This post was inspired by the never-ending battle I’ve been fighting to deal with my child’s ultra-long hair. She refuses to cut it or even have it trimmed, which means the ends are brittle, and it is so long that is gets tangled if it is loose for longer than 30 seconds. The Brothers Grimm have a lot to answer for. When they came up with their silly Rapunzel story they had obviously never had to brush and maintain a stubborn six year old’s waist-length hair. Else they would have realised that they were sowing the seeds of despair.
If you’re a grown-up with very long hair you know what I’m talking about. It takes a lot of maintenance. I had long hair myself for years and as an adult you know that you need the right products, regular trims, and you put the work in required to style it. Moms will know that it isn’t as simple when your child refuses to cooperate in any way. Most people will realise this problem is easily solved by taking your kid to the hair salon and letting them cut it properly. Or even trimming it yourself if you have the skills (I don’t). It’s a whole other story when your child starts screaming at the thought of a centimeter of her “magic hair” being cut off.
Here is how I have finally, finally got my child’s matted, tangled bird’s nest under control.
I’ve tried a lot of shampoos, and our ultimate discovery has been Shampooheads. Developed in conjunction with Dr. Miriam Stoppard (who I had no idea had anything to do with toiletries, but you learn new things every day) these products are happiness in a bottle for both moms and kids. Shampooheads works as well as the salon brands I’ve been resorting to, but with strawberry and fruity scents that appeal much more to kids, and most importantly the no-tears formula doesn’t cause drama if it gets in their eyes.
The packaging is really cute and kid-friendly (with handy pump dispenser), the products are not tested on animals and the shampoo/conditioner doubles as a body wash so the ingredients are gentle and pH balanced. We have the Raging Rosie Shampoo, Conditioner & Body Wash which smells like strawberries and contains guar extract from guar beans. I have never heard of these magic beans before, but apparently it coats the hair with a protective shield that makes combing easier – and it seriously, honestly does. I usually comb through some Joico Intense Hydrator afterwards just because Moo’s hair is very dry, but even without it her hair doesn’t turn into a tangle fest. Just soft and shiny.
We also have the Awesome Annie Detangler, which is a heat protectant detangling spray. This is the first time I’ve found a proper heat protectant aimed at kids, and it makes the world of difference when blow drying. Even if I let her hair air dry, which I often do, this makes brushing a breeze and leaves her hair absolutely glossy. Oh, and it smells like tropical fruit. All Shampoo heads products are only R59,95 which is incredible value for the results, and are available ;]at selected Clicks.
What makes this combination of Shampooheads products feel like a miracle is that they are fun and appealing to Moo which makes hair washing something to look forward to. We both love them because hair brushing is finally easy and pain-free. Which leads me to tip number two…
Get a really good detangling brush and brush your child’s hair twice a day, morning and night. No skipping. Tangle Teezer does really cute flower pot ones (R260) which would appeal to kids and are small enough to fit in little hands. Lately we have been using the Tangle Angle, and according to Moo it “hurts less” than the Tangle Teezer. I prefer the hardier bristles of the Tangle Angel and the fact the brush has a handle (I know Tangle Teezer also does one with a handle as well). It also has a pretty big brush head which can do my short hair in about four strokes, and Moo’s super long hair more quickly and easily than a Tangle Teezer. Tangle Angel has a variety of brushes for different hair types such as very coarse hair, and believe it not, pet hair. They’re heat resistant and anti static, so good for simple blow drying, and the bristles are anti-bacterial. You can buy them from Retail Box for between R260 and R290.
My last tip is weird, but then again so is my child. She absolutely loves filling up an oval-shaped bucket in the shower and squeezing into it. It keeps her entertained (and contained!) while I wash her hair. Might be worth a try… Good luck, mom-stylists!