Keeping Knots, Aka Rats Nest, Out of Long Hair!

Updated on April 05, 2012
S.B. asks from Kiowa, CO
13 answers

My 5yo daughter is adamant she does NOT want short hair but we have major issues keeping knots out of her hair. If I ponytail it, the knots are horrible around the band area, straight, knots everywhere, braided, isnt too bad. Also once the knots are present best way to get the out? Any products, brushes or combs that you have found to help? Thanks.
Opps. Thanks for the tip of hair type. She has straight, thinner (med-thin), lower part of her back length hair.

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So What Happened?

I bought the boars hair brush! What a DRAMATIC AWESOME difference! Everyone should have one! Thank you, thank you all. I did buy the leave in condition and that is also helping and I have been braiding more.

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answers from Honolulu on

1) Get this brush:
It is well worth the price. It works. My daughter has it.

2) Use a leave in hair serum or conditioner. Garnier Fructis, is the brand I like. Good stuff.

3) Use a satin pillow case for her

4) TRIM her hair REGULARLY. Because, dry ends and split-ends, makes the hair, tangle a LOT more.

5) Do not shampoo her hair everyday. That will dry it out, and this makes it tangle more.

6) After shampooing, do NOT rub her hair with a towel. Blot it.... and dry it. Rubbing the hair roughly while wet, makes the hair worse and tangle more.

7) If I were you, I would cut her hair. To a more manageable length. Tell her... that some girls, get all kinds of gross gunk on their hair being that long. And when sitting down, it does touch the seat etc. And some kids get head lice.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Sherman on

we had this problem as children.
My sister needed her hair brushed and braided each night before bed.

some leave in conditioners can help with tangles. we also used to use a boar hair brush instead of the plastic kind. (if you cant find one, try looking in a pet store) Always brush from the bottom up, never comb from the head down untill all tangles are gone.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Huntsville on

We sometimes use Suave's kid detangling spray. Also, as K R said, start brushing from near the ends. Get the tangles out of the ends, and then move up a little at a time until you can brush from the top of the head down with no tangles.

Also, I sometimes put my daughter's hair up into 2 pig tails instead of 1 pony tail. Her hair falls out of the 1 pony tail easily, leaving it to get tangled or get food in it! Or, sometimes I pull the top section of her hair back into a band, then add in the mid section of hair to it into another band, and then finally all of it into a 3rd band, so you have 3 bands going down the back of her head in the center.

One thing we need to do is to brush & put her hair up at night before she goes to bed. When I remember to do this, it's much easier to fix it in the morning!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

What kind of hair does she have? It REALLY changes you answers on how to deal this it if she's got straight v curly hair, or baby fine v coarse.

If she has curly hair, for example, brushing it dry will MAKE it tangle and knotted, but if she has straight hair the products that keep curls light/ bouncy/ tangle free will make it heavy / sticky/ tangled. There is no 'one' trick. They all depend on hair type.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

My daughter is 5 and has hair down to her bottom. I use kids detangling spray for her hair to help comb the rats out. Whenever a rat is extra thick or stubborn, I spray more on it, it combs out smoothly without too much fuss. I also use a wide plastic brush with rubber tips and when I push on them they have to have a very cushiony or airy feel to them.
At night I brush out her hair and do a braid from the nap of the neck down. During the day it just depends on what she wants for a hairstyle or the type of outfit she is wearing. Also, I am very picky with the rubberbands and hair clips I do put in her hair. The rubber bands have to be cloth and thicker with elastic inside and no metal to hold the ends together, it has to be stuck together without metal. The clips have to not have edges that pull her hair.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I braid every single french braid down her back or two like pigtails. She sleeps in these braids and I only take them out and brush out her hair in the mornings to re-braid it.

I even braid her hair after washing it for her to sleep. (Oh we only wash it every three days, unless she plays in sand or gets food, etc in it).

No pony's and I never let her wear it down.

I use tons of conditioner on her hair from the neck down to the ends and occasionally use detangler.

My daughter's hair is the same type as your daughters. Good luck!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My granddaughter has this problem. She uses a spray on detangler. Spraying with water also helps.

As K.R said brush the ends and work your way up also helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Condition her hair regularly so it's smooth. We brushed SD's hair out every night after her bath (or just for bed) and braided it. If she wanted long hair, it had to be maintained. Get a detangler (we use Suave) and get out the knots even if it's 2x a day. Will save you from a huge knot later. I used to wonder how little girls always ended up with weird hair and it's just from being active. You can also try another type of hairband. Thicker may be better. Try a scrunchie vs a small, thin one. I agree with the curls - DD does better when her hair is conditioned and not brushed much. Brushing when dry makes frizz.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

How long is long?
Shoulder? Mid back? Is it down to her behind?
(Mine is mid back level).
Knot/tangle prevention is your best bet.
Braid braid braid!
Not too tightly, but it will help keep it all under control.

Not sure a 5 yr old will like it, but it makes it super easy/fast to get your hair up.
I LOVE African Butterfly hair clips!
I keep my hair braided at night and in the morning I have it up off my neck in 3 minutes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

You got great advice here. My 4 yo has incredibly long and thick hair that she LOVES. She is absolutely not going to cut it. We wash it every 2 or 3 days, and condition it as well. We use johnson and johnson no more tangles spray on it when brushing in the mornings, as well as a water spray bottle to wet it when brushing.

We also use the garnier fructis leave in conditioner. And they have a hair defrizzing serum which is really nice, and leaves her hair looking pretty.

She bathes at night, and we often braid it loosely before bed, with it wet, and it is smooth as silk in the mornings.

We have had tons of hair battles as well!!! These tips work!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

use a better conditioner - her hair probably needs a more heavy conditioner on the ends - NOT on the scalp. When you condition her hair gather it like a pony and only condition what would be "hanging down" aka the shaft of the hair. I like to take some conditioner and mix it with hot water to kind of "melt" it and shake that up into a spray bottle and spray my hair with it after a shower for leave in. Dry hair tends to tangle and break into split ends, healthy shiney well conditioned hair does not tangle.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I give my daughter a bath at night, comb her hair with a pick while the conditioner is still in, rinse, braid and put her in a nylon do-rag for the night :D

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Billings on

my 4 yr just got her first hair cut. It is still down to her butt. We just cut off the broken ends and damaged stuff. It brushes soo much nicer now! They took off an inch on the ends. I didn't think that was too bad for 4 yrs lol!

We also braid at night. I also started using my conditioner and that helps a ton!!! I try to never brush it dry. I bought a spray bottle and use it whenever we need to brush it.

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