Toddler Hair Care Can Be Hard


toddler hairWe called it a “rat’s nest.” Despite our best efforts, somehow, it snuck up on us again. It looked like something you would pull out of a shower drain. Sadly, I’m talking about my daughter’s hair. She had a knot. A major one that was matted so tight that it felt like some foreign object had embedded itself in her hair. And we had to get it out. Toddler hair care can be hard.

You’re probably wondering, “how could you let this happen?”, and I have to tell you: it was pretty easy. My daughter rocks her head to fall asleep. Her hair can be tangle-free when I put her to bed, and she can wake up looking like she attended a head-banging rock concert the night before.

She was born with a lot of hair. As she got older, it kept growing, and we only trimmed it.  She’s now four years old, and if we skip a day or two of thorough brushing, things spiral out of control quickly. She was out of daycare for a week due to a high fever. Brushing was minimal. It happened.

My husband worked on the knot for THREE hours. There were tears and lots of bribing with “Blues Clues” and leftover M&Ms from Christmas. Towards the end of the three hours, the knot was significantly smaller, but it was still there. 

Toddler hair care can be hard.

The next morning I turned to our Indianapolis Moms Contributors group for suggestions on how to battle toddler hair. Between their suggestions and what I’ve learned the past couple of years, here’s my advice to parents whose children have long hair:

  1. Buy and use a detangling shampoo and detangling conditioner. Fairy Tales hair care is fantastic. Cantu leave-in conditioner is also one to invest in. 
  2. Get the right brush. So many people in our Indianapolis Moms group suggested the Wet Brush. I’ve come to love our Marqus Brush. Find a brush that works for you.
  3. Put your child’s hair up before bedtime. The less mobility of the hair, the fewer the knots. Another option is a French braid before bed. The same philosophy applies: Less hair movement = less knots
  4. GET. IT. CUT. You don’t have to do anything major, but trimming it regularly helps ensure it doesn’t get too long or unruly. Time moves quickly. Make a future appointment every time you take your child in for a cut, so you don’t have to think about finding time to call and schedule the next one. 
  5. Decide if long hair isn’t for you or your child. It may not be, and that’s okay. Children look cute with short or long hair. I had short hair as a kid, and I think I looked great!

Two days later, we plopped our daughter into the tub. We coated her diminished knot in conditioner, and I used our newly-purchased Wet Brush. The final result? We ultimately cut what was left of the knot. I felt defeated but better prepared should it happen again. Toddler hair care can be hard.