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Any tips on washing hair?

(18 Posts)
NaughtyDolly Mon 13-May-13 10:01:31

DS1 (4) has just been diagnosed with ADHD and mild autism. Life at home is getting easier with a raft of new techniques for avoiding and controlling meltdowns, but the one thing that is still hellish is bathtime.

Specifically because DS HATES having his hair washed. He's terrified of getting water in his face, tells me the shampoo hurts his scalp (it's baby shampoo) and screams and cries and it's horrendous.

Only doing it once a week at the moment just because it's dreadful for all concerned.

Anyone have any tips that might help? TIA!

Badvoc Mon 13-May-13 10:11:54

Dry shampoo?

NaughtyDolly Mon 13-May-13 10:16:31

Oooh, thanks! Never used that, does it work as well?

zzzzz Mon 13-May-13 10:18:37

Buy a flannel "specially to protect his eyes".

He holds flannel over his face while you pour water from a jug over his head, in the bath.

Do it I every night but don't really wash it, just put a little shampoo in the jug of warm water.

Once he can tolerate that, get him to give his hair a rub before rinsing.

Even a wet flannel will wipe water from your eyes.

Go slow, no big deal, don't go head to head this is just what happens in the bath. It will get better.

UnChartered Mon 13-May-13 10:25:35

YY to zzzzz's flannel over the eyes and not doing it every night

we had terrible fights in the bathroom that always ended up with at least one of us crying (usually me)

i also found that using a very slow trickle from a jug whilst counting down from 20 helped DD manage the anxiety of knowing when the water/rubbing would stop

we went shopping and smelled all the shampoos to choose which one she liked the best (more like didn't hate really)

she washes her hair once a week if we're lucky, but this is far more calm than it used to be

good luck

APMom Mon 13-May-13 10:38:48

I rarely shampoo DS' hair, possibly once every 3 months. His hair is perfectly clean. It gets wet if he lies in the bath or if he goes swimming so that keeps it fresh.

PolterGoose Mon 13-May-13 14:45:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UnChartered Mon 13-May-13 15:48:06

<face palm> goggles in the bath - of course!

DD wears these to go 'swimming' (she wears as many inflatables as she can while DH pulls her around the pool grin )

thanks Polter, will try this next

PolterGoose Mon 13-May-13 15:55:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zzzzz Mon 13-May-13 18:26:14


bananananacoconuts Mon 13-May-13 20:01:20

We have googles in the bath! Occasionally ear plugs although ds has developed a technique of folding his ears over as he hates water in his ears too! I occasionally try laying him down and cradling him while i'm leaning over the bath so he feels safe

cansu Mon 13-May-13 20:13:53

Think zzz advice is very good.wet the hair with flannel every time to build p tolerance. I had very similar problems with ds. I didn't know these ways of dealing and ended up in horrendous stressful battles. If it helps it will get better. Ds has as he got older become much more tolerant of personal care routines. OT told me little and often was best way of dealing with these anxieties.

buildingmycorestrength Mon 13-May-13 22:10:07

We tried goggles, helped a bit.

Also one of those special hair wash jugs with the flexible side helped a bit.

But knowing what we know now, we handled it all wrong, expecting him to get used to what was a total assault on his senses, poor lamb. I shudder to think about what it must have been like for him and we were probably quite mean.

He still says showers hurt.

But lying back in the bath, giving HIM a tiny bit of shampoo to rub in, letting HIM rub it out under the water, etc have all helped too.

samithesausage Mon 13-May-13 23:53:59

I use diving goggles on my kids. The eyes and nose are completely covered, so there's no water in the eyes or up the nose. (I also use them when I chop onions but that's another matter) grin

NourishingButtons Tue 14-May-13 18:47:07

We don't wash our son's hair, it perfectly clean and smells fine. We never really have so that's why its probably ok. We tried one of the jug/forehead things but no success. It was like I was murdering him so couldn't face it.

TapselteerieO Tue 14-May-13 18:59:01

I did the bubble bath, making lots of foam and patting this on to ds's hair, also started by splashing his back gently with water, scooping water on his back and shoulders then accidentally scooping a little higher to hair level, he is nearly 9 and still hates getting his hair washed. I do think he is sensitive to the feeling of water on his scalp, so I wipe gently rather than trickle which avoids the Chinese water treatment accusations, he does hate getting water in his ears or on his face. We did give rewards, get lots of cool bath toys to make bath time fun too. Washing hair first, then time to play - it took months/years to get to this stage of reluctant acceptance.

Lastly I bought Naked Strawberry Jam sandwiches shampoo (Boots) and Faith in Nature Chocolate shampoo (Oxfam and independent health food shops), telling ds how lovely his hair smells after being washed and he likes both strawberry jam and chocolate. He was a few years older than your ds is now by the time it got less hellish - so good luck, perseverance can pay off sometimes.

Pixel Tue 14-May-13 23:04:23

I can't wash ds's hair at all, he won't let me anywhere near. We were trying the flannels and all that stuff but it got to the stage where he wouldn't even go near the bath so we gave up. I have to say he has beautiful hair, people compliment him on it, they don't know it hasn't been properly washed in years. I'm a little bit worried about what will happen once he's a teenager (he turns 13 on sat), will it turn greasy?

However, I am working on getting him used to this stuff. Its brilliant, much better than the dry shampoo (he won't let me use the aerosols anyway) and though he still objects to putting it on, at least it's just a case of towelling it off afterwards, which he doesn't mind. It really does lift the dirt out and leaves the hair smelling fresh no I haven't got shares in the company.

TigerSwallowTail Tue 14-May-13 23:10:29

Use one of these DS hates the water going near his ears or eyes so this stops that. Getting him to pick his own shampoo helped too, so he gets special Ben 10, moshi monsters etc which helps. Me talking him through everything I'm doing helps too.

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