39 answers

Need Help with Daughter's Hair - Spring,TX

Hi Mom's! My daughter is 9 years old and her hair gets tangled all the time. In the mornings it is so bad. At her neck line it gets matted really bad. If she doesn't brush it for a day, the next day it is 10 times worse and it takes me forever to brush it out. On top of that she is very tender headed. I have tried detangler and a Johnson's leave in conditioner and neither one has worked. If anyone knows something I can use on her hair that would be wonderful!!! Thanks In Advance.

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I have a friend with the same problem. She uses Mane & Tail conditioner at the base of her neck and leaves it in - no more matting. You can buy it at Walgreens in the shampoo aisle or for a little less at Wal-mart in the pet department :-). It's $6 to $8 for 32 oz., depending where you buy it. Smaller sizes are available.
Good luck.

Hi S.,

Have you tried Biosilk Silk Therapy? I am also very tender headed with tangly hair, and I put about a dime-size amount on my hair after I get out of the shower and before I try to brush or comb it out. It really helps...and adds a nice shine too. I hope this helps!


In addition to a leave-in conditioner, someone recomended a satin pillowcase. It's made a significant difference, especially when we actually remember to spray her hair before bed.

Best of luck!

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Just cut her hair very short hair very short

Is her hair long or short, thick or thin, curley or straight? You didn't say. Call a professional hair dresser and find out if there's any other products you can try. What would happen if she tried sleeping in a sleep bonnet? If it's long, could she put it either in a high pony tail or part it into two side pig-tails for sleeping. When you brush, do you start at the bottom or at the scalp. Always start at the ends. And whoever heard of not brushing EVERY DAY. Of course if she skips a day it'll be a mess. At her age she's old enough to take daily care of her hair. That's a given, especially with girls who want to have pretty hair.

I have a 9 year old daughter and we would go through the same exact thing. She would cry because of all the tangles. She finally decided that she wanted to cut her hair so it wouldn't tangle as much. She wanted to get one of those sleek bobs that everyone is getting, so I took her to a real good hairdresser. (I opted out of the $7 cuts just this once). He told her that the reason that her hair gets that tangled and matted was because it was so dry. He said the sun, swimming, ect... causes hair to dry. So she got the prettiest bob and I switched her over to the shampoo that I use..Arbonne..and her hair looks and feels much healthier.I am an Arbonne consultant and have discounts for mamasource members in the member perks area if you would like to give it a try. We have a 45 day, no questions asked money back guarentee. All the products are botanically based and so beneficial for everyone. You can go to my website for more information: www.corissabell.myarbonne.com or please feel free to contact me directly, I would love to talk to you and see if I could help. Hope to hear from you soon.

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Try using baby oil. Hope this works.

Good Luck.


i have waist length curly tangly hair, and i hate brushing my hair, i hate to say some days i do not brush it because it hurts so much, i tie it back instead lol - so i know what your daughter is going through.
there is only one way i can brush my hair easily without hurting me - this is what i do.
i get in the shower, wash my hair, then apply a very high quality conditioner, paying particular attention to the bad spot at the nape of the neck, i leave this on while i wash the bits that matter and shave my legs etc.
then i take a high quality paddle brush (kent or similar brand, the wide square type) and i stand under the water, i brush my hair through while i am standing under the water and the water almost magically helps get out the tangles.

when i have to brush my hair during the day when it is dry, i can use a high quality hogs hair brush, and this doesnt hurt too much.
you have to have the right equipment - i have had my hair brushes years - my kent brush cost around $15, and my hog hair brush the same, but they last for ever

My adult neice, who has very long straight hair, recommeded Garnier Fructis Shampoo and Conditioner for long hair. It helped my daughter's hair tremendously. Also, Herbal Essence makes one for long hair as well and we have had success with that one too. Leave the conditioner in as long as you can before rinsing and that seems to help with the wet comb out.

Hi S.,
Try having her sleep on a satin pillow case. It works a little bit for my 4 yr old. Not a huge difference, but definately a noticeable difference. Hope it works! Good Luck!

Braid her hair. Learn how to french braid. It will also give her hair a beautiful wave.

My daughter's hair was exactly like that. We found two things that worked. Keep it braided, or pick it all up and buzz it about an inch along the back of her head.

Hi S.,

Have you tried Biosilk Silk Therapy? I am also very tender headed with tangly hair, and I put about a dime-size amount on my hair after I get out of the shower and before I try to brush or comb it out. It really helps...and adds a nice shine too. I hope this helps!


The braiding suggestions are good. Also try the California Baby line of products. I have a 2 year old with hair that tangles easily and these really work for us. We use the conditioner each night after shampooing and then I comb through her hair with the detangler. The condition can even be left in for really tough tangles or extra dry days. Sometimes in the morning I put a little conditioner in her hair before brushing it if it is really bad.

In addition to a leave-in conditioner, someone recomended a satin pillowcase. It's made a significant difference, especially when we actually remember to spray her hair before bed.

Best of luck!

These are all great ideas. You didn't say if you were using a conditioner after shampooing, that will help. Also a ponytail at night with a soft scrunchy is good (no real rubber bands).

It sounds just like my daughter - long hair, tender headed and tangles easily. Here is what I finally figured out works. After she takes her shower or bath, we put Sunsilk Hydra TLC Leave-in Conditioner in her hair. (It is in a pink bottle, and sometimes hard to find - CVS usually has it though.) Then we braid her hair when she sleeps. This works like a charm. No tangles at night, nor during the day.

If she has longer hair you can put it in braids while she is sleeping. You can also cut her hair shorter. At nine she can brush her own hair and a few times a day. Good luck hope this helped ya!

I braid my daughters hair at night. She didn't like it at first but she hated the tangles more. She has gotten used to it. If I don't have time to do a braid she just pulls it back in a ponytail.

If your daughter's hair is long enough to braid, braid it at night and it should resolve the problem...

If her hair is long enough, you could braid it - atleast at night - to keep it from matting. Very fine hair seems to do this. I would definitely use some sort of hair product like mousse or gel which will also help control it.

We also use a CHI product - you can buy it in the grocery store as well as the salon. The one we use is called Silk Infusion. It is about $12 for a small bottle but you only use a dab.

I brush my daughter's hair before bed and put it in a bun or a braid. That makes the mornings easier. I also switched to a grown-up hair conditioner--the kiddo ones weren't working. Godd luck!

My daughter is 10 and we were dealing with similar problems. We use Maxtrix Sleek Look shampoo and conditioner (orange bottle). This makes it very easy to comb through just after washing and until the next wash. Her hair is so soft! At night, we braid her hair. That way in the morning there is very little tangling. The last thing is that we have the "ouchless" brush. Found it at walmart. These things have made life a little easier for both of us. Good luck!

Merry Christmas!

Try braiding it after she gets out of the bath or before she goes to bed.

Get her a cute, short haircut and give her the responsibility of washing & brushing her own hair!

I have the same problem with my daughter. I have found a product called CHI, you get it from the salon. Just put a little bit of it in her hair everyday, and it works really great.

That sounds just like my younger sister. Most of the time my mom kept her hair on the shorter side, because it was just too much to keep up. At night after showering I would braid her hair. (French or regular braid both work.) The combination of leave in conditioner and braiding should keep it pretty manageable in the morning. You should be able to comb right through it and it will be in pretty waves too.

I'm not tender headed but I used to braid my own hair at night to keep tangles at bay when my hair was long, it really worked for us.

Brush her hair before washing to ensure all tangles are truly out. It's better to brush before washing than after, as water can tighten tangles. Brush hair before bed and braid it so she won't wake up so tangled. Then perhaps more ponytails and braids throughout the day to help keep it from getting so tangled.

Other than that, you just need to brush more often. Most hair can't go a day without being brushed.

you dont say how long your daughter's hair is. my daughter at that age would not brush her hair enough and it would get so tangled because it was long. So i threatened to cut off her hair if she continued not to brush it - so she finally began to take catre of it.

She might just need a good haircut - some layering may help.
i am not a fan of leave-in conditioners. Try Suave Sleek look shampoo and matching conditioner. It is a knock off of an expensive brand - in a bright orange bottles. Perhaps less texture and frizz will help decrease tangles.

good luck!

I have heard that a silk pillow case can help cut down on matting during sleep. I have the same problem with my daughter and am about to go buy one. I'll let you know how it works.

I ditto the others on a leave in conditioner. Also if you don't already have one - a wide tooth comb. You can find it at most stores now or a beauty supply store. I've had long hair most of my life and have used one for years.

Good luck!

Sally Beauty Supply - Silk Elements Mega Cholesterol Conditioning Treatment. It's in a cream color tub with a copper top.

It is a leave in conditioner. It works fine right out of the bottle in one of my granddaughter's hair. For the other one, I put it in a spray bottle with water. I use it in my hair so I won't break 1/2 of it off when I brush it since it is waste length & baby fine. I've used it for years and love it.

I had problems with my curly, tangly hair from the time I was very small. I vividly remember yelling, "Ouch!" as my mother brushed my hair into ponytails. After many years and many tears, here are some things that helped me (and now my daughter):

1. Use a paddle brush on the curls, and brush it a MINIMUM of twice a day (morning and evening).
2. Try a salon quality detangler that is NOT a spray, such as Paul Mitchell's "The Detangler" or Biolage's "Detangling Solution."
3. You may need to wash and detangle it every day. If I go longer than that and try to skip a day, I pay for it later. My daughter can go a day or two if need be.
4. Consider braiding it before she goes to bed at night. It worked for the women living on the prairie in past times, and it works for my daughter! (Mine just turned 3, so I have to braid while she wiggles and moves!) I keep mine in a ponytail of sorts while I sleep to help minimize tangles and to keep it out of my face.
5. We do a lot of ponytails, a lot of braids, and before my daughter had enough hair for that, a lot of barrettes and bows.

I hope that helps.

Oh how well I know you and your daughter's pain. I have very naturally curly hair that if allowed to curl mean I have to wash it again to brush it again as it is easier to brush when wet. (In high school I carried around a spray bottle to school for just that reason). My daughter is extremely tender headed, but she only has wavy hair. The best solution for night time that we have come up with to make it easier in the mornings is I put her hair either in a ponytail or a loose braid at night. That way the hair is easier to deal with in the morning. You might also want to try one of the hair items like Biosilk or frizzease serum. Just remember that a little dab will do ya!(My hair is waist length and I used about a half dollar size for my whole head). Think of these product like hair teflon. The hair almost can't get tagled, but if you use too much it can make the hair look greasy so be careful.
I wish you and your little one luck on this.

My daughter is the same way. We have just come to realize she cannot have long hair and keep it at shoulder length . I keep it in a pony tail during the day to cut down knots. At night we brush it out and put it in a braid so it does not get too bad. I have not found a spray on product that works for this very well, but when we wash her hair, I use a ton of conditioner.

Hi there. I feel your pain. My daughter is 4 and has very curly hair (she is biracial). After much money and many trials of products- we finally hit the mother laod with the Pantene spray detangler. It is the saving grace in the mornings as her poor little head gets so tangled and matted when she sleeps. I buy it in 3's now so I can put one bottel in ea bathroom. For her hair, it makes it slippery enough to get through it with a brush but leaves no residue when it dries. Not oily, waxy, or anything.

Good luck.

I have a friend with the same problem. She uses Mane & Tail conditioner at the base of her neck and leaves it in - no more matting. You can buy it at Walgreens in the shampoo aisle or for a little less at Wal-mart in the pet department :-). It's $6 to $8 for 32 oz., depending where you buy it. Smaller sizes are available.
Good luck.

I suggest that you cut her hair to a manageable length....maybe chin length and keep it that way until she is old enough to care for it herself with more diligence. This is not a punishment but just being sensible. A child of only 9 should not have to worry about her hair too much and should focus on playing and growing and learning.

Hi S., I think you and I have the same daughter. Mine is nine and tenderheaded too. She does not want me to brush her hair at all because it hurts (too many tangles). What I have found to work best is use John Frieda Collection shampoo and conditioner. The conditioner is awesome! It makes her hair silky smooth and super easy to comb through. My daughter is a swimmer; therefore, the chlorine makes her hair brittle, but this conditioner I mentioned brings it all back. I call it the miricle conditioner. To help the tangle matter, I braid her hair for school becuase the girls play on the parallel bars and braids keep the dirt and mulch out. I just figure this is a faze she is going through and the braids won't stay in forever. For now, it's fun. We are getting creative with braids. Contact me if you have any other questions or concerns about hair. Blessings to you! Deborah
Oh yes, in the morning, if tangles are too bad and no time for a bath, I have on hand a spritz bottle with water and my miricle conditioner mixed together. I spritz the tangled area and viola!......combs right through. Have a good day.

My youngest has the same problem. I feel your daughter's pain. My daughter would cry at the barbershop so I had to trim her hair at times or bring her in with no tangles before a haircut. I kept my daughter's hair shorter than shoulder length until she was willing to take care of it on her own. I also bought her a special, very soft brush that she picked out at the beauty supply shop. Those kiddy products didn't work for us either. She began using her older sister's hair products that promises to keep your hair super shiny, straight, and protect against heat. These adult ones are much better at controlling knots. But the biggest help was when my daughter began to get old enough to want long hair. She is now 11 and has beautiful, long hair. She has been growing it out and taking care of it for about a year. All is well now. She still has a very sensitive scalp. Good luck.

Hi S.,

I am a hairstylist and see this alot. Especially little girls that want to brush their own hair, (and only brush the top layer and only to their shoulders). At night have you tried to maybe braid it in a low braid so in the morning it is easier to brush through? The nape of the neck from moving it about the day is one of the most common and worst places to get tangles. You can make sure when you wash it to condition it very well, dry hair, and clorinated hair tends to tangle worse. I hate to say it but it is very hard to get rid of tangles completely, will she wear it up in ponytails, or have you thought of cutting it shoulder length. That would eliminate most of the tangles and make it easier to take care of.

good luck

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