When I found out I was having a girl, one of the first things I started imagining were adorable hairstyles. No one can deny just how cute little pigtails are, am I right? What I didn’t anticipate was my daughter being born with virtually no hair. Oh sure, she had hair in the technical sense (as in, she wasn’t totally bald), but it was basically impossible to work with. Now at the age of three, she still has what I would call “baby hair,” that is still very fine and uneven. To say it’s hard to work with is an understatement! But I’ve had time to hone my skills and I want to pass along some of them to help you in your toddler hair’s time of need.
1. Style When Wet
It may be counter intuitive for you to wet your child’s hair, when the first thing you probably do to style your own is to dry it. But we’re dealing with super fine and fly away hair that sometimes cannot be styled when it’s dry. Grab a squirt bottle and spray hair until it’s wet, but not soaking. Take a comb and move the moisture through the hair until it’s all pretty even. THEN start your ponytails and braids. Don’t worry, the hair will dry. Your child won’t look slicked back all day!
2. Use Inexpensive Elastic Hair Bands
Once your little girl has enough hair to gather into a ponytail, DO IT. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for! I recommend heading to your dollar store and picking up a pack of 500 for $1. The clear ones are my favorite! Don’t waste your money on fancy ones, because they all lose their shape after one or two uses and need to be tossed anyways. Baby hair is not usually thick enough for the fabric covered bands adults use, which I would recommend using since it causes even less breakage, once their hair thickens up.
3. Cut Out Hair Elastics
Want another reason to buy cheap hair bands? Well this tip involves cutting out the rubber band at the end of the day! We’ve already established they are cheap and don’t hold their shape, and are thus not great for more than 1 use. The other reason is because your little girl doesn’t have much hair right now, so why rip out even more when trying to remove a hair elastic? Prevent breakage by snipping out the rubber bands and just tossing. Remember, you have about 499 left!
4. Bows Are Your Friends
When you daughter doesn’t have enough hair to work with, you’re going to end up with messier looking hair as the day progresses. To camouflage the flyaways, start a good collection of bows and clips. We use these cute Goody bows and snap clips.
5. Use A Leave-In Conditioner
Just because your daughter doesn’t have a ton of hair, doesn’t mean it’s going to be smooth and manageable. My 3 year old takes after me and has the makings of a good crop of curly hair, which also means it can get frizzy. Instead of using a heavy weight conditioner in the bath, opt for a lightweight leave-in version instead. You simply spray on when their hair is still wet and comb through. It’s also great because it works as a detangler and makes styling that much more manageable!
6. Provide Entertainment
Even if your daughter has great toddler hair, it won’t make any difference if they don’t sit still enough for you to do it! While you most definitely don’t have to make hair styling time a grandiose occasion, you can still equip them with some tools to keep them preoccupied until you learn to whip out an Elsa or Katniss braid in 5 minutes. Make certain toys “hair time” toys so it keeps them entertained and are special for only that time, or even hand over your cell phone so they can watch a quick episode of Elena of Avalor.
7. Avoid Bangs
I hope I’m not banishing your dream right before your eye, but toddlers with bangs? Not always the best idea. Sure, they look positively ADORABLE- when they’re done. But last I checked, toddlers are non-stop moving. That means your little sweet girl’s bangs are going to constantly look disheveled and probably be hanging in her eyes. My rule of thumb (especially with a daughter with curly hair) is that kids can have bangs once they can start doing them on their own. For now, keep it so they can focus on just being a kid and not constantly pushing hair out of their face.
8. Style Often
I have a friend who told me her daughter screams every time a brush comes near her head, and that she rarely does any styling as a result because she just doesn’t want to deal with it. I can’t say I blame her, because mornings are hectic enough! However in my house, getting your hair done is not an option. Sure, there are days that we go wild and let our hair down, but they are not every day. I want my 3 year old to understand that doing your hair is part of good hygiene and getting ready for the day. On the days she gives me grief, we do a simple ponytail. Others, she’s asking for multiple braids! The more you style your little one’s hair, the more they come to expect it as a part of their routine. And they’ll look pretty darn cute along the way.