22 answers

Hair Care for an Active 3 Year Old

I would like advice - my 3 year old daughter has beautiful long hair that falls in ringlet curls. However, I am having difficulty brushing it because she screams the whole time I do this. We tried 2 different varieties of "no more tangles" and she doesn't like the smell. I am considering just cutting it until she is a bit older. Any ideas to help me keep my sanity in the morning? Thank you!

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What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi E., My kids are half Black, so my daughter always had a lot of hair, I used "Just For Me" products, it's made for childrens hair. It worked really good. J. L.

1 mom found this helpful

My 4 year old has the same hair. i take one of those empty "no more tangels" bottles and put in a little bit of leave in conitioner and fill it up with water. I give it a really good shake. You can let her smell the different leave in conditioners before you buy one. My daughter likes the herbal essences one. Also in the bath I use conditioner on the bottom half of her hair and it helps prevent tangels. if she takes a bath at night and I brush her hair in the morning it still really makes a difference.

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OMG....***please*** tell me that you aren't brushing her hair when it's dry. Unless you have curly hair yourself, you can't understand how painful that is. Even when it's not "tangled" the physical shape of the curls makes it so that at least 10 hairs are pulling per curl. Typically a person doesn't brush hair a curl at a time, so you've hot up to a hundred individual hairs being yanked on hard enough to make your eyes swim in tears (and that's if someone is trying to be gentle, and I've got a "hard head" not a tender one)If there are tangles, then it's worse.

My mum tried to brush my hair (dry) until I was eleven, and yes, I cried every morning. (Screaming got me slapped in the face...so I stopped screaming early on). Wheeee...let's start of every morning with your hair feeling like it's being ripped out of your head, hating the person who's doing it to you, and the person who's doing it sweating and only hanging onto their temper with the barest of threads. The only parallel pain wise I've ever found was when my so was an infant and would grab hold and pull my hair with those sticky little baby hands, with all his strength. OOOOOooooowwwwweeeeeeeeeee!!!

Tips & Tricks:

- Curly hair doesn't usually survive the night. It CAN, if you braid it or use a 'do-rag, but it won't be those beautiful bouncy perfect ringlets you get right after the shower. Curly hair is best washed every morning. Skip the shampoo 2 mornings out of 3 if her hair starts drying out, but baby shampoo is gentle enough that it usually isn' t and issue.

- Use a good conditioner. Doesn't have to be expensive, just thick. Suave is borderline okay. Tres Seme is fantastic.

- Only brush hair when wet & slathered in conditioner. Use your fingers to comb through first, then a wide tooth brush. The brush will glide through like a knife through butter, or over silk. (I've had my hair straightened, & I know this who thing may sound nuts to someone with straight or wavy hair since straight hair breaks when you do this, but CURLY hair, brush in the shower.)

- Squeeze the excess water out, after you've arranged how you want the curls to fall, but do not "towel dry"...aka no rubbing...you're just creating tangles and destroying the individual curls if you rub. You can dab/squeeze with a towel.

- At this point, avoid running fingers through curls/combing/brushing/etc, like the plague.

- Mousse or Gel. My personal favorites are "Garnier Curl Construct Mousse", OR more expensive...bumble & bumble "Get Straight" gel (it doesn't). You have to use enough of either to saturate the hair. A dab on top (or worse run through with fingers), doesn't cut it. Put what looks like a ridiculous amount in your hand and SCRUNCH through hair from base to scalp. The mousse or gel keeps the curls from going "every hair for itself", otherwise known as tangling, throughout the day.

- Air dry or blow dry, as you like. Some curly hair products take hours to air dry, the two I mentioned above (in SoCal Sun) take an hour or two, tops for 18 inch long curly hair.

2 moms found this helpful

I'd say "haircut" is your answer. It seems to me that often parents keep their kid's hair long because they, the parents, think it is really beautiful, not because of what the kid thinks. I have friends who have a boy but you'd swear it's a girl because they are so in love with his hair that they won't cut it. If your daughter screams when you brush her hair, maybe you should introduce the idea of short hair-- find some cute pictures to show her and see what she thinks. A short cut will help if she is active, too. Dora the Explorer has short hair, right? =D

1 mom found this helpful

I have the same issue. Conditioners (any kind) really help when used after shampooing. A little dimethicone or cyclomethicone helps with the detangling (I use silk therapy), but it's patience with a wide-tooth comb that is the most important part.
Also, I've found that using a regular bristle (boar bristle?) brush allows me to brush out her hair even when it's tangled and dry, but be patient. If I do this every evening, it's a good preventive measure.
good luck

1 mom found this helpful

My nearly five year old daughter also has thick, curly hair that falls in ringlets (like mine), so I have had to deal with this sort of thing for a while as well! Here are my suggestions--first, patience it key, since curly hair does take longer to care for. I would suggest not using a brush, since it tears the hair and makes it frizzy. Instead, use a wide tooth comb, with water. I don't use the detanglers, though I have tried, because I have found they do very little in the way of actually detangling. I usually sit my daughter down with a video on, and slowly comb through her hair, using the water to wet the comb with each stroke. It's not a quick way of doing things, but at least it doesn't pull her hair, and it keeps the curls intact. There's also the option of bathing her in the morning, although that can make things pretty hectic when you're trying to get kids and yourself ready and out the door. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I've tried a variety of products to try to tame my daughter's curly hair. She had gotten to the point that she liked her hair tangled and just to leave it alone. I kept her hair short for a while, but the tangles were still there along with the fights. I finally found a detangling spray I like. It has no scent (yeah!!!), sprays thinly and evenly so it's not concentrated in one area, and works very well. It's part of the Paul Mitchell Kids line. I have to buy it at a beauty supply store and it's more money. But, it lasts a long time and is worth every penny minimizing tantrums about hair.

1 mom found this helpful

I might have something for you could work. I have two girls and they are half black and half mexican, they too have curly hair..one of them has shirley temple curls and the other very tight curls. What I use for them is the Beautiful beginnings detangler spray, it comes in a hot pink bottle and smells like candy..it smells awesome and works great. It is geared to black hair but it works great on all types of hair and you can find it in Walmart for like 3 dollars. hope it helps

1 mom found this helpful

Here is the link for it:
(it does not "make" hair grow longer... it just makes the hair healthy, therefore, it "helps" the hair to grow and not get split-ends and hair breakage).

This is a great product, by Garnier Fructis....
it's called "Length & Strength- weightless anti-split ends treatment" which is a leave in conditioner (not heavy, very light and does not feel greasy), and it helps split ends as well (which is what makes her hair tangled and hard to comb, which my daughter has), AND it makes the hair nicely shiny and conditioned and healthy.

My daughter has fine long hair which constantly gets tangled.. and this product is the only one so far, which works so well.
I use it too even though my hair is thick and waved... so it's real versatile.

** You can get it from www.amazon.com or, I get it from my local Long's store.... or grocery store.
Or, perhaps you can get it online.
I bought it for only like $5, so it's real reasonable and just a drop goes a long way.

I find, the kids "de-tangler" products don't work real well and just coats the hair. This product I mentioned, does not and the hair feels real soft and not greasy and not coated.

You just apply it on damp hair after it has been washed and towel dried. You do not have to apply it everyday. Just after each shampoo. It keeps my daughter's hair tangle free & conditioned, even if she does not wash her hair every single day.

Tangled hair happens from dryness, split-ends or hair texture... this product works with my daughter's hair AND my hair even though we have different hair types.

Good luck, hope this helps,

1 mom found this helpful

Hi E., My kids are half Black, so my daughter always had a lot of hair, I used "Just For Me" products, it's made for childrens hair. It worked really good. J. L.

1 mom found this helpful

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