Detangling curly, coily, and wavy hair can be a chore, and sometimes even a pain. Well, just imagine trying to detangle a child’s hair, or better yet, a toddler’s hair! Toddlers are temperamental by nature, and most of them do not care for getting their hair washed, let alone styled. I remember whenever I had to wash my daughter’s hair, I had to sing “Jingle Bells” in between her tears to keep her mind off the task, and quite often, it worked!

Toddlers are fickle, and they tend to not like many daily activities, such as getting dressed, or getting their hair combed. One reader, Jose.Ramos from our Curly Q&A, is going through this now and inquired about how to fix the problem.

comb toddler s and body

Question

What can I use in my 3-year-old's hair to detangle it, without the pain it causes her? She hates the comb.

Answer

There are a few tools and tricks that can make the detangling session with your toddler easier, and even quicker. They are young and impatient, and of course we do not want to hurt them, so combing their hair can be problematic if you are not using the right tools and tricks to make the process smoother. Here are some tips, tricks, and products that should help and keep them in smiles, and their curls fabulous.

Keep them preoccupied

Keeping them preoccupied truly helps. Let them watch a movie, listen to music, or play with a toy when you are doing their hair. It helps distract them, and will allow you time unbothered to work through those tangles.

Try detangling products specifically created for kids

There are several detangling sprays, shampoos, and conditioners just for kids now that have extra slip to help those tangles unravel. Many have tear-free formulas that will not irritate their eyes and skin. Their ingredients list is pumped up with moisturizers to ensure their hair is soft, easy to manage, and tangle-free. This is a must-have investment.

Kinky Curly Knot Today

Use conditioners with tons of slip

This is a must, as slip allows the comb or brush to just glide through those tangles. Kinky-Curly Knot Today is a favorite, as it harnesses the slip magic of marshmallow root and slippery elm. Never skip the conditioning step on wash day, as that will help keep the hairs friction-free.

Sleep on a satin pillowcase or wear a satin bonnet

Start introducing them to satin. First off, they will love it; and secondly, it will cut down on dryness and breakage. This is also helpful with deterring tangles, so try a satin pillowcase or a satin bonnet for your toddler.

Enlist the help of wide-toothed combs and detangling brushes

They are a must to help remove those tangles, without yanking or breaking the hair. Many have cute styles and colors that will make the kids themselves want to use them, and that can also help if she or he wants to aid in their hair care. The SH&SH Detangling Hair Brush is a favorite among moms and dads because it works well with brushing the hair, and it appeals to children's love for all things bright and colorful.

Don’t let it get too tangled

Do not put off removing those tangles, as they will only get worse. If you see she has had a hard day of play, and her hair is making its move to tangle, take a few minutes with a kid’s detangling spray, and work the tangles out with a wide-toothed comb, or detangling brush.

Here are a few favorite detangling sprays and conditioners for kids that will alleviate those tangles, and tears.

What are tried and true tips for detangling a toddler’s hair?

This article was originally published in 2016 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.