Toddler with a mass of long curly hair advice please

(55 Posts)
sedgieloo Fri 07-Dec-12 21:41:24

Dd is 25 months. She has tons and tons of thick hair
Two problems, I need slides strong enough to keep the hair out of her face, and dealing with the tangles.

Her hair is more than halfway down her back when wet. Dry it is but below shoulder length and a mass of curls. First layer wavy then under this falling in ringlets. The very underneath it is tight corkscrew curls. It is soft and fine but enough hair for two or three children. Brushed out it is huge. Constant compliments its a gorgeous nightmare.

Can you picture it. Very difficult to plait unless wet as it goes all lumpy plus I have to bribe her to get her to keep still. The clips I had been using aren't holding. The bend to snap shut type. These have been great until now but her hair is now too heavy I need about six of them in the front and they no longer stay. Alice Bands are not working, kids ones fall out even if i secure with slides. Plus the tangles are constant it needs teasing/brushing morning and night and she hates it. When I brush out the tangles it goes frizzy maybe it's damaged hair there.

Any advice, products or accessories. I shampoo and condition and brush before washing and when conditioning. Also have a tangle tease comb. Thinking serum or leave in conditioner? Quick fix ideas are great I have a newborn at that ' don't put me down' stage!!

TeaBrick Fri 07-Dec-12 21:45:39

Could you cut it until she's a bit older? Or google the curly girl method, which is brilliant for curly hair.

MadSleighLady Fri 07-Dec-12 21:49:08

Hm. One suggestion is don't brush, just comb (and only that once a day or when it's wet). I have similar-ish sounding hair, and brushing makes it foof up to about twice the size - basically, it goes frizzy when you mess with it. It doesn't need to be 100% tangle free all the time, so long as it's not solidifying into dreads.

Styles, the only thing that works for me on a bad day is a claw clip or a quick twisty bun, but I guess those are not really suitable for 25mo. Could you look for bigger/adult versions of what you use? Snap clips are useless on me too, I need proper hairpins. And barrette (sp?) clips have to be huge to cope with the volume of hair.

sedgieloo Fri 07-Dec-12 21:49:25

I have big hair myself tho not so curly and find the shorter it is the more it bushes out and she cant bear it in her face, so I have dismisses cutting it for now but if it would help I would do it.

Tried to read about this curly girl thing but did not understand it, I will loom again, thanks

fififolle Fri 07-Dec-12 21:50:42

I've got one of these... but he's 2.5yrs. Beautiful, uncut tight ringlets. We use a tangle teezer on wet hair with conditioner left in. On alternate days I use the johnsons tangle spray. I use a baby shampoo on him then leave in the coniditioner- any one really but sometimes use an Afro one. He now asks for Moroccan oil in it post brushing blush!

mrscrimbobash Fri 07-Dec-12 21:51:06

My DD is now 3 and has the same type of hair.

She now gets her hair layered by my friend who is a hairdresser as it takes some of the weight out of her hair without losing it's loveliness.

We used Johnson's leave in conditioner because in intense heat or intense cold her hair goes frizzy.

Accessories wise, it is a nightmare. We put her hair in a pony tail which keeps the majority out of her face apart from her 'bangs' at the front. We do put clips in, they do go AWOL. I don't get her expensive ones anymore grin

MadSleighLady Fri 07-Dec-12 21:51:10

Yy to the curly method! I'd be wary of cutting it short as a solution though. My mum did this to me and it just made it spring up like a giant frizzy bush sad

If you don't want to have any cut off the length then you could ask hairdresser to thin it out slightly so will be more eatable in terms of styling and combing. Long hair is heavy too so this would make it lighter.

Have you tried the leave in conditioners for children's hair, and also using a tangle teezer?

Ds (27 months) has lots of curly hair, it is normally past his shoulders when straight but bounces up when wet. In the mornings I spray with water then put some baby oil on my hands and use it like a serum and hair is more manageable and less frizzy.

sedgieloo Fri 07-Dec-12 21:54:53

Madsleigh, yes I will look for bigger versions of these clips. I like them as there is nothing for hair to catch on. Although m using largish ones, I don't think I've seen larger. Hopefully they exist. Not sure where to shop for that.

I found if I don't comb out the tangles ASAP they jut build into a bigger ball. You might not find this but guessing you don't rub food through your hair at mealtimes. This seems to exacerbate the problem :D

MadSleighLady Fri 07-Dec-12 21:56:33

Ah, no I don't unless veh drunk grin

AmberLeaf Fri 07-Dec-12 21:58:41

Be careful of cutting it, a blunt cut will give her a wizadora shaped head and layers can go very wrong with curly hair!

Can you do two french plaits either side?

I brush my hair when dry just before washing, sometimes when conditioner is in too.

Have a look here

Do you live in or near a major city? if there are any black hair care product shops you will find leave in products there that would be good for curly hair, if so look out for 'organic root stimulator-Olive oil' products.

MadSleighLady Fri 07-Dec-12 22:04:33

Yes, most hairdressers don't seem to do layers right in my hair. They expect it to behave like straight hair. Layers don't "give it more movement", they just stick out sideways because they're not weighed down.

sedgieloo Fri 07-Dec-12 22:07:04

Thanks amber. Wow a curl forum. I live in the not very cosmopolitan southwest but do have some friends I can ask for product recs.

Will talk to my hair stylist about thinning it then. He is good with my long thick hair so hopefully can help.

I need this leave in detangler for kids. Johnsons? I will order online, not getting into town much on account of newborn and horrid weather. Someone in a cafe told me about dry detangling spray for between washes but did not know a name. Anyone used it?

TeaBrick Fri 07-Dec-12 22:13:25

It's really worth persevering with the CG method and curly forum to find something that'll suit your daughter's hair. My hair is transformed after using products that suit it smile

ScienceRocks Fri 07-Dec-12 22:17:33

My DDs both have hair like this. I use adult shampoos and conditioners for them (they are 2 and 6), plus frizz ease serum after washing, and they have Mason Pearson hairbrushes that I use after spraying on Aussie leave in conditioner. Then I plait or do a coiled bun. This recipe means that both have beautifully soft hair in great condition, which means it can occasionally be left down with just a hair band in for a special occasion.

I think you have to try a few product combinations and see what works best for your DD.

DD has hair like this, we only comb it when wet, never dry, don't use shampoo only conditioner. Where clips failed we used to put a little plait in the front of her hair, it kept the hair out of her face. Now she is at school we wash it on Sunday evenings and comb it through with lots of conditioner before rinsing and French plaiting, it lasts until friday and she wears it down on Saturday. The screaming sobbing snot filled 20 minutes needed to deal with knots in the mornings is so not worth the hassle of loose hair.

GlaikingAroundTheChristmasTree Fri 07-Dec-12 22:29:13

Would a shark tooth hairband work? I used to wear these when younger because I have an odd shaped head that Alice bands won't stay on.

I can't find one right now to link to but I see footballers wearing them all the time now.

fififolle Fri 07-Dec-12 22:31:35

detangle spray
tangle teezer
chat to her lots as you're brushing it through and she won't notice the tangles.
My mum used to tell me "beauty is painful" as she brushed my tangly curls in the pre tangle teezer days, which prompted my to say at 5ys after being prettied for a party "Mummy, I look so beautiful it hurts'"! Xx

GlaikingAroundTheChristmasTree Fri 07-Dec-12 22:33:54
Micha54178 Fri 07-Dec-12 22:42:48

The only thing I have found that works on dd's curls is Aussie shampoo and conditioner for dry hair, before that it was a screaming fit every time we brushed her hair.

DaySleeper Fri 07-Dec-12 22:45:26

My 4 yo DD the same- masses of super curly hair and also very fine hair. The only thing that works is expensive but after a lot of experimentation is Neals Yard Nurturing Rose Conditioner, here

As soon as i put her in the bath, I slather it all over her hair, pile all the hair on top of her head and get a tight shower cap over it quickly. After 20 mins of splashing in the bath, off comes the shower cap, i comb through with the Tangle Teezer, rinse, squeeze moisture out with a chamois towel and then plait it all before curl chaos ensues.

Her hair is soft, shiny, smells divine and tears are usually minimal (ish)

DaySleeper Fri 07-Dec-12 22:48:36

Another good product which we often use in the mornings before school is Mixed Chicks Leave In Conditioner For Kids

WhereMyMilk Fri 07-Dec-12 22:58:55

DD has same type hair.

Can not recommend Morrocon Oil highly enough! I put it on daily, has made her ringlets soft and tamed. Use a tangle teaser brush. Also YY to Aussie leave in conditioner spray. Also I conditioner wash DD's hair rather than wash with shampoo if that helps too.

Goog luck! DD can now nearly sit on hers, is a nightmare daily! But even worse when the nits come visiting! I find with curly hair DD gets them worse than most as her bouffy hair touches others before she dies IYKWIM!

WhereMyMilk Fri 07-Dec-12 22:59:56

Does obviously not dies confused

sedgieloo Fri 07-Dec-12 23:31:22

Thanks for all the ideas, definitely will try these products starting with the cheapest the Johnson one. Might attempt that hair band if feeling brave ( bit terrified of it getting stuck in the ringlets and will need cutting out )

I use Aussie shampoo and conditioner bit not the spray or serum, will give them a try for sure b

MadSleighLady Sat 08-Dec-12 09:28:11

Going to try some of these lovely recommends on mine. Tears aren't usually a problem when I wash my hair but you can't be too careful. smile

My DD1 has lovely shiny defined ringlets where previously she had a halo of fluff. We do a daily 'wash' with a silicone free conditioner which I rake through with my fingers then rinse out and then put another blob in and rake through and leave it in. She goes to bed with it wet and wakes up curly and gorgeous.

Her hair is bum length when wet and shoulder blade length when dry. We do this routine daily as she is 3 and tends to get yogurt, mud, paint etc in her hair occasionally we shampoo with a sulphate free shampoo if she's very mucky. We never brush it ever, if I can't rake out a tangle we comb it when soaking wet and covered in conditioner.

We use Lush American Cream conditioner on her and she smells Devine smile .

mammmamia Sat 08-Dec-12 10:03:00

Try the Tantrum detangling spray and yy to the tangle teaser hairbrush

ScienceRocks Sat 08-Dec-12 10:25:49

I don't get tears at hairwashing or brushing, despite mine both having super curls (DD2 has hair to her bottom when wet, and shoulder length when dry, DD1's is thicker so looks longer but doesn't spring up as much).

A wide tooth comb when conditioning is a must, and leave the conditioner on for a good few minutes before rinsing out. I also only wash their hair once or twice a week (usually dictated by swimming, or getting stuff in their hair, like glitter, yogurt...), but it gets brushed morning and evening. I plait it loosely at night, which means it doesn't get as tangled for the morning as if it was left loose.

HoHoHoHum Sat 08-Dec-12 10:46:36

I have a DD (2.9) with hair like this.

I make my own leave in conditioning spray by mixing 9 parts water to 1 part Aussie conditioner in a spray bottle, & shaking well before use.

Use in quantities every morning, brush with tangle teaser, apply boots curl creme, reform ringlets by 'popping' them.

Don't wash her hair often at all. So far her hair is beautiful, I worry about product build up between washes but it seems to sit better unwashed!

YY to the attention... Lovely but DD is SO sick of strangers touching her hair.

sedgieloo Sun 09-Dec-12 08:18:07

Sneaky biscuit I really fancy trying what you mention. Do I use the conditioner like a shampoo and wet the hair and rub it through. And how do I figure out what is silicone free and the right shampoos too if I can't get that lush one anytime soon. I'm finding it difficult to get into town with a two year old and a newborn just now. Thank you

seeker Sun 09-Dec-12 08:26:22

Get it cut. Properly in a proper hairdressers. By somebody who knows what they are doing. A 2 year old doesn't need hassle with her hair.

sedgieloo Sun 09-Dec-12 08:27:14

Something to add on my sainsbury order if possible

sedgieloo Sun 09-Dec-12 08:28:55

Seeker do you have experience with big hair? The shorter the bigger and bushier with mine. It is in no way easier except it drys faster.

seeker Sun 09-Dec-12 08:38:46

Yes. My ds had "big hair".

My mil used to thin it and cut it into a "halo" of curls. Looked fabulous <nostalgic emoticon>

JingleBellaTheGymnast Sun 09-Dec-12 08:42:58

The body shop rainforest detangling spray is silicone free. A quick guide to going silicone free is to avoid ingredients with 'one' or 'xane' on the end. Check shampoos and conditioners.
Is the Lush one silicone free? Yes, washing with conditioner is just like washing with shampoo, rub it in and rinse out.

Never brush unless it's wet with conditioner in, otherwise you're heading for a fluffy mess that will tangle much more quickly!

sedgieloo Sun 09-Dec-12 08:47:29

Sounds like my brothers hair. He looked like a cherub. Don't want to resort to a v short boys cut yet. Thinning mine made it twice the size so dubious. Will take it short if needed. But its not totally matted or anything. I would like to think some of these products might minimise the tangles.

sedgieloo Sun 09-Dec-12 09:48:40

Silicone free, I just found this. And thanks to the poster who explained about making detangler to spray in I will try that too.

A'Kin Jojoba and Lavendar Light Conditioner for Normal, fine and Oily hair
Alberto V05 Creamy Fresh Peaches Revitalizing Conditioner
Alberto V05 Kiwi & Lime Squeeze Herbal Conditioner
Alberto V05 Moisture Milks Strawberries & Cream Conditioner
Alberto VO5 Sun Kissed Raspberry Herbal Conditioner
ASDA Cherry Blossom Conditioner
ASDA Essential Care Apple Conditioner Normal Hair
ASDA Essential Care Citrus Conditioner Normal Or Greasy Hair
ASDA Family Conditioner Jojoba
ASDA Replenishing Coconut & Milk Conditioner
Aussie Miracle Moist conditioner
Australian Organics Extra Body for fine, limp + oily Hair
Australian Organics Replenishing, stabilizing conditioner for normal hair
Australian Organics Revitalising, penetrating conditioner for dry, colored & chemically treated hair
Boots Basics conditioner
Boots Chamomile
Boots Essentials
Botanics Coconut and Almond Oil Conditioner
Botanics Sea Minerals Conditioner
Botanics Tea Tree & Lime Conditioner
Co-op Apple conditioner
Co-op Jojoba conditioner
Co-op White Almond and Jasmine Conditioner
DCJ Hair Clinic Professional Organic Hair Juice Conditioner
Faith in Nature Lavender and Geranium Conditioner
Funkbubble Organic Chocolate Conditioner
Green People Vitamin Conditioner for Everyday/Lifeless Hair
Herbal Essences Conditioner with Thyme, Wheat Germ Oil and Vitamin E in Mountain Spring Water
Inecto Pure Coconut Oil Conditioner
kirkland hydrating conditioner (available at Costco wholesalers)
L'Oreal Elvive Nutri Gloss Intensive Shine Masque (round pink tub)
Lush American Cream Conditioner
Lush Coolaulin Conditioner
Lush Fuel Hair Conditioner
Lush Jungle Hair Conditioner
Lush Retread conditioner
Lush Veganese Condtioner
Marc Daniels In De-tox Conditioner
Marc Daniels In Re-hab Conditioner
Marc Daniels In Therapy Conditioner
Napiers Hemp & Ginger Conditioner
Napiers Organic Aloe Vera Conditioner
Napiers Seaweed & Lime Conditioner
Naked Care Mildness Unadorned Sensitive Conditioner
Naked Rescue Softness Revealed Intensive Care Conditioner (in a bottle, not the ones in the round tubs)
Nature's Gate Organic Fruit Blend - Fortifying
Nature's Gate Organic Fruit Blend - High Shine
Nature's Gate Organics Fruit Blend Asian Pear and Red Tea
Neal's Yard Remedies Conditioners (the shampoos are SLS free too )
Original Source Almond & Coconut Deep Moisture Conditioner
Original Source Mint & Lavendar Enriching Conditioner
Original Source Tea Tree & Orange Enriching Conditioner
Pure Nuff Stuff Conditioners
Right Price Conditioner
Sainsbury's Active: Naturals Orange Flower and Jojoba Colour Protection Conditioner
Sainsbury's Apple Conditioner
Sainsburys Basics conditioner
Sainsbury's Smooth Me Apple conditioner Conditioner bases
Superdrug Extra Gentle Cherry Conditioner
Superdrug Jojoba Conditioner
Superdrug Just Conditioner
Superdrug Naturals Camomile Conditioner
Superdrug Naturals Coconut Oil Conditioner
Superdrug Naturals Henna Conditioner for Brunette Hair
Superdrug Naturals Tea Tree Conditioner
Tesco Apple and Aloe Vera Conditioner
Tesco Jojoba and Basalm Conditioner
Tesco coconut Conditioner
Tesco Tea Tree Conditioner
Tesco Value conditioner
Tesco Wheatgerm and cornsilk Conditioner
Wilkinson Coconut Conditioner

sincitylover Sun 09-Dec-12 10:20:32

Haven't read the whole thread but my son had beautiful curly hair as a toddler - I used Aveda be curly cream applied after washing - then just finger dried his hair.

No brushing or combing

Hey sedgieloo previous posters have explained how to spot silicone free products. My DDs hair routine is really no more maintenance than anyone else in the family, less so as you don't brush. Just use the conditioner like a shampoo, wet hair, rub into scalp and down lengths, rinse thoroughly and then apply conditioner as normal but just don't rinse out. Go to bed with wet hair and wake up with fab curls.

The key is to do as little as possible to disturb the hair and the toddler as you can. No brushing ever, only comb when wet and if necessary and don't fiddle and touch it if you can manage.

BoraBora Sun 09-Dec-12 14:17:05

Can you just tie the front bit up with a hair band?

Acky123 Sun 09-Dec-12 18:53:42

A cheap alternative to leave in conditioning spray or de-tangling spray is just to mix a good blob of conditioner in a spray bottle and add water smile

Give it a shake before spraying it on.

sedgieloo Sun 09-Dec-12 19:09:39

Bora, like a top knot? I have tried but I have a nano second to do her hair. Partly due to being a wriggly two year old but also she cries - I want it down when I try any kind of tying back. She wants it out her eyes though. I saw a toddler with a very wide elastic crochet style hair and today. Whilst a bit ugly I think it might stay in better than the thinner ones we have

mathanxiety Sun 09-Dec-12 20:11:54

I have DDs with long curly hair. Until I had DD3 I tried the usual brushing, plaiting, etc. Then I encountered the curly girl method and DD3's life became a lot less painful and complicated and she had to spend far less time in the bathroom. She no longer looked like the girl with the fluffy red afro.

When DD3's hair was short I used to use a few snappy clips to keep the front out of her eyes. As it grew she decided she liked it tied back so she used to just put it in a pony tail for school. She used clips to smooth down the 'bumps' around her head.

The CG method involves using only conditioner to wash, and not rinsing it all out, never brushing or combing, leaving to dry naturally. For DD3 a wash or two per week was enough until she got to age 10. What she does now is use a wide tooth comb/rake in the shower when her hair is well conditioned all the way to the ends, then she rinses perfunctorily and scrunches it gently with a towel. The shower is the only place where the hair sees a comb.

I do the same with mine, which is also very curly. Result -- no wavy/dry layer of thatch on top with curls hidden underneath -- the conditioner and gentle treatment free up the curlyness of the top layer. We use Moroccan oil from time to time.

YY -- Beware of hairdressers proposing layers. They do not work well in curly hair. And say NO to a razor cut. Then run away.

It's hard when there's food in it. I used to keep a sharp eye out for hands in food and was quite strict about using cutlery. We still got the odd blob behind the ear. My solution was spot cleaning using a washcloth. I used to tie a bandana over her hair if we were having burgers or any hand held food.

JingleBellaTheGymnast Mon 10-Dec-12 08:27:19

My DD is 2.5, and if she gets a bit of food in that won't come out I just cut it out. Can get away with a lot with curly hair! grin

TheElfOnThePanopticon Mon 10-Dec-12 13:24:07

Yes to curly girl method/washing with conditioner.

I have no experience of curly hair, but I find in general that proper ballet headbands from dance shops stay put better than anything else and are pretty cheap, so probably worth a try.

LilRosiesMum Mon 10-Dec-12 13:30:51

Can you get a fringe cut in so there is less need for the clips and bands at the front?

I use a plant spray bottle and spray water on my curly DD's hair every morning before it is combed. You must get her split ends trimmed off regularly or the tangles will be painful.

Frizy Mon 10-Dec-12 13:55:58


It sounds like your DD has exactly the same hair as me... so a couple of Dos and Don'ts (as my mum had straight hair, the effect of which is some horrific frizz-bomb pictures of me as a child)

- cut in a fringe- it'll ping up and look awful (if you do, only cut it when it's dry, so you know how short it will be)
- brush it too much- even as an adult, I never brush my hair when dry... wash it, brush conditioner through, rinse, and then brush once- try to let it dry naturally... but in this weather, buy something to stick on the end of your hairdryer called a diffuser- it gently warms the hair without directing too much heat at it. (curly hair strands are wiry, and if they heat up too fast, that's when they go frizzy!).

-get layers put in- not too short though, as this will take out weight (call them long layers to the hairdresser)
- use plenty of conditioner and sprays as mentioned- when it's warm I spray my hair and platt it when it's wet- this holds in the moisture and conditioner spray.
-buy what we used to call butterfly clips (they open and close with little teeth- you can get them in places like claire's accessories etc). You can get pretty girly ones too. Flat clips have never worked for me either!
-learn to french plait- this was the best thing my mum did for me!

Hope this helps xx

BoraBora Mon 10-Dec-12 20:25:16

OP, no, not a top knot, more a half pony tail. I have crazy curly hair and I wear it like this every day smile

sedgieloo Mon 10-Dec-12 21:18:45

Bora yes it would work if she would only let me. In sure it will get better as she gets older. I'm going to try these ballet hair bands.

sedgieloo Mon 10-Dec-12 21:22:56

Math, the elf, friZy especially helpful posts. Thanks so much. I will take on board!

Do I need to do clarifying shampoo before I do this shampooing with silicone free conditioner method. If so is there a readily available sulphate free shampoo anyone can recommend please. Or can I just get started once I have the conditioner.

mathanxiety Tue 11-Dec-12 02:50:38

Fringes on me and the DDs end up looking like little sausages hanging over our foreheads. Attractive only to beagles.

I just jumped straight in with the conditioner-only washing the day after I discovered the CG method because I was so desperate

DDs 2 and 3 and I have a little layering but we all have long hair and the layers are only a bit more layery than a blunt cut (not describing this very well). Don't let anyone try to cut curly hair while it's wet. You can easily trim long hair/sort out split ends yourself. It forgives a lot. Get an excellent scissors and cut perpendicular to the hair no matter how it turns.

mathanxiety Tue 11-Dec-12 02:52:08

I use food grade glycerin, well-diluted, in a spray bottle to rehydrate my hair.

aquavit Tue 11-Dec-12 13:50:31

dd's hair is very thick and very curly too. We find that BoraBora's suggestion works best for school - for some reason a half-pony stays in much longer than a full pony, and at least keeps her hair out of her eyes. Clips get pulled out almost straight away.

I don't let it grow long, though - we cut it to just under her shoulders (it curls up into a very cute bob). Even just a trim would save you hassle/time when combing out tangles (we usually only do this when conditioning), and it makes washing easier too. We do a 'low poo' regime here (whole family of curlies) ie sulphate free shampoos, 'cone free conditioners.

Never never cut a fringe on curly hair! But it's easy to cut a bairn's hair yourself if it's curly because it doesn't need to be all that precise, mathanxiety is right that it forgives a lot. I do not use the same calculation for my own hair cuts though grin

JingleBellaTheGymnast Tue 11-Dec-12 13:59:46

DD has a fringe, the little curls round her face look great.

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