Toddlers. They are cute and cuddly. So cute that you just can’t help styling them like little dolls. And all of the Instagram and Pinterest photos don’t help either! But if you are like me, your kids look cute, but not perfect. In fact, I’ve lost count of the number of times my girls have ripped bows out of their head and left them on my car floor. They love tutus, but hate bows… so I’ve given up. And that’s ok! As a mom, you have to learn how to maintain your sanity. If you’ve been looking for tips to style your toddler’s hair — and maintain your sanity — here you go:
Style Your Toddler’s Hair Based upon Mood
You wouldn’t run errands when your child is sleepy would you? (Ok. Sometimes you might, but it’s not ideal.) Similarly, you shouldn’t style your child’s hair when he/she is in a bad mood… especially with very young children. My youngest daughter is VERY squirmy and busy. When she is especially active, I style her hair in puffs or a curly fro. Trying to braid her hair when she she is not in the mood is just torture for the both of us.
Set the Mood for a Toddler Styling Session
Child experts advise against too much television, but in certain instances it’s necessary. A toddler styling session qualifies as one of those instances. Tune to your child’s favorite show — one that will put them in a trance and stay still. Another alternative is a book or a toy that will allow the child to stay occupied. If you’re lucky, you may have a child who will stay asleep while you style.
Be Gentle with Your Toddler’s Hair
In the black community, much of the disdain for “our hair” begins with childhood styling sessions. Love for our hair starts at a young age, so make sure that hairstyling is a positive experience. If you are constantly ripping hair out and your child is crying in pain, then it is time to reevaluate your styling routine. Be gentle and be patient. Don’t try an intricate style when you are in a rush. And make sure you are using products that provide some slip. Whenever I style my daughters’ I always spritz with water and/or use a hair milk to add some slip. I also detangle from end to root and I don’t “comb” their hair every day. Instead, I finger detangle during the week and detangle thoroughly on wash day.
Use Protective Styles
Since I have to get two toddlers and myself out the door every morning, protective styles are a lifesaver. Sometimes I may do a set of cornrows that last a week, other times I’ll braid two cornrows that normally last two days. My all time favorite protective style are twists, since they are tension-free and provide style versatility.
Lower Your Expectations: Get off Instagram and Pinterest
Okay, logging off social media is extreme, but it is important for you to be realistic about your expectations for your child’s hair. Do you really expect your toddler to sit still long enough to braid an intricate heart design into her hair? Will that style work with you child’s hair type? Social media shows many ideals that may or may not be reality for many of us. Know your child and your child’s hair and make appropriate choices accordingly.
What tips do you have for styling a toddler’s hair?