View Full Version : How to help my 7yr olds tangles?

June 4th, 2012, 11:37 AM
My DD LOVES her long hair and I want to help her continue to growing it....but we have a problem..TANGLES.

We use conventional S&C and no leave in conditioner, and use a big paddle brush every morning to brush out the nest that created while sleeping...

Im open to buying her better products for her hair, but they need to be easily accessible ( i.e. no 2 week shipping $30 shampoo ;) )

Is there a product that would be better to help her with tangles like a deep conditioner or leave in?

and one more problem...she INSISTS on wearing it in a pony..every.single.day.
This is causing obvious breakage ...is there something that I can get for her that will allow me to put her hair up for her and avoid the elastic breakage?

Thanks so much for your help!! I am of NO help to this child...I sport a pixie 99% of the time :)

June 4th, 2012, 11:45 AM
my advice firstly would be to reduce tangles by braiding overnight, any typle of braid you can do will help to reduce the amount of tangles and therefore the amount of breakage when brushing.

For detangling, try to use a combination of finger combing and a tangle teezer brush (they are brilliant).

I personally don't use shampoo, I use conditioner only to wash my hair - apply conditioner all over head, leave a few minutes, massage well and rinse. you can also then apply more conditioner (normal cheap conditioner works well) as a leave in.

If she loves ponytails maybe try to just vary the position, high pony one day, lower the next etc. You could try showing her pictures of pretty braided/bunned hairstyles to see if she fancies a change (if you are prepared to learn how to do the styles for her of course)

June 4th, 2012, 11:53 AM
You might want to try either coconut oil or some kind of spray detangler ( I remember the L'oreal for kids one working well), both should be in the supermarket (tho the coconut oil might be in the ethnic cooking section).

Also check out some Youtube hairstylers, these are probably the best for little girls:

June 4th, 2012, 11:54 AM
When my hair was growing out (before I found LHC), I wore my hair down all the time. I got terrible, dready tangles. This was before I gave up cones, and I used to use a kid's spray detangler to get a brush through my hair. Worked like a charm. I CO now, so I can't use it anymore, but there are days I miss it!

Something like this (http://www.drugstore.com/johnsons-no-more-tangles-detangler-spray/qxp14462). I also second a Tangle Teazer.

June 4th, 2012, 11:55 AM
I will most definately try to talk her into a loose braid. Her hair is VERY VERY thick..my finger tip and thumb barely touch when in a pony tail and her length is to the middle of her back, so its a heavy pony as well. Ive been doing her hair into 2 low braided "pig tails" or little house on the prairie style braids.

If we go to just conditioning instead of shampooing and conditioning will her scalp go through an adjustment period as well like an adults would with the oil...though I dont shampoo her hair but 1-2 times a week anyways, it doesnt seem "oily" then either.

June 4th, 2012, 11:57 AM
It may or may not, everyone is different, but she probably hasn't properly started sebum production yet.

June 4th, 2012, 12:02 PM
Indeed let her sleep with two pigtail braids.

Let her sleep on a silk pillowcase maybe even. We, and kids even more, move around a lot in our sleep which can cause tangles.

Get a Tangle Teezer, a GREAT brush! Start brushing at the ends and slowly move up to the roots. Never start at the top, the knots will only pile up.

Use a leave in. Like a bit of leave in conditioner. Or a few drops of oil.

Find out if her hair may need protein or moisture. An overload of either can cause tangles. There are articles about that on this website.

Good luck! :)

June 4th, 2012, 12:05 PM
Going CO has reduced my tangles a little bit, but not much. Other than the spray I mentioned before, the only thing that has really helped is trimming any split ends so they don't catch on other hairs, and a catnip rinse. Catnip gives my hair slip, which it desperately needs. Even so, my hair knots up. Some of us just have knotty hair! Mine has been this way since I was a young child.

I will most definately try to talk her into a loose braid. Her hair is VERY VERY thick..my finger tip and thumb barely touch when in a pony tail and her length is to the middle of her back, so its a heavy pony as well. Ive been doing her hair into 2 low braided "pig tails" or little house on the prairie style braids.

If we go to just conditioning instead of shampooing and conditioning will her scalp go through an adjustment period as well like an adults would with the oil...though I dont shampoo her hair but 1-2 times a week anyways, it doesnt seem "oily" then either.

June 4th, 2012, 12:06 PM
When I was a kid, if we had tangles, my Mom used detangling spray. My mom made sure to avoid tangles in our hair by using a leave in conditioner after our baths/showers, braiding our hair and using a satin/silk sleeping cap. She made it fun for us as a kid, because we got to decorate our caps which encouraged us to actually wear them. You could also try using a Tangle Teezer. I absolutely love mine.

June 4th, 2012, 12:09 PM
Switching to CO has practically got rid of all my tangles so i would definitly give it a go, I'm sure you will find that having her sleep in a braid will make a massive difference so I would say if you are going to start with one thing, that would be it.

June 4th, 2012, 12:10 PM
Maybe for prevention? If she loves pony tails so much, I bet there is a fair chance that she will love these as well http://www.hairtwisters.com/ Her hair will still have to be put up into a pony, but at least there will be a lot less tangles!

June 4th, 2012, 12:11 PM
My DD is in the same boat except she is much younger. So last weekend when I took her for a cut to a local kids salon, I was chatting with the lady and she suggested I condition her hair every other day and wash it once a week. She also suggested to do a deep condition every now and then and it seems to be helping. Also olive oil helps. She wears her hair down with two pigg ytails every single day and doesn't want anything to do with braids. But she loves her hair and I love it even more. It is coarse and needs more frequent conditioning. Also she told me to use adult conditioner on her and not kids one as that is not moisturizing enough for her.

By the way kids don't produce sebum until they hit puberty, that is what a couple of stylists told me. However it also depends on texture of their hair. Some have normal and some have coarse dry.

June 4th, 2012, 12:30 PM
A spray-on detangler is a must!

June 4th, 2012, 12:52 PM
I use spray in detangle wide tooth comb and work the tangles out combo finger and wide tooth comb and after tangles are broke apart comb with wide tooth comb.

June 4th, 2012, 12:56 PM
At 7, she's old enough to learn to do her own hair. (really, if you start a kid off on a pixie or bob, they can learn around 3 or 4) Chances are if you ask, she can tell you what she likes about ponytails, and we can help her find other styles that give the look she wants while being gentler on her hair. Some of them may well be easier for her to do herself than a ponytail too.

For me as a kid, a ponytail meant that my hair was out of my face. Even with a short cut, hair still gets in my face, and I hate it. So as soon as I figured out that there were other options, I used them.

I'm really klutzy, and I have a tough time learning fine motor skills. I ended up completely reteaching myself how to write, and I didn't learn to knit or crochet til I was an adult... but I still learned to do simple hair styles as a kid. As long as she gets lots of support and encouragement from you, she'll learn too :).

Also, if her hair is really thick, she may actually view ponytail breakage as a feature, not a bug. Thinner hair can be a good deal easier to style, and a lot of times people really like the look of a sleek hairstyle with bits of hair floating around the face.

heidi w.
June 4th, 2012, 01:03 PM
For kids and parents of young kids, I heartily recommend using a detangling spray while Combing out the hair. I would not recommend a brush, even on a very little kid. Keep in mind that at age 7, her hair is in process of changing still from childhood hair which tends to be super fine, and often, somewhat fluffyish.

Her early adult hair will be more set when she is closer to age 10.

Use a wide-tooth comb or teeth that are set wide enough apart to get through the hair. With a detangling spray, you should have an easier time detangling the hair while damp, not fully wet.

Wet hair is fully stretched and fully swelled in diameter, and it's easier while detangling this soaking wet hair to break or snap a hair off. Start at the bottom, not the top, too.

Less to no tears, less time for Mom or Dad, and on witih the day. The goal is to teach someone that longer hair is fun, not a pain in the head.

Good Luck,
heidi w.

June 4th, 2012, 01:12 PM
My little sister is around your daughter's age. Her hair is just past her waist. She braids her hair nightly to prevent tangles while she sleeps.
But she also likes to only wear pony tails during the day and her hair tangles. I'll look into a tangle teaser.

June 4th, 2012, 01:37 PM
Thanks for posting this question! My daughter is 10 and in the same boat with tangles. I leave her conditioner in for 30 mins+ once a week for a deep conditioning treatment (I usually grease her up and put it under a cap and we watch something on TV). I use a little meadowfoam seed oil or olive on her hair. Her hair is dry but fine. And I just bought some Pantene de-tangling spray. I'd stopped deep conditioning her hair and oiling it and the tangles were out of control again. She slept with it in a pony and said that helped too. I've been reading and re-reading all the advice so I can fix my child too. Thanks for all the advice! :D

June 4th, 2012, 02:36 PM
I second the suggestion of a tangle teezer, it's an amazing detangler brush that glides through even the tangliest of hair.

What's her hairtype like? Is it straight, wavy or curly, because you need to take that into account if you want to establish some kind of routine with her.

For the pony, I suggest getting elastics without metal in them, they're called --I believe-- ouchless elastics by Goody. But then still, you need to be careful in how you position the pony. Try a high ponytail one day, a low one the next, pigtails the third day. Try and switch it up some.

For shampooing and conditioning, I suggest conditioning twice after washing. This has the same effect as a deep treatment mask and will smooth her hair out more. I would still use a leave-in afterwards; I do.

June 4th, 2012, 05:26 PM
definitely a good detangler spray. Personally, I like Mane n Tail's detangler. it can be a slip hazard if it gets on the bathroom floor, but it works well. Braiding at night definitely helps reduce tangles too!

June 4th, 2012, 06:14 PM
I made a pony scrunchie for myself out of satin fabric. If she insists on her ponytail, and least it wont become a crazy nest with satin scrunchies.

my husband insists on his ponytails as well....only thing is...there is no way to make a scrunchie look manly! LOL

If she likes buns, then you can also try spin pins and flexi-8's...although at that point, she has to be mindful to not loose these!!

June 4th, 2012, 06:21 PM
I don't know if this was asked already....but is her hair curly or straight?

June 4th, 2012, 09:49 PM
I definitely suggest a detangling spray. There was a great one I used back in the day, but the name escapes me. No more tears? Something like that?

June 4th, 2012, 10:10 PM
Mineral oil! Johnson's baby oil, just a drop or two, rubbed in your hands and then stroked through her damp hair (start at the bottom and work our way up). Best detangler there is.

Definitely invest in a satin pillowcase for her.

A very wide tooth comb is a must, and you can forego the brush.

Teach her to wash just her scalp, and not pile her hair on the top of her head to wash.

Super slick conditioner - Pantene Ice Shine is pretty damn good, give lots of slip.

June 4th, 2012, 11:05 PM
The kids in my family have always hated wide tooth combs. I find that brushes tend to pull evenly on all the strands, while wide tooth combs glide through untangled hair and snag painfully on tangles, even when you go slow. I used a cushioned paddlebrush until I found my tangle teezer, which I miss dearly.

June 5th, 2012, 01:34 AM
My daughter has insanely tangly hair too...it is somewhat better now that a) it's shorter and b) she's old enough to brush it herself (she's 10)... but what I always found helped was using plenty of conditioner and letting it soak in (I would only use cheap conditioner because she has thick hair and requires a LOT) before rinsing.

Definitely keep her hair braided overnight!!! My DD even with shoulder length hair will get dreadful tangles overnight if it's not braided!

I don't find ponytailing THAT bad as long as those snagless elastics are used. If she's really set on ponytails you may just have to be careful when doing them, and perhaps vary the height you do them at (some higher, some lower).

June 5th, 2012, 06:00 PM
OK...here goes. I have fine hair, which tangles easily.
some suggestions, if you want them:
No brush, only a wide tooth comb.Comb it before washing, and after washing, and always spray with a detangler first. Use your fingers first to detangle,and add more spray if necessary and if all else fails,trim the knot out.Use a Turbie twist for drying and don't rub hair vigorously.
Yes, use a regular conditioner every time you wash, AND use an intense conditioner weekly.(that is when I also do a clarifying rinse with VO5 Lime Squeeze conditioner)Stay away from blowfrying and flat irons.
Braiding sounds good.
Use only hair safe hair bands and barettes.
Give her microtrims regularly to cut off all split ends.

June 5th, 2012, 11:33 PM
What I find works really well for my girls is to wet, condition, apply leave in then braid nightly. The Goody Ouchless brush is definitely much more gentle on the hair and most Walmarts carry it. For leave in we use a small amount of regular conditioner. As for the ponytail...my daughter is going through that same phase right now. Try looking for scrunch is or cloth hair ties in the store or search etsy for 'hair ties'. There are lots on there that are made of much gentler elastic and come in cool colors and prints. Good luck!

June 6th, 2012, 12:24 AM
Didn't read the whole thread.

I agree with putting the hair away at night.

And I would never ever try and detangle with a brush. I highly recommend finger combing. Or you can teach her to finger comb in the shower while the ends are soaked in conditioner if you have really nasty tangles.