How To Deal With A Tender-Headed Child

By: Dr. Kari Williams

Dealing with a Tender-Headed ChildI must be honest, typing the title of this blog post made me chuckle a little because I could hear the voice of someone’s Grandmother echoing the sentiment of the title in an affectionate, yet scolding tone.

The reality is a lot of people, not just children have tender scalps. The reason why some people experience more discomfort than others isn’t completely understood. But there are some ways that you can make the styling experience more comfortable for your child and even adults.

Truthfully, it all starts with a little patience.

Children tend to associate combing hair with the same negative experiences as their parents. The tangles and knots create a level of frustration for parents and extreme discomfort for the child. As a result, no one is looking forward to combing and styling hair.

Have a Hair Discussion

 To alleviate a dreadful styling session set aside a special time to talk about your child’s tresses; discuss likes and dislikes. Celebrate who they are, celebrate their beauty and praise their confidence and patience as well. Positive affirmation is crucial in stressing the importance of embracing their hair.

 Make it a bonding time

Watch their favorite movie and enjoy their favorite snacks. Bonding over food, fun, and hair between mother and daughter or father and daughter creates positive experiences and a healthy self-image. It can become a beauty ritual between parent and child.

Find a Stylist That Will Engage Your Child

In the salon setting, I have learned keeping the child distracted and engaged makes the experience easier for me and fun for the child.

Get the Right Tools

In addition to patience and distraction, it is important to use the right products and techniques for detangling, combing and manipulating your child’s hair. Important tools for detangling are a wide tooth comb, rat tail comb, spray bottle of water and a great detangling conditioner.  Also, detangle in sections and do not shampoo your child’s hair without completely detangling it first.  This will only cause the hair to mat and tangle more and that is no fun for either party involved.

A simple technique I have mastered in the salon setting for detangling is to mist the hair at the points where there are knots and build up with Seabreeze (yes, the astringent!) and massage a conditioner into the hair in the same areas. (One product that I like to use is Eden Bodyworks Peppermint Tea Tree Conditioner). This should create an easier detangling process, reducing the incidents of breakage.

You may not be able to cure your child’s tender scalp but you can make it a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for you and your child.

For more tips on caring for your child’s hair and products to use download my Ebook guide for Parents titled Mini-Tresses.



4 thoughts on “How To Deal With A Tender-Headed Child

  1. Vina

    Thank you! I’m 30000cough cough cough and I have a tender scalp. I found a stylist that is gentle with my head and even gives me a warning if she things it’s going to be a little big of a rough going. I’m 100% natural and I found that keeping my hair moisturized is the best help with keeping the painful tangles away!

  2. Tamara Mayo

    Thanks for sharing. My son is extremely tender headed and I don’t want him to grow up hating his hair. I’ll definitely be checking out those products you suggested.


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