Help! My kid won't let me comb her hair.

United States
June 28, 2008 5:08pm CST
My four year old is going through a stage where she doesn't want anyone to comb her hair. And since she has long curly hair, she gets tangles easily. If it's not combed daily it mats. But when I try to comb her hair she shrieks and screams, even if the hair is not tangled. We just bought the Johnson's no tangles spray and are hoping that will ease the matting. When she bathes in the tub, her hair is more pliable and easier to deal with. But she still won't let me comb it. I have asked her to comb her hair, but she won't. I'm in a difficult situation and don't know what to do. Any suggestions? Would appreciate. Thanks!
21 people like this
59 responses
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
30 Jun 08
I have a daughter that had hair like that. It was down to her waist and so beautiful...i really didn't want to cut it but combing it out was torture for her. It is painful...i had hair like that too. Johnsons helped a lot and so did putting it in a big braid each nite at bedtime. I did cut it once when she was about 5 and even then it was only to her shoulders and she hated it and wanted her long hair back. I gave her a choice because as much as I loved her hair, it made me feel horrible every day as a mom to torture her in that way. So her choice was that either she cut it short enough so that it wasn't a problem or she learn to comb it out herself. She opted to do it herself. Each nite she sat down and combed it out while watching tv. When she was done, I ran the comb through it to make sure she got it all. She usually did. Then before bed, I put it in a big braid. solved the problem.
2 people like this
@mommyboo (13198)
• United States
30 Jun 08
I put my hair in a braid too when I was a kid to sleep in, not because it was curly, simply because it was long. The best thing to do with curly hair that tangles is to only brush or comb it when it's damp. I cannot believe how many people attempt to do that when it's dry, no wonder it mats up and hurts.
• United States
30 Jun 08
When my daughter was that age, she had beautiful long, curly hair and I went through the same thing. I am not sure if threatening to cut it is a good suggestion. I tried that on one of my other children, and to my surprise, she cut her own hair...half of the hair on her head. But, my daugther wanted to be independent and she didn't like any help for anything. So, I decided to start asking her to help me with my hair. I would ask her to comb it because I didn't think I would be able to do as nice of a job as she would. After asking a couple of times, I would have her comb my hair and then I would ask her if I could try to comb hers. It think this helps because it made her realize that although you may be a "big girl" sometimes you need help anyway. She is 7 now and she still comes up to me and says, "Mom, do you need me to fix your hair today, because I don't think you did a very good job." LOL.
2 people like this
@cyberfluf (5005)
• Netherlands
28 Jun 08
Have you tried making the haircombing a game or reward her for combing her hair or when she allows you to comb it? Depending on her age you could try to sing a song together while combing her hair which might distract her. In Holland we have 'Andrelon Perfecte Krul' (would be something like 'Andrelon perfect curl') and it gets hair very smooth and soft. If you put it in and comb it in the shower while it's still wet there will hardly be any tangles left. My foster brother is allmost two and had a lot of tangles in his hair, but when we put this in it works like a charm. Not too expensive too. If they sell it over there I would really recommend it. There's a shampoo, a conditioner and a spray. We use just the conditioner but I guess the other items would be good as well. Good luck!
• United States
29 Jun 08
Thanks for the cool tip. I checked online and found some online. But I don't know if they are selling any. I will check locally. Sounds like what we need!
@cyberfluf (5005)
• Netherlands
29 Jun 08
I hope it works! There indeed are a lot of kids facing problems with combing their hair like I saw in another response below, but sometimes hair can get so tangly and hurtfull it's not an unnessesairy thing to get a good conditioner. It can take away one part of the problem. Being consequent about it also helps. Same time every day and make sure she knows what's going to happen so she can kinda preper herself :)
• United States
1 Jul 08
Thank you for all your wonderful beauty tips!
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
30 Jun 08
I hope you won't be offended by what I have to say here but it's time you showed your daughter who's boss or who's the mommy. If you don't then later on she'll be taking over and telling you yes or no to what she will and will not do. A four year old needs to learn that now while they're young. Being that she has curly hair, I'd say cut it off to shoulder length till she gets older and into wanting to do things for herself such as a 10 year old or older wants to do for themselves. It'll be much easier on the both of you. Good luck beautyqueen!
1 person likes this
@chertsy (3805)
• United States
30 Jun 08
Cutting the child's hair might cause her curls to go away. It happened to me as a child, I looked like Shirley Temple. Then my mom had it cut and my curls fell. My youngest had beautiful curls until my oldest gave her a hair cut without me knowing and her's fell. It happens to a lot of curly headed kids when they are young.
@mommyboo (13198)
• United States
30 Jun 08
I would not suggest cutting off curly hair. In lots of cases, it cuts the curls off and the new growth can be a different texture and sometimes it looks odd. I had a friend in high school who said the reverse happened to her, she had straight hair, DARK straight hair and then she got really sick with something and was sick for almost a month. When she got over it, her hair grew in corkscrew curly and progressively lightened over the next few years. Before she cut it, it was practically two different colors and the ends were flat while the top was curly. I really don't understand all the comments I'm seeing about consequences and 'mommy is the boss' because you know what? Mommy is indeed the boss and mommy would be combing hair, not cutting it off. I wouldn't let my child get away with not allowing me to comb her hair, if it became a fight I would do it anyway.
• United States
28 Jun 08
I have this issue with 2 of my daughters. They are horrible about getting their hair brushed and if we don't do it twice a day, we end up cutting out the worst of the knots. We have tried promises of special treats, beauty hours and more. The thing that seems to work the best for me is the promise of a beauty hour where I will do their hair and nails, and then I let them do my hair, nails and makeup. It sometimes makes for an interesting look for Mom, but it works!
• United States
28 Jun 08
I love that beauty hour/spa day, idea! She is the ultimate four year old glam queen! She loves the lip gloss and nails, too. She is always looking at my beauty magazines. I'll bet that I could entice her with the beauty treats! Thanks everyone for the great ideas. I will try them all.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jun 08
Boy does this sound familiar. I was the same way. In fact my mom would say here comes that cat because I would say "ow" every time she combed my hair.Johnson's no tangles is what I was going to suggest.How everything changed for me was my mom gave up and took me to a hairdresser when I was about 9 or 10.But these days there should be more products for detangling hair.Check Johnson's website, maybe there are more products you can try. Good Luck.
1 person likes this
@jimbelle (485)
• Philippines
29 Jun 08
Cutting her hair short and putting some conditioner will lessen the tangles and can easily manage the hair. Using a wide spaced combed and not the fine one will easily run through the hair and less painful when it has tangles. Teaching her to comb her hair just like combing her doll's hair will also help.
1 person likes this
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
28 Jun 08
My daughter is only 17 months old, but she is going through that stage right now as well. Her hair is really curly and a pain to deal with if you do not comb through it at least once a day. The only way I have found that helps with her letting me do it is to put in on the edge of the bathroom sink and let the water run on her toes while I am combing her hair. Any other way and she fights with me.
• United States
29 Jun 08
Sometimes I do get to comb her hair when she sleeps. My daughter is a heavy sleeper. Last night, I found the comb and combed through most of her hair and today it's looking so much better. After I posted this, my daughter asked if she could have the detangler in her hair. She went around the house spraying everyone's hair. I think the cats got a dose, too! Her hair seems so much softer now. Thanks for your post and all the tips. Nice to commisserate with other moms who are going through the same thing! Be well.
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
29 Jun 08
That is cute. The soft detangled cat...
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
11 Aug 08
I got her some Sunsilk anti Frizz stuff last month. You are supposed to put it in towel dries hair. It REALLY helps with the knots. I use it after I wash her hair or I will wet it down with a spray bottle. It makes it so easy to comb through.
@moxalot (100)
• United States
29 Jun 08
I had the same problem with my 3 year old. One day I just told her if we don't brush your hair we're going to have to cut it off. Suddenly she let me spray the no more tangles and brush her hair. No problems since. The "beauty hour" didn't work with her. She's a bit of a tom-boy, so she didn't care about brushing mommy's hair.... Good Luck...
• Australia
30 Jun 08
I guess whatever your actions are as a parent you have to be consistant. Make hair brushing a routine. The only thing with a threat of 'let me brush it or we will have to cut it off' is that you have to follow through with it which can be a bit scary. I guess maybe a girl who wont brush long hair does need short hair?
@moxalot (100)
• United States
30 Jun 08
Believe me had she not let me brush her hair after I stated her hair would be cut. It would have been cut. It's silly to say something and then not follow through. It doesn't solve anything. My sister in law does stuff like that and in the end she screams and yells and hits her kids out of frustration because they know if the whine enough about it they'll get what they want.... Now that is truely silly and doesn't teach anything....
@GardenGerty (99448)
• United States
28 Jun 08
When I was six, I got up one morning after not combing my hair or letting mom do it. My hair was tangled, the bus was coming, and my mom cut 15 1/2 inches off, just cut my ponytail right off. I think I learned my lesson. That might be the choice you would have to give her, comb it, or cut it. The other side might be that you and she set up a "beauty time" daily, and both of you comb your hair out, and maybe take turns, she combing yours you combing hers. When you have it smoothe, braid it. Keep it braided most of the time. That will help it stay tangle free and grow even longer and more lovely. The de tangling spray should work. I always bought an inexpensive one at the Dollar Store. Give her a chance to earn some new hair items, you know, five days in a row with no fuss, you can get a new scrunchy or new barrettes, something related to her hair care. Reward her with items specific to the task.
• United States
16 Aug 08
That's a really good tip about the braid. I had not considered that. And I think it would work! Thanks.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (99448)
• United States
16 Aug 08
Have fun, she is only young this one time.
• United States
30 Jun 08
Well,are you ready to cut her hair off?. I mean that one way to teach her a lesson. she doesnt want her hair brushed. heh dont brush it. and when it bcomes dreads, cut her hair and explain to her that thats what happends when you dont comb your hair or let you comb her hair... what i would do.is show her who is boss, if you are using the detangle spray PLUS doing it in the bath tub were its easier. then abviously its not hurting her to much. so she has no reason to scream and shreik like that.. you are the mom she is the daughter, you have to do whats best for her wether she likes it or not. so if you dont wanna go a cutting her hair then you need to make her sit there screaming or not and comb her hair. do you really use a comb? i have curly curly thick hair to.and OMG combs hurt so bad,its not cool. try a brush instead:)... Goodluck with all that....
• United States
30 Jun 08
I just got another idea, You could buy her one of thoes little girl vanity's for her room and show her how to sit infront and brush her hair,that can make it fun,especially right before bed time:)
@williamjisir (22903)
• China
28 Jun 08
Hello dear beauty queen. I think that she doesn't feel comfortable when her curly hair is combed that she doesn't like to be combed. Have you thought about this, please?
• United States
29 Jun 08
Thank you for your kind comments. It's true. She does not like for me to comb her hair. I am still trying to help her learn to do to comb her hair for herself so she can take care of it. She is a very independent and free spirited person and prefers to do most things on her own. I think she would enjoy doing these things for herself and feel so grown up. It is nice to speak with you again. Be well, Your friend BeautyQueen
• United States
28 Jun 08
My 12 year old daughter has hair like that as did I when I was younger. I always washed her hair and then left a little conditioner in it without rinsing it out. This helps to get a brush through it easier. I tried the Johnsons No Tangle and it did not work as well as a dab of conditioner did. If her hair is as fine as my daughter's is, it will also keep it from frizzing so much.
• United States
29 Jun 08
Thanks! I'll definitely try the leave in conditioner. Her hair frizzes and snaps for no reason. I just changed from using a brush to a comb and it's working better, cause her hair is fine. But it is dry and I don't know why.
• Philippines
17 Nov 08
all you have to do as a parent is to be patience to your kid. Wait for sometimes until her naughtiness will fade away or gone. That's being a kid.. Kids are so sensitive, You should be a friend to your kid. Try to bought her/his favorite food and sports. or tell her/him what is the advantages it may caused once the hair isn't comb.
• United States
23 Aug 08
I went through this when I was a kid. I had really long hair so my hair had a tendency to tangle as well. I hated anyone brushing my hair because they weren't so nice when they were brushing my hair. At least I didn't think they were. I think the best thing you can do is ask her if she would like to brush her hair and then be there to help her when she gets stuck. Maybe when she's in the tub you could just take your hands and run your hands through her hair to help remove the tangles. I know it's not the same as brushing but it will help loosen all the tangles that she has and make it easier for her to brush later.
@vimaal (3365)
• India
23 Aug 08
hi beautyqueen, Iam also like your kids on my child age. Iam also don't like to comb my hair.Its our age problem.take care have a nice day,.
11 Aug 08
I think it is just girls who hate having their hair brushed, I dont know why though!!! My boyfriends niece she is 5 now and is at the stage where no one can brush her hair. luckily though it doesnt look too bad at times. I know when I had to look after her for a weekend, I gave her a bath before she went to her nans and had to dry her hair with out brushing it. She wouldnt let me wash it but I wasnt going to push her since she wasnt my daughter. I think if you offer her beauty treats like someone suggested or maybe ask her if she lets you brush her hair, she can pick one thing to do that day?? I know its bribery but it works with children!! Good luck and I hope you succeed. Im sure she will grow out of it!!
@moneyandgc (3430)
• United States
11 Aug 08
My daughter is 2 years old. Her hair isn't really long yet but it is curly and gets easily tangled. Right now she is really good about letting me brush it out. She buries her head in my knees saying, "Ow ow ow". I am afraid of this happening when her hair gets long. Keeping my fingers crossed!
@bagumbayan (2707)
• Philippines
11 Aug 08
Shes still a kid, I suggest that you cut her hair short so easy to manage. Show her pictures of girls with short hair and she might like it.
• Australia
26 Jul 08
Have you thought about getting her to brush hers while you brush yours? Kind of like 'monkey see, monkey do' type thing, she will always want to copy mummy! lol. Our girls all love having their hair done, so we don't have this problem.