24 answers

Hair Styling My Girl's Hair- It's Always Stringy and Crazy!

Hi all!

I have 3 daughters - 2 four-year olds and a two-year-old. I can never get their hair to look nice! I get it cut by a professional regularly, and I wash and condition it. One daughter has a huge cowlick on the back of her head, so her hair grows forward. The other two have really fine, wispy blond hair.

After brushing their hair, they have about one minute before it starts looking stringy. Should I use more expensive hair products? Should I just always have it in pony tails? Are they old enough to have it curled with a curling iron or will that damage the ones with fine hair?

They always look like homeless kids and I want them to look cute!! Thanks!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I have a daughter who has very long hair for a 3 year old and I was in a rut of always putting it in a ponytail and then I found this cool site..it has lots of great ideas and tips for product for childrens hair its..

its a great site to get new ideas.

You got some great advice here, so I will just be quick and say that hair gel is great for fine hair, it will make the braids and ponytails hold longer and it reduces flyaways. Baretts and bows are good too, but don't stress too much, a little messy hair now and then will not do any damage!

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I am a big advocate of always doing little girls hair -- mostly because it's fun. I found this excellent website that gives ideas on how to do it -- it's called shedoeshair.blogspot.com. They have links to lots of other sites that have little girl hair styles, too -- including one that's called cowlicks and curls.

And I'm not sure the amount of damage done with a curling iron -- I'd say as long as it's not falling out or breaking after doing it for a little while, you should be just fine -- especially if you're using a ceramic iron that doesn't stay on the hair that long. Wow, that sounded really obvious. Sorry.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

cut all their hair in a short bob or aline. it will always look like its done and they won't look like ragamuffins...
then as their hair grows out it will possible come in a lot thicker.
good luck I know i have 2 girls also and thats what worked for me.

I have the same problem! I'll do my four year old's hair, and within like 30 seconds, it's already falling out of whatever I put it in, and it's all wispy in her face! On top of that, she'll only let me work on it for about a minute before she's telling me to stop because she's done. I really just put it in a ponytail a lot, and put a little clip on the side to keep the wispies off her face as much as possible. I'll be reading your responses, because her hair NEVER looks cute!

Hi M.,

I have 2 girls that are now 14 and 12 and had the exact same problem with they were little.

My answer was in the hair product. I discovered that because they had fine hair (my niece has the cowlick lucky girl) that the ingredients were really important.

I switched over to Arbonne products because they don't have a lot of the ingredients that products off the shelf have. My sister in-law did the same and neither of us could believe the difference it made. MY 14 year old is known as "girl with the perfect hair" around her high school.

If you would like info on Arbonne please let me know. I can tell you how to get some samples so you can try before you buy.
D. Mally

I have a daughter who has very long hair for a 3 year old and I was in a rut of always putting it in a ponytail and then I found this cool site..it has lots of great ideas and tips for product for childrens hair its..

its a great site to get new ideas.

I use curlformers for my daughter's hair. I got them at Sally Beauty Supply, if you're interested. They are spiral and mesh, you use kind of a hook tool to put them in the hair. They create spiral curls and are comfortable to sleep on, as opposed to the old style my mom made me sleep on! They're fast and easy and won't heat damage their hair. My sister's kids all have hair like that. We call it chicken hair. She's the one that discovered these curlformers, and they work great for her kids hair.

roll their hair in rollers. It'll make their hair thicker and help disguise that cowlick. then pin it up on the side or put in a ponytail. I wouldn't waste my money on all the expensive products. They're kids. And you probably shouldn't be washing their hair everyday...only if it's really dirty. You may be able to blow dry the cowlick in the other direction using a low heat setting, provided she'll sit still long enough. But again, don't overdo it. You could also use a curling iron on low setting.

Try using a lighter conditioner, like a spray in detangler instead of cream. Also, a light control gel and a blow dryer (unless the dryer scares them) might help.

My favorite do' for my daughters hair (whos is so thin and fine and still has a lot of her baby hair is to pull it in two pigtails (closer to the top of her head) and to flip the hair under the rubberband so it lays down isntead of straight up or out like regular pigtails do. So you put them like you normally would, lift the rubber band up enough to separate the hair in half to create a little hole and flip the pigtail under and tighten. I think it is really cute and it keeps her from looking like a scarecrow

We have three daughters and when they were small we had the same problem. We would put their hair in a "spout". Pull the hair to the side on top,(this especially helps with the cowlick) and put in a small rubberized band. We would leave it plain or dress it up with special ribbon or fancy band on top. Always looks cute and keeps hair out of eyes and off the face.
Even as they have gotten older they do a "half pony" which is a variation. Just pull the hair to the back instead of to the side.

I used hair gel on my daughter when I braided her hair or put it in a pony tail. It kept the stringy's away and gave it more substance when braiding. Also, I did it quickly and didn't keeping fussing with it. I had a rule that she not touch her hair after I had it done. Hope this helps...

M - A friend of mine uses Paul Mitchell Babies Don't Cry shampoo. Her just then two year olds daughter's hair looked really good. I started using it in June and it has made all the difference in my daughter's hair. I was hoping to wait until she was older before I started using more spendy stuff on her hair, but this is totally worth it. There are still days when it looks crazy, but it's still not as bad. It's really not that expensive. I bought the big one and we are not even half way done with it yet. I use a good leave in conditioner about every other night. My daughter's hair grows forward too....I didn't know it was possible!

You got some great advice here, so I will just be quick and say that hair gel is great for fine hair, it will make the braids and ponytails hold longer and it reduces flyaways. Baretts and bows are good too, but don't stress too much, a little messy hair now and then will not do any damage!

I had hair like that when I was younger. My mom just always kept it in pony tails or braids, especially if we were going to church or something like that.
I like Sauve shampoo with no tears or tangles.

The other thing my mom did was braid my hair when it was wet and leave it all night. The next morning it had more body to it and stayed nicer.

As for the cowlick, I have one and so does my oldest. It's hard to make it settle down. As the hair gets longer, it won't be as noticeable.

My friend love Arbonne's Self Adjusting Shampoo and Conditioner. She says her daughters hair was always very tangly and hard to manage. Now they are both silky soft and easy to comb and manage.

Arbonne does have a Baby shampoo too that has no numbing agents in it so safe for babies.

My one daughter has super thick coarse hair and we keep it chin length. My other daughter has long super fine hair. They both use the Arbonne shampoo/conditioner so hair styling is much easier. We also use mousse for styling aid sometimes.

Well, for your daughter with a cowlick, in my opinion, cutting it short with just make the problem worse.

I would say, yes, use pony tails, pig tails, braids, and barretts.

Having six girls I have to say, there are times when you have to get passed what you think is cute and just let them live life and have fun. Hair is so temporary. I have girls that do NOT want their hair brushed EVER and girls that are so flippin' concerned about their hair I want to strangle them with it sometimes. In the end, it really just does not matter so long as they're healthy, happy, and loved. I have two boys that have longish hair--yeah shag...bleh--and two with very short hair. They have to find their way. It's hard to separate our opinions from what's important. I, personally, would prefer to cut all the boys hair short, decorate all my daughters heads with hair styles I like to do and see, and have things my way all the time. It isn't worth giving anyone a complex about. I've done forced hair styles as per my desire but I had children who hated themselves in the mirror, children who NOW are older will NOT allow me anywhere near them for ANY kind of help (peacefully, certainly as Mom I'll go and do whatever I want to, but they will fight, argue, resist, etc...) because of my issues about how they looked when they were little.

At this point, though I don't like the way some of them do their hair I have simple standards they have to follow and we're all happy:
~~You must wash your hair every other day, at least. Except my one daughter who is Samoan, she does it twice a week but still does the shower every other day at minimum.
~~You have to have noticably brushed your hair in the morning before you leave the house.
~~No outrageous or crazy hair styles during the school year--they can put silly colors in their hair WITH ME during the summer
~~Every Sunday for church, or important events, your hair must be respectful to the situation--nothing distracting.

For the littlest ones, so long as I can keep a bow or hair tie in the hair for an hour I'm happy--so, I do their hair JUST BEFORE we go somewhere.

The point is; Your girls are little. Whether their hair looks good or not is a poor indicator of whether or not you're a good mother. The best indicator is how they look at you and how you look at them. Whether they're squeeky clean with a model do or caked in mud with hair matted to their head, a loved child shines through and spotlights a great mommy.

In the end, how their hair looks really isn't that important, unless it's causing them heartache.



No, you should not use more expensive products.
Brushing their hair will strengthen their hair, it will help it to grow and bring out the natural oils.
No, they are not to young to use a curling iron on it, just as long as it is not a daily thing.
If you know how to braid, then braid their hair a lot. It will thicken their hair.
Put it in pig tails one day, a pony tail the next, braid it straight down their back, or make alot of smaller braids and use colorful clips to hold.
That will look cute.
Be creative right now and you will be surprised what you will come up with and how cute their look.
Your young daughter with the cowlick, well I have heard that you can retrain that cowlick to behave. By brushing and brushing it every single night before she goes to bed, and braid it to the back.
Like I said this is what I have heard, don't know if it works or not, I have three sons and their all three keep their heard shaved bald. LOL

Good luck dear.

I'm a hair stylist and have been in the buisness over 11 years now. I have thin fine hair and so does my daughter and my mother and two of my sisters. The best shampoo I have found is Paul Mitchell's Baby Shampoo. My daughter is 4 and I still use it on her hair. Be careful how much you brush their hair and what kind of brush you are using. A lot of brushes will acutally break fine hair off, leaving it harder to do. I use a wide tooth comb or pick for mine and my daughters hair when we are just "brushing" then a fine tooth when putting in a pony tail. Instead of using a rinse out conditioner try a leave-in and focus on the middle of the hair down to the ends. Also really watch what elastics and pony tail holders you are putting in their hair, they can damage as well. Anything with a metal clip on the band you should avoid and don't use rubber bands they break the hair off quicker. There are plastic bands that are a little easier on the hair, but don't leave in their hair over night they will break the hair. Fine hair is a pain but I did find that buying or making a bunch of cute bows and barretts and ribbons does help. I have bought bows at Gymboree, and love them. My husband was in the Army and just got out in April... I know that Gymboree used to give military discounts, plus they usually have awesome sales and they are on-line. I've also made a bunch they are really easy. If you want me to send pictures or instructions let me know. I use sponge rollers on my daughters hair or the mesh ones mentioned in one of the other responses and they are awesome for curling and the curls last all day. And lastly depending on where you live and what season it is (since the weather plays a big role in what your hair does) you can use a little gel or hair spray to keep the flyaways down or hold the style better. I hope this helps.

Hi M.,
I have one little girl who's hair is thick but she always used to be a mess too. Our hair stylist showed me a great little trick. Take your daughter hair and put a part to one side of her head. Then take the larger portion of her hair and make one or two small pig tails on the top of her head. Split the hair that is behind the elastic band (closest to her head and flip the pig tail through, then tighten. You can make one or two of these on the top of her head and it will always keep her hair looking tidy. If these instructions were hard to understand, I learned this technique at Jack and Jills in Littleton, I have also seen it done at Lollilocks. both are childrens hair salons near Park Meadows mall. Hope this helps.

I wouldn't condition it. If you need it for tangles, just try a spray on detangler made for kids ( i think suave makes a good one) The conditioner is probably too heavy and is weighing down such fine hair. Good luck.

My daughters hair is also stringy, and really, yes, the only thing you can do is keep it in ponytails. I also french braid her hair in two braids down the side quite often. If you want to have a hairstyle with loose hair, try doing 5 or 6 small french braids to the top of their head, leaving the back of their hair loose. It all depends on how patient they are, and how much time you are willing to put in their hair. You can never go wrong with ponytails though. I'd stay away from the curling iron. they might move quickly, and you could burn them.

Have you considered going short? I have a 6 year old daughter and we would fight about her hair alllll the time. She did not want it brushed, did not want it touched. Normally, she looked like a rocker after a bad night out. Finally, I had it cut short in a pixie cut. It turns out her curly hair is still there - the weight of it was holding it down. This is much more manageable - we just spray it with a curling spray and fluff it with our fingers. We don't even need to brush it any more and no more bed head or knots.

I wouldn't worry so much. If they don't care you shouldn't, really..
Don't use a curling iron on it, it will damage it and could burn them, just not something a young child needs.
Try different clips, pony tails or whatever. Even parting it on the side and a braid hanging down one side.
I wish my daughter would let me do her hair. At 7 the one thing that worked were headbands. It kept it out of her face and she became so attached to them, matching them to her outfits. She has very fine hair and I have very thick hair so I was at a loss what to do. Like your daughters it looks so great right after a bath but if she doesn't keep it brushed it looks dirty...
Don't put too much worry into it!!!!!!

Hi Marci,

My daughter has the same hair. Here's what I do:

- bobbed haircut
- no conditioner
- barrette to keep hair out of face
- blow hair dry with dryer and brush to make hair smooth

Good luck... I know how embarrassing it feels when your daughter looks like a street urchin!


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