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Tips for Taming Toddler Tangles

I don’t know how people combed little girls’ hair before there was screentime, but I’m assuming it was some kind of witchcraft or threat of death. Even with distractions and bribes, I’ve quickly discovered my little wiggler’s fine, curly locks are an absolute war to untangle – and she’s allied with the enemy. That enemy is the dreaded rats nest which quickly latches onto other teeny tiny fishermen’s knots and becomes a mat of hair that sometimes looks like I should take her to our groomer instead of my hair dresser. Did I mention she’s terrified of getting it cut? Seriously, if I wasn’t in love with those red ringlets I’d shave her head.

Tangled Curly Hair

It’s funny, too, that she doesn’t seem to mind running head first into things, but a comb touching her scalp is agony. 

Tips and Tricks to End the Suffering

I’ve had to try my fair share of tips and tricks, and here’s what has worked for me:

  • De-tangling spray. Walmart has a kind for a dollar that smells fantastic and has cute cartoon on it. It works. I’ve also tried coconut oil and conditioner, but they were too greasy for me and did not work as well. 
  • Do NOT use a brush. This is especially true for curly hair. Just pulling it back can cause damage too.
  • No tears shampoo is not what you think it is….
  • Even if it seems easier, don’t brush it when it’s wet. It will break and over time make this hair debacle worse. 
  • And finally, every kind of hair is different, so research and try until you find a way that works for you. 

How to Work Out Hair Knots (While Keeping Your Child Unaware of What’s Happening)

  1. Use a fine tooth comb, preferably plastic, that does not bend. 
  2. Begin with sections that are less tangled. 
  3. At knotted areas, apply sprits of detangle spray to dry hair just before working with that spot.
  4. Try to pull the area apart, not away from the head at all!
  5. Once it’s separated, gently glide one knot further from the scalp with the comb.
  6. When the comb begins to stick, pinch the hair just above the tangle, tighly, but don’t pull the hair.
  7. With your other hand, pick the knot out with the comb. You holding the hair stiff higher up and not letting it move in your fingers will keep the scalp from being effected. They won’t feel it.
  8. Repeat until finished with honest encouragement so they know how long it will take. Have something for them to do during this time, preferably something special. It is the slow way at first, but you will get faster at it in no time, and it should get less tangled. 
  9. If all else fails, use your fingers. And remember, pull apart not away!
  10. Most importantly, always squeeze the hair and combing below that point keeps the comb from pulling at the scalp. If you rush and pull, it will be a fight. 

Tips for Taming Toddler Tangles | Columbia SC Moms BlogGot a child with hair prone to tangles? What has worked for you?

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