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Keeping my daughter's hair neat.

(64 Posts)
Intricate56 Mon 03-Aug-20 07:42:52


My daughter is 4. Her hair can be quite unruly. Anything I do to it, any way I put it up, within a couple of hours, it's a mess. Part of that is down to her personality. She looks like she's been dragged through a hedge backwards, because she spends quite a bit of time dragging herself through hedges backwards.

I'm not great at doing her hair. I can plait, but it unravels. Braids were a crooked nightmare. Ponytails I can never get smooth. Any tips? Her hair is not curly, it's a little bit wavy, quite long. She wants it kept long, could probably do with a trim at the moment which doesn't help. She starts school in September, and I'd like to be a bit better at getting her hair neat and staying that way for longer than five minutes. Any easy styles I could try? Any handy little hints that I can use? I've never liked my hair, never been good at dealing with it. I'd just like to be a bit better for her.

Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
labyrinthloafer Mon 03-Aug-20 07:46:30

Honestly, does it matter? The word 'neat' sets my teeth on edge, it only ever applies to girls and basically means 'looks like they sat still all day'.

Maybe the best thing you could do for her is not carry forward the worrying about how your hair looks!

My hair is 'unruly' but my mum just didn't give care.

labyrinthloafer Mon 03-Aug-20 07:48:07

Sorry I got muddled at the end there between 'give a shit' and 'care' - my mum cared plenty about me, just not about how my hair was as a child, which I think made me better off than having all that plaiting etc.

RosieLemonade Mon 03-Aug-20 08:19:57

@labyrinthloafer I get your point but I’m in literally the same position as OP. I don’t get why it’s a negative to want your children to look neat. My DD’s hair is curly and never ever stays in style. I worry it makes her look like I don’t care about her hair and it’s gets in her way while she’s eating. It’s nice to look nice and tidy.
OP. I find if I do DD’s hair in split bunchies that tends to stay in most the day

Intricate56 Mon 03-Aug-20 08:29:01

I know there are more important things in life, but I was always the girl with messy hair, and I hated it. My mum never made an effort with it (because she felt it wasn't important) and I felt really self conscious. The other girls had lovely braids and clips and things and I had the plainest black hairbands with my hair just tied back. My daughter likes my efforts at doing her hair nicely, I was just asking for tips to do it better.

OP’s posts: |
FlamingoAndJohn Mon 03-Aug-20 08:31:30

I taught reception for many years. So many of the girls would come in with their hair done beautifully and it would generally last until the end of registration.

TooStressyTooMessy Mon 03-Aug-20 08:32:00

If you can get her to a hairdresser a layered cut can help. My daughter has hair that gets knotted easily. Eventually I asked my hairdresser and now she has layers out in at every hair cut. It’s not obviously layered at all and she still keeps the length but it has made a massive difference. I was also using 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner and switched to separate. It still gets messy of course but these two things have made a big difference.

Thriceisnice Mon 03-Aug-20 08:32:17

Search YouTube fir easy Toddler Hairstyles - she does step by step videos ranging from basic to really complicated, but once I had the basics under my belt it really helped me. The biggest things for ne are doing dd's hair while damp (I have a spray bottle) and using spray gel to minimise fly aways). Dd absolutely loves having her hair done and touch wood we have also avoided nits so far

Intricate56 Mon 03-Aug-20 08:33:24

Also, I remember one year a few kids in my class told me that their parents didn't want to buy the whole class photo because my hair was messy and ruined it. I was called pineapple head until secondary school. Maybe that's why I want her to look neat. There's nothing wrong with looking neat. But looking messy made me stand out, and that age, I didn't want that.

FWIW, I also want my sons to look neat. But they're happy with short hair, and that's a lot easier.

OP’s posts: |
BrutusMcDogface Mon 03-Aug-20 08:34:08

I find that if I french plait my girls’ hair when it’s damp, it generally lasts longer. My 10 year old gets a spritz of spray gel which holds it even longer.

beelola Mon 03-Aug-20 08:35:24

No answers but both of mine are the same. It's a win if a ponytail stays in, never mind neat. Regular trims, plaiting for bed and blow drying (on cold setting before anyone cries) helps to tame it slightly.

Nanalisa60 Mon 03-Aug-20 08:35:27

First I would say It really does not matter if you lovely daughter Hair looks messy!!

But if you need a bit of help with getting it done in the morning , use a puddle brush to get the knots out then use a smoothing brush to get it into a ponytail, it really helps to get the smooth look.

If you want to learn to do good hair plait then go on to YouTube There are loads of tutorials showing you how do really good ones. I get my granddaughter to watch it with me first then she decides if she wants us to give it a go.

Also even with long hair try and get a trim ever six months , also a knot Combe is great to use when the hair is wet with conditioner.

But to be truthful i would always prefer a girl to look like she has been pulled through a bush backwards then I little miss perfect by then end of the day. But I fully understand that you want to but her in as little miss perfect in the morning.

BrutusMcDogface Mon 03-Aug-20 08:35:37

Cross posted and said the same thing as @Thriceisnice!

Chickoletta Mon 03-Aug-20 08:36:00

My daughter’s hair is very fine and most styles just come down over the course of the day at school and she comes out looking like a scarecrow so I can totally relate! She now (age 7) has a jaw length bob which really suits her and sits well without needing much ‘doing’.

I’ve found that the really tiny hair elastics (the ones that look like loom bands) keep her hair up much better. When longer, I’d put these underneath standard hair bands.

When longer, the style I found best for school was to take a ‘half up’ ponytail, plait this and put a band in. Then gather up the rest and put a bigger hair band halfway down so that it’s a ponytail with a plait on top - does that make sense? Looked neat and stayed up much better than pony tails and normal plaits.

BrutusMcDogface Mon 03-Aug-20 08:37:25

Hey. Op, I’m sure those parents didn’t really say that about the photo! Kids are mean and they pick up on any little insecurity flowers

jomaIone Mon 03-Aug-20 08:37:26

I find half up bunches keep my girls hair out of her face and looking reasonably tidy for the most part. But she has ear lobe length short hair as she is only 2.5!

MoreHairyThanScary Mon 03-Aug-20 08:39:06

I spent time doing my girls hair in primary, my trick was different brushes, and the hair ties that wrap around the hair as I got a much firmer hold.

ILiveInSalemsLot Mon 03-Aug-20 08:39:30

Your dd sounds fab smile
My dds hair is the same. I use a tiny bit of oil, like literally the equivalent of a couple of drops, of coconut oil all over my hands then smooth over her hair.
It calms it down then I just tie it up in a pony tail or plaits.

NameChange84 Mon 03-Aug-20 09:06:25

There are loads of videos on YouTube, that would be my first recommendation - CuteGirlsHairstyles and SweetheartsHairDesign do good videos, just look for the basic ones for now.

A gel spray helps tame wispy bits.

Everyone is shit at plaiting at first it just takes practice!

For now, how about a highish ponytail that you plait? It should stay put.

My mum was rubbish at my hair at first but I did ALOT of dance and so she had to learn how to do French plaits and buns and more intricate styles - it turns out they are great for keeping nits at bay too so win-win. My hair was bombproof lol. I came out of school looking exactly as I did when I went in. With my Mum, she had to keep practicing plaits until she got really good.

Good tip - while you are doing her hair, get her to sit and plait/bun her doll or “girls world” type toy at the same time! Before long I was able to do my own hair and I’m now called upon to do hair for weddings, for amateur and dance shows etc. I was a bit of an expert by 7 or 8 so you might not need to help her out for much longer if you get her involved!

NameChange84 Mon 03-Aug-20 09:07:59


Cheap bobbles, grips, bands etc will slip, break.

The non slip ones are really good. A trip to boots or Superdrug or even a Tesco extra will see you right.

brastrapbroken Mon 03-Aug-20 09:10:09

any way I put it up, within a couple of hours, it's a mess.

This is normal for 4 year olds.

Shadeslayer Mon 03-Aug-20 09:10:16

A good brush helps with smoothing out also making it slightly damp then a quick spray with the hair spray. With pleats and braids you need to keep tension in the hair at all times or it will fall out. Good quality hair ties too to make sure they don't slip out.

'The word 'neat' sets my teeth on edge, it only ever applies to girls' this is not true I like my boys to be neat even when they climb trees and run wild boys hair tends to stay neater because most boys have short hair longer hair is harder to keep in.

IncrediblySadToo Mon 03-Aug-20 09:11:21

What length is it?

Is it thick or thin?

Intricate56 Mon 03-Aug-20 09:16:10

Thanks for all the advice. I'll have a proper read later, look at the videos etc. I haven't bought her any hair bands in school colours yet, so I'll make sure I get decent ones.

I'm sure the other kids' parents didn't say that was the reason they didn't buy the photo, but the kids did, and it hurt. I know a four year old can't have perfect hair, but I'd like to give it a go. Also try to do things to my hair that my mum always refused to learn to do to mine.

OP’s posts: |
Intricate56 Mon 03-Aug-20 09:16:50

Her hair is just below shoulder length. It's quite fine. Every time I've tried braiding, it just slips through my fingers. Might try wetting it first, see if that helps.

OP’s posts: |

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