In a professional setting, time is of the essence and if a child’s hair is too tangled and dry, it is easier to result to tugging and pulling. If care givers are pressed for time or don’t know how to handle curly, coily and tangled hair, the same situation will occur. Unfortunately, our children are not quite able to advocate for themselves. So what should you as a parent or care giver do?
- If you find yourself in a setting where your child is clearly uncomfortable from the tugging and pulling (who wouldn’t be?), stop the professional and ask them to use a gentler yet effective technique, or ask for another stylist who is more familiar with detangling and combing. If this is not successful take your child home, Google some Youtube videos on detangling or watch the Naturaz Hair video on detangling your child’s hair and try it yourself – gently! Once you learn how to handle your child’s hair, it will be worth it.Do not leave your child at the salon and come back when her hair is styled - you are your child’s best advocate and can intervene if needed.
Detangle and comb and if possible, cleanse your child’s hair before taking her to the salon. Phase out this activity especially if your child’s hair is too thick. Detangling tip: Remember to finger detangle. Don’t yank out tangles with a comb! If a knot appears permanent, snip it off with a pair of scissors. Run the comb through her hair after working out all the knots with your fingers and comb from tips to root.
Avoid applying heat to your child’s hair. The younger she is, the worse for her scalp and the health of her hair. Use non-heat methods of stretching her hair. If you want to blow dry her hair, use the cool or warm settings and don’t aim to over straighten her hair. Don’t feel that you have to comb her hair every day. A soft bristled brush should neaten up just about any style you try out.
Watch the comments you make around your child casually or even worse when grooming her hair. Do not make statements like: “Your/her hair is hard!”, “Your/her hair is too thick!” or when you see her wince and curl up in pain don’t make comments such as “You’re such a brave girl!” In this scenario, the child will associate her hair and related grooming with pain.
Use affirmative statements to build your child’s self-esteem: “You are gorgeous!”, “Your hair is so beautiful” or “I love your tiny curls or coils!”