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Dealing with tangles

(19 Posts)
2plus2plus1 Thu 01-Jun-06 11:30:38

I am sure that this one must have been done before but I searched & couldn't find anything.
My DTD, aged 5 has thick, but very fine hair which gets quite tangly. It is wavey/curly (depending when last washed), particularly the bottom couple of inches. Her hair is just below her armpits in length. She sobs to have it brushed. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to reduce this pain for her. Are their any shampoos/conditioners/brushes that are better than others.
We are currently using a separate shampoo & conditioner, which we found to be better than the Kids 2 in 1s you can get & a good quality vented brush with wide prongs. Have also encouraged her to get her 'own tangles out', but she can only reach the sides - leaving a problem at the back.
We have also been growing her hair so that the curls drop out, which they have to a certain extent - with little improvement in the tangles. I am thinking of getting it cut shorter again but I don't know whether this would really help without going shorter than I am happy with. Her idential twin has less of a problem BTW but her hair is not quite as fine or curly.
Hope someone can help come up with a solution.

nicnack2 Thu 01-Jun-06 11:36:40

you might already do this so sorry when i had long hair a hair dresser told me to hold my hair in a tail then start brushing an in ch from the bottom and once that was untangled then move up an inch until it was clear. It did work.

BettySpaghetti Thu 01-Jun-06 11:36:59

Would it help to plait it overnight and put it in plaits/ponytails etc during the day?

You can buy a spray for de-tangling dry hair (in a bright green bottle but can't remember who makes it? L'Oreal?). We tried it on DD for a while but it used to make her head and neck itch.

It is a nightmare isn't it?-my DD regularly screams when I tackle her hair which is straight, quite fine and just below shoulder length

expatinscotland Thu 01-Jun-06 11:40:34

I use the Johnson's detangling stuff.

I brush it w/a Mason Pearson brush at night and this seems to help somewhat.

In the morning and after her bath, I spirtz it w/the detangling stuff and let it sit. Then comb w/a wide-toothed comb.

Also, if you can get her to wear it up as much as possible, or plaited, it helps.

MrsBadgerAvecUneVoiture Thu 01-Jun-06 11:45:26

top tips from chez Badger:

- the wide-pronged vented brush sounds pretty good, but may be worth trying a wide-toothed detangling comb (Boots do a super one in the Toni & Guy range)
- make sure it's combed out properly every morning and every evening to stop tangles getting worse through the week
- [controversial] don't let her wear it loose - it only gets more tangled. Tie it up/back. Plaits are great - even to sleep in if she wakes up tangled. Save loose (with clip, alice band, whatever) for special occasions only!
- wash hair in shower or sitting in bath so head is right way up - leaning over is sure route to nightmare knots, as is piling hair on top of head to wash
- Tesco kids shampoo / conditioner / detangler range is pretty good and cheaper than the L'Oreal (but smells similar). Leave-in conditioner is often a good thing too.
- as nicnack suggests, comb out from the ends up ie comb bottom 2 inches first, then bottom 4 inches, then bottom 6 inches etc, finishing with combing from scalp to ends.

Although it isn't what you want to hear, having it shorter can really make a difference, even if it's only a couple of inches
good luck!

Securlurking Thu 01-Jun-06 11:47:38

I always do the starting from the bottom thing when brushing, which really helps.

Also with DD I do seperate shampoo and conditioner, I leave the conditioner on for about 30 mins (twice a week) and then blow dry it afterwards with a cool dryer using a brush to make sure it dries as straight as possible.

I put it in a ponytail whenever I can and rarely use a plait as the resulting kinks seem to make the problem worse.

Hope some of that helps!

Securlurking Thu 01-Jun-06 11:48:49

Oh sorry yes, we use a double comb - one end wide one end more narrow.

Use the wide end then the narrow, then use the brush to finish off.

JanH Thu 01-Jun-06 11:50:16

We used to put on a lot of conditioner when washing the DDs' hair, comb it through thoroughly to get rid of all the tangles while it was wet (if you can comb her scalp at the same time it's good for keeping away cradlecap) and dry it carefully so as not to put more tangles in.

It worked with theirs, although neither of them had that kind of hair that mats together.

I think I would let her choose how long to have it - if much shorter would reduce tangling (and I'm pretty sure it would) I bet she'd prefer that.

Good luck!

pucca Thu 01-Jun-06 11:51:55

As someone who has always been very very head sore, and unfortunately is cursed with very naturally curly hair, for myself i find that using seperate shampoo/conditioner really helps, lots of conditioner!

Also invest in a paddle brush with very soft bristles, i have my old trusty fave brush which is falling apart but i wouldn't have any other lol, and as others have said start from the bottom and work your way up.

Also very regular trims, my hair is really easy to handle and a huge reduction in tangles when i have it trimmed.


2plus2plus1 Thu 01-Jun-06 12:52:55

Thanks for the suggestions, sounds like I am not doing too much wrong.
Have tried detangliing sprays & personally found them almost useless. Do find that the more conditioner i use the easier it is to comb when wet. Not sure it helps too much when dry. She does wear in ponytail for school but is eager to get rid of it as soon as she hits the playground for home. Always use plaits if hair is damp at bedtime, will try & convince her to let me do it every night (she really doesn't like her hair being handled). I also like the idea of trimming regularly - I had forgotten what a difference that can make.
My biggest problem will be convincing dp to brush from the bottom, especially as this is the worst bit for her.

foxinsocks Thu 01-Jun-06 13:04:17

I would cut it a bit if it is causing that many problems.

I went to the hairdresser and asked them for proper salon detangling stuff - (dd has thick, curly hair that's virtually impossible to brush) and they gave us some very good stuff (haven't got it here but can look up the name). It's a spray but it seems to be more effective than the other stuff we tried. It was quite expensive but it was definitely worth it.

bran Thu 01-Jun-06 13:08:45

You could also try combing it with the conditioner in, and then rinsing and re-combing. I remember my mum having to resort to that when I was due for a haircut as the tangles would always get worse when I had split ends.

2plus2plus1 Thu 01-Jun-06 13:14:11

Did ask my hairdresser if there was anything I coulddo but they were less than helpful. I think I will try a leave in conditioner, which I was kinda trying to avoid cos they tend to be expensive, but worth it if it works. Will also check out the brush/comb aisle in Boots at the W/E. DP normally does hair in mornings with it being half term I have been doing it & realised how distressing it is for her (& DP does the start at the top get it over with 'quick' approach which must be worse).

Securlurking Thu 01-Jun-06 13:15:42

DD went through this awful stage having her hair done in any way was so terrible for her that she would get wound up angry, upset and in the end even the mention of it would cause her to go of into tears or a rage depeding on her mood.

She is now 81/2 and has only just managed to get over it, we have the brushing thing down so that it is not too painful etc but it took her years to trust us and then to get over her learned behaviour.

At one point I would put off doing her hair because I couldn't face the trauma and when it did happen we were both tense and wound up leading to things spiralling

I know it sounds over the top for something as silly as brushing knotty hair but it really did get that bad.

It is important that your dp is on side with this too, my experience is that something this silly can really become a major problem in life causing everyone heartache and taking years to get back from.

(even now she is fine-ish with hair brushing - but if she so much as sniffs a nit comb <<shudder>>)

Kaloo20 Thu 01-Jun-06 13:15:43

try the bottom two items on this page

Kerastase Elasto-curl range is fab and keeps dd's hair in great condition and fairly tangle free between shampoos too.... and she has lots of hair, also just below armpit length

hope it helps

babaworshipper Thu 01-Jun-06 13:30:17

Is it the bit underneath at the back that is the worst? Mine is still horrendous anything with a collar seems to backcomb it if worn down. Def supporting the hair so no tugging at roots and brushing from the bottom.

alison222 Thu 01-Jun-06 13:39:28

Echo much of the advice. definately the regualar brushing and the starting from the bottom
DD (30 has almost waist length hair if pulled straight. I wash and separately condition it. brush before you wash and comb in conditioner if you can before you rinse to make sure all the hair is coated. Also just brush regularly.
I usd to have har ike ths to and remember screaming at my mum she was hurting. stop when you hit a know and ry t untangle it with your fingers as it is much less painful, the brush the area again

alison222 Thu 01-Jun-06 13:40:33

sorrrry batttteries in keyboard dead hence awful typing

Hoopoe Thu 01-Jun-06 19:31:39

i have really fine hair that i used to have long. there was only one shampoo that really worked: ecoly. don't know where you get now as i resorted to cutting it off!

1. don't comb hair - only use brush with soft bristles. combing used to be unbearable
2. brush from bottom up as suggested only going higher when no knots.
3. wearing it tied up. i used to sleep with it down as that's most comfortable but would brush it when going to sleep and on waking.
4. don't pile hair up on head when washing. work the shampoo in as it naturally falls and just work it through.

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