I didn't get much response last time so am assuming others have not found anything that works.
I have a big problem washing my son's hair. He is three. He is frightened. Jumps out of the bath (it is a small plastic one) and is shaking. I have tried the shower and that worked for a short time. He screams and shouts. Short of physically restraining him (which I don't like) I find it impossible. I have tried bribes.
I take him swimming and then at least he gets his hair wet. He enjoys swimming and although not floating is confident.
The problem extends to haircutting. We have visited a kind and patient hairdresser twice but the actual haircut didn't eventuate as my son was too distraught.
Does he dislike the shampoo, the head touching or the pouring water over his head?
Do you try washing it in the shower after swimming? That's pretty much the only thing that works with DD.
Bribe with chocolate. This is my answer to everything.
Thanks yes I have tried washing after swimming. Had the whole changing room filled with people transfixed by the screaming. Will give the chocolate a try.
Have you tried the jug with the guard to stop the water pouring on his head or get him to hold a flannel over his eyes
This might sound really daft- but we use goggles on dd2. She happily gets soaking wet in the bath now, whereas before she would get so upset to the point she was making herself sick (which made bathtime rather pointless as she was cleaner before she went in!!!)
We also tried getting in the shower with her. She has some of those non-slip frogs that you put on the floor. She only needed to stand on her frog- hence she didn't feel any stress- then we slowly moved the frogs closer to the shower without her knowing.
Ds uses a stack of dry flannels - one over the eyes, I pour water. New dry flannel, shampoo. 3rd, rinse, last, pat dry at the end. Means eyes can remain totally non-damp as opposed to other methods that still let the face get moist.
Before sorting that out it was simply washing one-handed while holding his wrist firmly, as fast as possible, then blowing bubbles to cheer up after.
Ds1 dislikes hairwashing too and we tried various shields etc but he didn't like the feel of them on his head. He really hates the shower and what works best for us is him sitting in the bath and tipping his head back and me doing it gently with a sponge, that way I can control the water so it doesn't go in his eyes/face and it's not as splashy/intense as the shower if that makes sense.
We had the same problem with haircuts from about the ages of 2-6, we resorted to buying clippers and doing it at home on the longest setting, let him sit on a stool in front of the TV with chocolate. It was still awful, he used to scream and cry but at least it was over in a few mins (his is the sort of thick bushy hair that grows outwards and it would look awful long so that wasn't an option). When he was in Year 1 a children's salon opened in our town where the children could watch a DVD while having their hair cut and by good fortune one of his friend's mum started working there. We took him in and the combination of friendly familiar hairdresser and DVD and no one minding a bit of fuss did the trick. It was still not great, with a lot of fidgetting and moaning but each time it got a bit easier, he moved on to other stylists if my friend wasn't there etc. Now, that salon has closed down and the friend has moved away but DS is quite happy to go into a normal adult salon and get his hair cut the same as anyone else and I will be forever grateful to my friend! He's 8 now.
Anyway, it might be worth looking around for one of these child friendly salons? Ours closed but other branches of it remain open.
My ds is 4yo and has always hated having his hair washed, to the point that I didn't do it very often - not like boy's short hair gets greasy quickly. I think that didn't help the problem - had I kept washing it regularly it might have become more habit and less scary. Recently we had a breakthrough as I told him we needed to wash his hair, and he said "only if I do it". So I let him wet his hair himself, then I told him I was going to just rub a little shampoo in, then quickly rinsed it off with a sponge - I held a flannel against his forehead and told him to tip his head back to stop it getting in his eyes. We never got on with those buckets and head shields either, they just scared him. Plus he finds the hairdryer exciting so I tell him beforehand we can dry his hair with the dryer. Fill the bath with toys as well so he is distracted and enjoying himself before you start. Good luck!
Just to reassure you, I had this as a child. Screaming, kicking, the works. I still don't like people touching my head and I always wash my hair myself before going to the hairdressers.
As soon as I became old enough to wash my own hair, the problem no longer existed.
I have never shampooed either of my ds' hairs, they just wash with water while splashing in the bath and neither are greasy.
Have you tried a mobile hairdresser so he could be in his own environment? We get ours done at home and my ds' are much better than taking them to a hairdressers.
Thanks so much. There are lots of practical ideas. I think goggles might be worth a try initially.
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