Detangler for Kids' Hair

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Natural detangler for kids

Nov 2006

I am looking for a natural alternative to the commercial detanglers we've been using on our kids' thick, course hair. I just shelled out $10 for a bottle of California Baby detangler (we love the soap/shampoo) but find that it doesn't quite do the trick. Any alternatives? In Knots

First, don't laugh. But after spending $12.95 on a ''natural'' childrens detangler that was full of silicones and parabens, I have found the greatest spray detangler for kids.

Buddy Splash Conditioner for Dogs. It is by Cloud Star and you can get it at drugstore. com - 4 oz is $5.69 and it smells great - like lavender. Here are the ingredients: Deionized Water, Natural Conditioner Base, Aloe Vera Juice, Essence Of Lavender, Essence Of Mint, Wheat Protein Extract (Natural Deodorizing Agent), Vitamin C, Vitamin B 5

Luckily my kid can't read yet and thinks the dog on the bottle is cute. anon for my kids' sake

Can't get all the tangles out of daughter's waist length hair

June 2006

Hi. I was wondering if anyone can recommend any good children's shampoos/conditioners along with any lotions? The drug store stuff just doesn't seem to get all the tangles out of my daughter's waist length hair. Washing her hair and conditioning to drying and combing is a nightmare!!! Any recommendations/suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance good health and beauty product seeking mommie

As far as hair care goes, we are in the same boat. I have stopped buying children's products for my daughter's hair, and now just use grown-up, dry-hair conditioners on her hair. (For drugstore brands, try Dove or Neutrogena; Essential Organics makes a nice dry hair conditioner, too.). Also, I comb through the conditioner for her in the bath or shower. That really works it through and it is very easy to get the tangles out that way, while the conditioner is still in th hair. One important tip: NEVER let your daughter dip her clean hair back into the dirty bath water! We learned from a hairdresser that the soap scum and other stuff in the water coats the hair and makes it nasty and unmanageable again. So, now we make sure her hair gets washed last, just before she get out. That trick alone really made a difference.

I don't have a specific brand recommendation, but regarding the tangles in long hair, here's a simple and effective technique that I have used on my long hair and my niece's waist-length hair. All you do is wash the hair, then put in the conditioner, then comb through before you rinse out the conditioner. The conditioner makes the hair slippery, and the tangles come right out. This has worked with pretty much any moisturizing conditioner that I have used, and I often buy the cheap brands. Linda

My daugher has long curly hair that she hates having washed or brushed, so I feel your pain. I have many high-end beauty products in my home (for myself) and have tried most of them on her, without much luck. It surprised me to find that the best solution was a drugstore product: Neutrogena Triple Moisture leave-in conditioner. Now I just wash her hair with a no-more- tears shampoo in the bathtub, then apply the leave-in conditioner, liberally, while her hair is still dripping wet. Then we turn the TV on while I comb out her hair. I start from the bottom and work my way to the crown. The Neutrogena really makes it so much easier to comb, and once her hair is dry, there seems to be no residual sticky or greasy feel. I like it so much I have abandoned my Bumble & Bumble and use it myself. It can be hard to find in local drugstores so I've been ordering from, but I did spy some in Walgreens the other day. FYI: We never use a hair dryer because that adds to the tangles. Hope this helps curly girl's mom

My daughter has long curly hair. My quest for the perfect hair product is over. I use MOP Pear Detangler. You can get it in most of those discount beauty supply stores. I found mine at the one in Montclair. A bottle is $12 I think...but it lasts forever and it works. I also use a tiny (about a nickel in size) dab of Curlfriends leave in conditioner on the ends of her hair after I wash it. They sell that there's in the $15 range and lasts forever as well. I spend more on my kids hair products than I do on my own...but its worth it just to tame the beast! Mother of two of hair challenged girls

Hi, My own daughter's hair, though only mid-back length, also caused many tears during the comb-out process, especially during the summer months with near daily swim activities. What finally helped us was not a change in product (to my knowledge) but a change in process. We shampoo first (we use Ultraswim during the summer, and just plain Suave the rest of the year), and after rinsing we apply a generous amount of conditioner to her hair, from root to tip. Because we use conditioner liberally, we buy a very cheap but effective product, White Rain conditioner, which is 86 cents for a large bottle at Target. The next step is key: we comb out the hair with a wide tooth comb WHILE it is wet, in fact often while we are rinsing out the conditioner. It is much easier than trying to do so after towel drying. After all the conditioner is removed, we pat the hair gently with a towel but don't rub, so that the detangled hair essentially remains that way. The next morning, we have some tangles again, so we spray with a detangler (Target brand, I figure most products are very alike in composition, you're paying for packaging for many of the cosmetic brands) on the dry hair before brushing. Usually no problem as long as I am patient in brushing! Hope this helps. We've been there! carolyn

Detangler for Asian child's long hair

Feb 2005

Can anyone recommend a good detangler/rinse for our adopted daughter's long straight hair? She is Chinese, has beautiful long hair, but it frequently tangles in the back after sleeping. She is 4 years old and hates hairwashing. I have wavy hair and have been using a Paul Mitchell product to make it easier to comb through her washed hair, but lately it is leaving her hair semi-oily because she will not allow me to rinse it well. There are probably lots of products that women with similar hair can recommend. Please help. Want to do better

You didn't say which PM product you use. We use Paul Mitchell's leave-in conditioner, which is a blue gel, after hair washing. In between washes we use Paul Mitchell's hair tamer, which is a leave-in detangler with a pump sprayer. It has a little yellow happy face on the bottle. My (white) daughter has long hair and it really helps keep the tangles away. I also invested in a boar's hair hairbrush because it pulls less on her scalp. Sometimes I am tempted to cut her hair so it will be easier to manage, but it's so much a part of her identity by now that I can't bring myself to do it. Luckily her brother has short hair so I only have one head to worry about. Good luck! Fellow Hair Wrangler

Have you tried loosely braiding her hair at night? This worked wonders for a friend's daughter who had rear-length hair. I also have used the spray detanglers instead of conditioner (which weighed down my son's hair). Of course his hair is not as long, but mine is fairly long and I've actually used his detangler, as well as Aussie's leave in spray on conditioner. When I used to babysit as a teenager, the little one I sat for the most had VERY long hair, we played ''mermaid'' to get her hair rinsed. I would have her sit in the tub, leaning back on her hands, and I would use this big half shell her parents had to repeatedly pour water over her hair while we playacted mermaid together (Mermaids have VERY long lustrous hair you know, and you have to rinse it *just right* to get that mermaid shine..). Hope some of this helps. Karin

I don't know of any specific detanglers that work, but I also have long hair that tangles (not asian hair, just plain old white lady hair). I use regular conditioner and it works fine, but I also braid my hair at night so that it doesn't tangle, and perhaps a quick, loose braid would help your daughter's problem. Make sure it's low on the head because sleeping on the start of the braid might be a little uncomfortable. I use coated nylon bands that don't have a metal connector, too, because it won't rip my hair in the morning when I take my hair down. This works for me. Also tangled

I have long asian hair. I hope this can be of some use to you: Part her hair and put in 2 loose braids for sleeping (or 1 if hair is very long). They must be loose, so she can be comfortable. Make sure there are no single hairs pulling. Use silicone ''rubber'' bands to fasten the ends and wrap around as many times as necessary to not fall off. The tangling will be greatly reduced. When detangling, be gentle. Start by detangling the ends, then move up a few inches and detangle that section, repeat until you can finally comb from scalp to ends without tangles. Use a wide toothed comb without seams and ridges. If you brush, use one with soft bristles and do not try to penetrate the thickness of all the hair. A brush is only a polishing tool, not a detangling tool. Simply smooth down the hair gently. This can be a nice, relaxing, bonding time for mother and daughter.

As for product recommendations, I would be concerned about putting strong ingredients on her delicate skin. If you are using Johnson & Johnson's Baby Shampoo, this is a rather drying shampoo. Maybe look into Free & Clear Shampoo and Conditioners. They are fragrance free to minimize sensitivity reactions. The drugstore should have them; perhaps call first.

For rinsing, a shower sprayer works really well. Have your daughter hold a folded washcloth over her eyes while you rinse.

When your daughter approaches puberty, her hair texture will probably change from fine and thin to thick and coarse; if it does she will need more emollient, heavier conditioners.

You may find the following link helpful: This is a very warm, welcoming community who would love to answer your hair questions! HTH! J12

Need a detangler that really works for 7-y-o's hair

Jan. 2004

Does anyone have a recommendation for a detangling spray that really works for very fine long hair? My seven year old really wants to keep her hair long, but I don't like the drama every morning trying to comb her hair. We've tried Suave and J, but someone told me there was something that worked even better but I can't remember the name. Thanks for any help detangling

The detangler that works for us (self and daughter, both with long hair)is Paul Mitchell Lite Detangler. It is a pump spray that goes on wet (or dry) hair before combing. I periodically check for it at beauty salon places with the same company's products but it is hard to find this particular product. I stock up when I see it and haven't had to purchase any in a while so I can't recommend where exactly to find it. Paula

I just put a couple of dollops of conditioner in a spray bottle, fill the rest with water and it works well. Also I glob conditioner over the knots before washing my daughter's hair or at the same time as the shampoo, which also helps. Lastly I don't remember the name either (possibly California Baby) but I know it was grapefruit-scented and from a health food store- tried a few years ago and it seemed to work very nicely. Except the grapefruit smell got to be too much for me after a bunch of sprays (however I am quite sensitive to smells so it may not be too strong.) Chris

We have had good results with L'Oreal Kids Tangle Tamer. Put it on dry hair - really saturate the snags - and let it soak for a few minutes before brushing. Really bad snarls require repeat applications, but it doesn't leave the hair sticky or unpleasant at all. Good luck. Janie

You should ask your question here: You will get lots of great advice!