably no one
cares but you.
I have fine, straight hair and my little girl's is also fine (though not
mine). I was having trouble with her hair until I tried putting hair conditioner
when I washed it (just regular grown-up hair conditioner that I happened to have
small bottle of). It helped a lot! I was already using what purports to be a
combination shampoo/conditioner, which is why I hadn't tried a conditioner
I have also discovered a hairstyle that holds up well all day. I part her hair
side (most people have one side where their hair parts naturally) and pull the
of the bigger side into a little ponytail. I use a small snag-free elastic and
around 3 or 4 times. It stays in much better than a hairclip.
HAHA! I'm the opposite - I have fine straight hair and my
toddler is thick and wavy. let's trade kids! First -
the ''mess in the back'' is a right of all toddlers IMO. Get a
hair detangler and use it often. We use Target brand baby hair
detangler. My kids love ''hair lotion.'' Keep the haircut
shorter and trimmed. use ''baby'' barrettes like ''no slippy
grippys'' to keep decorations in place. And please, remember
when you enroll her in that afterschool science enrichment
program - she will be volunteered for the van der graf
generator since her hair will fly the best...
fine and fiiine
If you haven't, get it trimmed. Having it all one length will
give a little more bounce. If you like the look, there is a lot
to be said for a short bob. Otherwise, the good thing about this
hair is the tangles do come out, so don't worry about it getting
stuck that way. Detangler spray is great, as well as conditioner.
my advice is to skip the clips and fussing and cut it. my
daughter has fine straight hair and I've kept it in a bob since
she had enough hair to achieve a real haircut. before that, I did
sort of a pixie which was very cute also. her hair looks fabulous
and I don't have to do a thing. when it gets too long it tangles
and gets stringy. I know there will come a day when she will want
it long (she is 4), but by then it will be her problem to comb.
a mom not a hairdresser
I know this sounds crazy, but have you considered shaving her
head? I knew a woman with the same issue--her daughter had very
thin and messy hair that would never comb out. She was advised
to shave her head and let the hair regrow. It worked
wonderfully! Yes, she was bald for a little while, but her hair
grew back thicker and much nicer. ... Could you ask some hair
dressers about this to verify? ... If you decide to, maybe wiat
for spring because it is so cold.
my 2.5 year old has beautiful hair but refuses to let me
comb/brush it. (i'm not even mentioning the trauma of getting
it cut!) of course she has tangles, food etc in her hair.
i've tried everything from a detangler to distracting
her etc and it doesn't work. i've even given up on making
it a power struggle aNd just (try) to comb it out in the
bath..which she also goes nuts over...any ideas? thanks
To the Mom who has a little girl who hates having her hair
combed, brushed or washed I went through the same feelings
when I was a little girl. I have really vivid memories of
being terrified of having my hair washed- I hated the feeling
of the water trickling on my neck, and felt panicky if it got
in my eyes and ears. My Mom was really patient with me, to the
point of not washing my hair for three months because I would
throw such a tantrum if she tried to. She says that my hair
was a total smelly rat's nest at the end of the three months,
and that a whole bunch of sand came out when I finally let her
wash it. She did convince me to let her brush and comb it by
letting me pick out pretty barrettes and ribbons to wear, and
she got me one of those big Barbie doll heads that you can play
with. She says that this motivated me to get interested in
pretty hair. Most of all, she says that it just took a whole
lot of patience on her part to wait until I got through this
phase. After my fear suddenly lifted, I would love to have my
long hair shampooed in front of the bathroom mirror, with lots
and lots of bubbles, and my Mom would shape my hair into funny
shapes, like a unicorn's horn or silly soapy curls. I bet that
your daughter will pass through this phase soon, hopefully
sooner than I did!
When my daughter was little, I used to play "Ms. Tangles"
when I brushed her hair. Ms. Tangles is a witch who gets
in children's hair and messes it up, and we would chase her
all around my daughter's head (with the hairbrush), and she
(Ms. Tangles) would shriek and carry on about how she was,
"...sliding, I'm sliding; no more tangles to hold on to"
(Think of the witch in the Wizard of Oz). It called for
all my dramatic ability to alternate playing this crazy
witch and my stern adult self, telling her, "You have to
come out now; you can't keep messing up her hair". My
daughter loved it, and would often let me brush Ms. Tangles
right out of her hair.
Your daughter can't hate having her hair brushed worse
than mine!! Anyways, what I have found to help first if
you wash and condition the hair everyday it makes it much
more easy to brush. However, kids that hate having their
hair brushed Undoubtably hate having their hair washed (am
I right?) so trying to wash the kids hair everyday can be
torture. Secondly, I have found letting her pick out a brush
and trying different types of brushes makes a difference. A
pick has seemed to work much easier as well as really expensive
high quality brushes, which was something I didn't consider
early on. Also she likes me to use the brush she picked out
(from the store I mean). Also I give her the choice of doing
it fast and pulling harder, getting it over quickly (rough) or
slow and carefully (gentle). Sometimes she picks rough, sometimes
gentle, but I've focused her on how she wants it brushed, not
whether. Detangler can be cool in that sometimes my daughter
sprays her head with it and then can pretty much brush it
herself. Otherwise though, I'm not convinced it helps much.
It helps with the hair, not with the child. Good luck with both.
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