“Let’s brush your hair!” - these are words that spark terror into the hearts of children...and honestly, can you blame them? Brushing out knots and tangles after a long day can be very painful, and is the last thing that a child or parent wants to do. The process is one full of tears, jerking away, and stern frustrations that simply repeats day after day.
Thankfully, we are here to help! We’ve done our research and spoken to top-notch parents to get the dirt on detangling and styling kids’ hair without the screams and tantrums. Hopefully, you’ll find a few tips in here that you can try out on your little one to make wash day just a little bit more fun.
First things first, make sure that you are using the right tools for the job. Typically, the best tool for detangling hair is a wide-toothed comb (try one with rounded tips), as they are gentle and don’t cause damage to the hair, but still do a good job getting to the root of any knots.
There are also hair brushes that are made specifically for wet hair and detangling, so keep an eye out for those at the store if your child is sensitive to a comb and prefers a brush instead.
In addition to a good comb or wet-hair safe brush, having a set of clips on hand is incredibly helpful. Check out the Up For Grabs clips. These are amazing, because they have a soft matte touch and wide alligator grip that makes sectioning a breeze.
It may seem like “too much stuff” for simply brushing through hair, but sectioning the hair into sections to break down the detangling into less painful pieces is key to working with kids’ hair. It will actually save you time in the long run, because it causes less crying and pain like when working through larger sections of tangles.
Finally, the last tool for your arsenal - a GOOD detangling product! Attempting to brush through the matted tangles of a long day at school or playing without a detangler is not a recipe for success.
We recommend the Tribology Bright Spot Shine Spray. It works wonders as a detangler, provides hair with shine and moisture, and has a great smell that kids will love.
Okay, so we have got all of the tools lined out. Next step? The detangling!
First things first, make sure that your child is distracted and comfortable. We know that this is half the battle.
Parent Pro-Tip: Make it fun for them! When the child feels included in the detangling and styling process, they’re much less likely to cry or focus on the pain. Include them by giving them an important “job”, such as handing you the clips while you section, or holding the brush in between pieces.
You can even take it a step further by having a designated drawer/cabinet with the supplies you use, and have the child be “in charge” of getting everything ready before combing/brushing time! Kids usually are excited to have an important job and contribute - it’s also great bonding time.
If they are too young for the above, or if having a responsibility isn’t their motivator - that is okay! Instead, keep them entertained by playing with a tablet, phone or reading a book. Ask lots of questions and keep them talking or engaged as you work through each section so they are less focused on the brushing, and more focused on the conversation.
After they’re settled, start by parting the clean, wet hair horizontally from ear to ear and clipping the upper section of hair onto the top of the head to keep it out of the way.
Spray the bottom section of their hair liberally with your detangler of choice (3-5 spritzes of Bright Spot is our recommendation!).
Make sure to apply enough so that their hair feels well coated, but not overly saturated. Separate a single section of hair (about 1 or 2 inches) and hold it firmly near the hair ends. The key to detangling painlessly is to start combing from the end of the hair, not at the roots. Brushing or combing a tangle downwards from the root will only push the knot down into one huge clump! So, start at the end of your section and work your way upwards, little by little, to the root.
Parent Pro-Tip: Always hold the hair by grasping just above the snag you’re working on to prevent tugging at the scalp when you comb. Pulling on the scalp is what hurts the most and causes kids to jerk and cry.
Work your way through the bottom section of hair, just a little bit at a time.
Once you’ve gotten the bottom fully detangled and soft, let a bit more hair down from the section in the clip. Repeat this process until all of your child’s tresses are tangle free. If you come across any tangles that need extra help, spray another spritz of detangler right onto the knot.
Parent Pro-Tip: End your detangling with a hug! Making the experience as positive for your child as possible will make them less leery of brushing time in the future.
Now that you have a freshly washed and detangled head of hair in front of you, it is time to face the next step: styling the wet hair. There are several options, like a protective style, heat styling, or even simply letting the hair air dry.
Depending on your child’s hair type and texture, you may choose to opt for a protective style. We have a full blog dedicated to protective styling.
If your little one is off to bed, try styling their hair into loose braids, or a loose ponytail. This helps them to sleep comfortably without the worry of creating more knots as they toss and turn in their sleep.
It’s a good idea to braid or style the hair in an updo if they are going to play sports or physical activities, as well as help cut down on knotting throughout the day. You may want to opt for a tighter hairstyle if it is going to be worn all day long.
If your child hates sleeping with wet hair, or wants to rock some sleeker strands - check out the RevAir Reverse Air Blow Dryer. The RevAir dries hair by using low heat (low enough that you can even stick a finger inside the wand to feel) and tension (reverse-air) to dry the hair straight while sealing the cuticle for a smooth finish.
The tension is easily customizable with 7 different settings, none of which will pull and cause pain like a hair brush and blow dryer.
It’s super easy to use! Kids even love to use the RevAir themselves, with some monitoring from Mom or Dad, because it is so easy that they can do it all by themselves - holding the wand at the root is the only step.
Want to see some unbiased reviews of kids using the RevAir?
We don’t blame you! The safety of your child always comes first, and we want to provide you with easy and healthy options to style their hair. This mom and daughter duo created a video reviewing the RevAir for different hair textures.
We hope that this blog has brought you a few tricks to make your next washing and detangling day a bit easier! As always, feel free to reach out to our team if you have any questions about products, usage, or the RevAir itself.