36 answers

Hair MATTED to SCALP!!! What to Do?

My neighbor died suddenly back in early June leaving behind 3 children, two boys and the youngest a 9 year old girl with beautiful long blond wavy hair. Tonight I noticed that her hair is really knotted, and I asked her if her mom used to do her hair for her. Of course she said yes. Well to make a long story short, she came over to my house to let me try and brush out the "knots" and they are mats. Her hair is completely matted to her scalp and hasn't been brushed thru in two months. I tried for 45 minutes to comb out just one of the mats and was totally unsuccessful. Please help me with ideas on how to get these mats out. I have fine thin hair and have never had to deal with this. I would say to just cut it off, but it would have to be shaved. Her father is too busy working and taking care of her brother a totally disabled boy of 12, so this is the least of his concerns. He doesn't realize the long term effects this could have for her and her health and the fact that she will be teased at school. I really want to help her but don't know how. Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all so much for caring enough to respond. I decided that it would be best to take her to the salon and let them do it. I have MS and my arms and fingers just didn't have enough strength to do the job.
I bought her a special long hair shampoo and conditioner and a spray in conditioner. I also got her a wide tooth comb and pick to get the tangles out everyday. She agreed to let me braid her hair every night, so I'll be able to help her keep on top of it. She sat like an angel at the salon while the poor stylist combed her hair out for an hour and 30 minutes. Thank you all again for the tips, it's really nice to know that people care enough to help a stranger in need!
God Bless you all!

Featured Answers

Hi T., Try putting some conditioner on her hair and letting it soak through for about 30 minutes or so...any conditioner you have around the house will do. Once you get her hair combed through wash, condition and comb it through again then teach her simple hair styles she can do on her own! She is lucky to have such a great neighbor! And it's great that you are there for her since her own Mom can't be. Best wishes.

1 mom found this helpful

This story just broke my heart.
Any hair product that says it removes tangles will work.But you will need to repeat it a few times if it is really bad. while gently brushing.Also Aussie makes a product called 3 minute miricale that will help after the knots are out.Probably some of her hair will fall out because it has not been brushed for so long. Maybe you can cut aroungd some of it and then trim it to make it even.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T.,
My daughter has very fine, easily tangled hair (and a very sensitive scalp)and I have two suggestions. One is Pia's Detangler, I think made by Circle of Friends. It comes in a variety of fruit scents. I got it at a children's salon. Next, i often leave in conditioner after I wash her hair. Good luck. patty

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

it is normal, my daughter is 3 and we went one night without brushing it about 7 mths ago and she woke up with dreads, i tried brushing and was unsucessful, my mom is a hair stylist and suggested that i load with lots of conditioner until it works it self out. i put on tons and tons of conditioner and then put it up in a ponytail, 3-4 times a day for several days, each day trying to brush some of it, by the end of the week she was so condtioned up that i put her in the tub washed and put lots of condtioner back on it did work, it just took a long time, now we brush 3-4 times a day and before during and after baths we condition so this doesnt happen again. i hope this helps!

2 moms found this helpful

Oh! My heart is ready to burst with so much emotion. This little girl needs guidance. Good for you for noticing and helping. I have a 9 year-old daughter, too, who does her own hair every, yes, every night. Teaching responsibility is so important in our children's lives. Caring for fine, long hair is a big responsibility that can be fun, too. Obviously, you've witnessed firsthand what happens if you don't. Okay, to start invest in a really good (there are a million brands on the market) deep, deep conditioner and let it soak in her hair for awhile. Then, do as you did, just comb out little sections at a time while dousing her hair with the conditioner as you do it. Keep working the conditioner with your hands into her hair. This will be messy but it will work with alot of paitence and a lot of conditioner. Once you have the hair smooth again, explain to this child the necessary steps for maintaining long, healthy hair. Namely, washing and, more importantly, conditioning her hair every night or every other night. If she braids it before bedtime, this will keep tangles from forming as she tosses and turns. Brushing in the morning is key, too. This young girl is old enough to decide if the result is worth the effort. Of course, she will need reminders. Maybe once you have gotten her hair "fixed", you can gently and lovingly exlain this regimen to her dad. I'm sure he is overwhelmed right now, but also would appreciate any "female" advice and assistance he can get. You are the epitome of a good neighbor.

1 mom found this helpful

First of all you are so wonderful for helping your neighbors out! What a sad situation, and this poor little girl. My daughter gets knots, and the best way to get them out is to have her wash her hair real well and massage conditioner in. Then you'll need to slowly brush the matts out using a soft brittled brush and using more conditioner. It will take a while but hopefully you can help her understand that this will keep happening if she doesn't brush through her hair completely everyday. Maybe suggest to her father that he have her get her hair cut to her shoulders so it's easier for her to brush, and to check her hair at bedtime to see that she is brushing all the way through. God bless you for helping her, you are a great person, best wishes always!

1 mom found this helpful

This story just broke my heart.
Any hair product that says it removes tangles will work.But you will need to repeat it a few times if it is really bad. while gently brushing.Also Aussie makes a product called 3 minute miricale that will help after the knots are out.Probably some of her hair will fall out because it has not been brushed for so long. Maybe you can cut aroungd some of it and then trim it to make it even.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My kids and my sister have the SAME problem. I would use Suave detangler. I do use Suave detangler! I haven't found anything else that works. The more pricey stuff is greasy.

She needs to be using at the very least a shampoo with detangler/conditioner. It would be better to have her use conditioner. You really need to teach her to rinse it well, though, since leaving it in will make things much worse. And now that I think about it, she may not be rinsing out all of the way with the shampoo and that may be where some of this is starting.

Also, she may need a trim.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi,

My friend had this happen when we were growing up. It took a whole bottle of Johnson "No More Tangles" and several hours but it came out. My suggestion is to start the the ends and slowly work your way to the scalp. Also some leave-in conditioner may help.
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Try to comb through it when it is wet. It will be easier. Also spray a detangler on it. They make great ones for kids. I even got one a dollar general that works well. Also use a pick that ppl usually use on permed hair. There is more space between the teeth then in a comb. Work from the bottom up. Hope that helps.

1 mom found this helpful

I am writing mostly to acknowledge what a special thing you are doing for a little girl who is obviously in need of a strong woman in her life. However, I also have one other small suggestion. Once you get her hair in good shape (since I have complete confidence that you will), another trick to help her to keep it that way is to wear a wide headband to sleep each night. I always had long hair, and this helped to keep the top of it from tangling -- as well as keeping the oil from my hair off my face when I was an acne-fighting teenager . . .

1 mom found this helpful

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