Whether your toddler has a head full of hair or just a mass of fine down on their scalp, you will have to care for it in order to keep their scalp healthy and clean. Most babies and toddlers don’t care for having their hair washed or messed with. In fact, it can be a downright nightmare for some parents.
So here are some tips for caring for your toddler’s hair with a minimum of fuss to save both of you on the anxiety and struggles.
- Brushing helps to bring oil up to the surface of the scalp and it can be a great way to help your child’s hair comfort if they have very dry hair
- Never brush wet hair, use a wide tooth comb to pull it through the hair gently and separate the tangles, avoid tugging hard which can cause tears and pain
- The catch phrase for hair care products for your toddler should be ‘gentle, gentle, gentle’ from the brushes to the shampoos to the conditioner
- For very curly hair or thick hair, conditioner is key to keeping the tangles down and brushing easier
- Don’t wash their hair unless they need it to be washed, their oil glands in the scalp are not that functional and you can dry out their head and hair
- Never use your own brushes or hair care products on your toddler, make sure they have their own dedicated set
- Make bath time fun and if they hate having water over their eyes, get a little visor to help shield their eyes, as a toddler my daughter loved the visor and never argued over having her hair washed
Babies and toddlers can develop scales on their scalps that may develop from going to sleep on damp hair or from shedding skin. They call it cradle cap or even mild dandruff. Don’t pick the scales off – take your time and gently massage their hair and head when washing to help loosen it and it will fall off naturally. Be sure to rinse their hair clean every time and to let it dry thoroughly before they go to sleep.
It may be that you need to avoid baths and hair washing near sleep times in order to prevent this. If it continues and does not seem to go away, talk to your pediatrician about other potential causes and care for it.
How did you manage your toddler’s hair?