Today’s assignment is to educate the masses on something I excel at. I am sure there are a bazillion and four things I am good at. Would any of them be so kind as to cross my mind? No.
Quite a while back I was discussing hair care with a guy friend of mine. He said he wouldn’t know the first thing about taking care of long hair. So here you go buddy… this one is for you.
My little girl has fairy tale long hair that has never been cut. She LOVES it and has no plan of trying a shorter style anytime soon. Her hair is by far her favorite accessory.
Being four and a half years old comes with some perks. It’s Momma’s job to keep those long, flowing locks in order. Although it looks smooth and well behaved in the picture it isn’t always that way.
Over the last few years I have developed a system for wee one hair care that has helped me avoid pulling my own hair out… or reaching for the scissors.
Some items are just essential when you are dealing with so much hair on a little person.
My *would die without* items are:
- Wide tooth comb
- Decent shampoo/conditioner
- plastic alligator style clamp clips
- elastic no metal hair ties
- cartoon of choice to keep her still
- patience… lots of patience
It is uber, super, incredibly important to comb out tangles while the hair is still dry. Damp hair is WAY more susceptible to damage.
Grab your favorite wide tooth comb. Start at the ends of the hair and work your way up. Go slow. Hold the hair above where you are combing so that you are not pulling hair at the scalp. Pulling the full length of the hair not only puts you at more risk of breakage but elicits whining.
My little one has recently discovered the beauty of showers vs. baths. However when she was still taking her hour long soaks I found that having a handheld shower head made my life a lot easier.
Next comes the shampoo. The goal here is to wash and massage the scalp letting the suds cleanse the length of the hair as you wash it out with warm water. Now seeing that this is a 4.5 year old there are times when I am trying to get food out of her lengths. Getting syrup out of long hair is an adventure. It’s times like these where skimping on the shampoo is not an option.
Once I am 150% sure the shampoo is fully rinsed we add conditioner, or as we call it around here “hair lotion”. Just quite the opposite of the shampoo with the conditioner you are wanting to focus on the ends. Spend your time here working it through. Conditioner is like happiness in a bottle. Some people choose not to use conditioner after shampooing. These people quite possibly hate themselves.
Twist your freshly conditioned hair into a bun and pin it up with your clamp clips. The goal is to keep the hair coated in conditioner goodness for at least five minutes. Distraction is your friend.
To rinse you want to use lukewarm water. Cool water seals the moisture in your hair, and increases shine. Hot water can cause hair to become overly porous and also cause frizz.
Ideally you want to allow hair to dry before combing. When this isn’t possible use a towel to blot out as much moisture as possible.
We set up a ‘hair combing station’. I have detangler, widetooth comb, and hair ties ready to rock. I hand her the remote and she picks anything she wants. This gives her something to focus on other than the fact that I am having her sit still.
If it is evening her hair is 99.9% most likely to end up in a single, off to the side braid. The braid keeps her from looking like a tangly medusa when she wakes up in the morning.
This may sound like quite the process to go through on a daily basis. That is exactly why it is not a daily procedure. I find children’s hair responds best if only washed 2-3 times per week. However if there is food smooshed and smashed throughout you want to deal with that asap. There is nothing quite like dealing with the tangles causes by sticky candy and time.
What is your MUST HAVE product or hair care item?