How to care for children's hair

Written by j. williams
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How to care for children's hair
A baby taking a bath. (Judith Williams)

Caring for your child's hair is not the same as caring for adult hair. Because children have fine hair, and sensitive skin, the shampoos and conditioners used by adults may irritate the skin, and dry out the scalp. These shampoos also contain chemicals that sting the eyes. Using the right shampoo, and using the proper detangling technique is key in keeping your child's hair and scalp healthy Following the correct steps in combing will also make the experience easier on both you and your child.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Brush
  • Mild water-based shampoo
  • Detangling spray

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  1. 1

    Brush your child's hair before shampooing. This will not only make it easier to brush after the shampoo, but will also help prevent breakage caused by brushing wet hair.

  2. 2

    Shampoo with a mild water-based, sulphate-free shampoo that is less likely to sting the eyes. According to, toddlers should have their hair washed at least three times a week, and children that are preschool age and up should have their hair washed every other day.

  3. 3

    Use a detangling spray. A detangling spray is lighter than conditioner and will allow the hair to be easily combed without being weighed down.

  4. 4

    Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle hair once the spray has been applied. A wide-toothed comb will help prevent breakage.

  5. 5

    Blow-dry hair on a cool setting. If the heat from the blow dryer is too hot, it can damage the hair and dry out the scalp. Due to the sensitivity of children's skin, it may also burn.

Tips and warnings

  • Shampoo hair right before the child is ready to get out of the bath. This eliminates skin irritation that could be caused by sitting in the sudsy water.
  • Combing from the ends of the hair and working your way to the top is less painful and helps prevent breakage.
  • While baby shampoo is less likely to sting the eyes, irritation can still occur. Avoid getting shampoo directly in the child's eyes.

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