Heading off the tears while brushing tangles out of a child's hair


December 29, 2008|By kate shatzkin | kate shatzkin,kate.shatzkin@baltsun.com

Tangles are the down side of having a child with long hair - and getting them out is painful and time-consuming, for parents and kids.

That said, after casting about for advice for my own family, I've finally found some that works to share with you. The tips come from Liz Muller, a hair stylist in Hollywood, Fla., who shared her methods on expertvillage.com. (I added a couple of my own tips in parentheses and at the end.)

* Use a wide-toothed comb, ideally one that rolls. If you don't have a comb, try a paddle brush, which is good for smoothing the hair. (Detangling sprays can help, too.)

* Start combing from the bottom and work your way up. (This seems counterintuitive until you do it, and realize that it makes getting out the snags at the top a lot easier.)

* Hold the hair firmly as you work, away from the head, to keep the child from feeling pain. (Sometimes I forget just how firmly you need to grasp the hair with one hand as you comb it out with the other. My daughter doesn't hesitate to remind me.)

* Work with small sections of the hair at a time. You'll do a more thorough job.

* If your daughter twists her hair in her sleep, take the time to braid it at night. This has worked wonders for us, and you'll make up the time in the morning, when the hair brushes out much more easily. It'll also have a nice little wave.

To see a video of Muller demonstrating her techniques, visit my blog at baltimoresun.com/charmcitymoms.

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