The moment you become a mother, your world becomes all about your baby – everything you do is about how to keep your baby healthy and happy. When it comes to the good health of your little one, you need to make sure that that you keep in mind his or her hair as well. The hair of children, infants as well as toddlers are different as compared to adults, which is why the care required for them is also different.
Here are some of the things you need to keep in mind, while handling the hair of your child:
Shampoo : Your child’s hair will also get dirty, which means that you will have to wash it on a regular basis. As is the case, with adults, the hair of children also should ideally be washed twice to thrice a week, or as per need. Choose a shampoo that is meant for children, because if you use your shampoo for your child, you are exposing him or her to stronger chemicals as well as the possibility of their eyes burning or getting irritated. Adult shampoos tend to dry hair out much more, but since adults tend to use conditioners and other styling products, the dryness is compensated. However, the same might not happen with children, which is why it is crucial that a specific shampoo be used.
Babies need to have their hair washed only once or twice a week, while older children might need it more. If your child has dry hair, make sure that you oil it first, ideally with olive or coconut oil, which can be warmed a little first. The oil will not only hydrate the hair, but also nourish it, allowing it to grow longer.
There are also situations, where children are not comfortable with their hair getting washed or shampooed. You can do something to distract your child, by either singing a song or telling a story. Many a times, a simple bath toy might be enough to take your child’s attention away for a few minutes. Alternately, you could give your child a doll, allowing your child to give the doll a bath, including shampooing the hair. Invest in shampoos that have special smells or foam up rather generously or even feature your child’s favourite cartoon character!
The manner in which the shampoo is used is also important – you have to remember that the shampoo will go a long way, which is why you need to take only a small amount. Pat the shampoo through the hair, instead of scrunching the hair up. This will reduce the chances of the hair getting tangled. In addition, use shampoo only if the hair is really dirty, because most times, toddler hair becomes clean with only water. Once you have shampooed, make sure that you rinse the hair thoroughly, because even the smallest amount of shampoo residue could lead to scalp infections or other problems. Additionally, any shampoo residue could lead to the hair becoming dirtier, allowing grime to stick to the hair and scalp.
Combing: Before you even think of washing your child’s hair, you need to make sure that the hair is completely untangled. Ideally, you should start with your hands, by running your fingers through the length of the hair, slowly and gently removing the tangles. Next, you could use a wide toothed comb or a paddle brush, using which you should work your way up from the tips of the hair. This means that you should remove the tangles at the base of the hair, and then move upwards, slowly removing all the tangles. Normally, it is the hair at the nape of the neck that tend to get more tangled, which is why you should pay special attention to the same.
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It would be best that you not use metal brushes, or combs that have minimal spacing, as these would end up hurting your little one. It would also make sense to not use any styling tools on your child’s hair, as the heat could causes severe damage. If there are still snarls in the hair that you are unable to remove, do not wet the hair, because that will only make the condition worse. Use some hair conditioner or even a gentle spray detangler and work the snarls out slowly. You could hold the hair at the scalp, while removing the tangles, as this will not hurt the child. In case your child has hair that tends to tangle really easy, it might be a good idea to get the hair trimmed regularly, so that the length is always manageable.
Haircuts and trims: As is the case with adults, regular haircuts and trims are important for children too, and it would be wise to find a salon that specialises in cutting children’s hair. Taking your child to your salon might not make sense, because neither will the staff have the precise know-how about how to cut a child’s hair, nor will they have the required tools to do the same. There are plenty of places, which ensure that your child will have a hassle free haircut. If it is your child’s first haircut, it would be a good idea to take him or her with your, when you are getting your hair cut. This will show that there is no pain involved and really nothing to worry about. Allow them to have fun on the swivel chairs or spray bottles, so that they see the salon as a fun place to be.
Schedule the haircut at a time, when your child is least likely to be cranky, which would normally be post a nap. Ask for a member of the staff, who is extremely comfortable with children and has done several haircuts previously. Even if your child does get fidgety or nervous, tell the stylist beforehand and not in front of the child, because it will make him or her all the more nervous. Bring along a book or toy that your child loves, because that will aid you in distracting your child. Make sure that your child is able to see himself or herself in the mirror at all times, because this will allow them to witness the entire process.
In the next article, we will continue to look at some of the other aspects of taking care of your child’s hair.