Make detangling more fun (less unfun?) by turning it into a game
Ah, the joys of detangling long hair. Here's how Amy manages the tresses:
Both my girls have long hair. One has long, blonde locks with an ultra-sensitive head, and the other has very curly, red hair and just doesn't like to have it brushed. Well, needless to say, after a bath, it was nearly impossible to get any tangles out (even with the de-tangler sprays). There was crying, no cooperation, and hiding just to avoid the whole situation.
So, I started naming all the tangles after the monsters on Sesame Street. Every time we found a tangle, I'd call it Oscar the Grouch or Cookie Monster or whoever. It made it a lot more fun to get the monsters out of their hair! Now, we only keep Princesses in their hair and all the monsters have to get out!
Seriously, I know it sounds corny, but it works!
For curls, we've had good luck with a wide-tooth comb + conditioner while still in the bathtub (pre-towel drying). I also keep on hand a spray bottle full of water mixed with a dollop of conditioner (my cheapskate homemade detangler) which I spritz on my daughter's hair every morning (to keep bedhead at bay).
Marginally related tangent: I'm of Indian and Jewish parentage, and when I was a little girl I had middle-of-the-back length, straight, thick, brown hair. Detangling and brushing (and pony-tailing and/or barretting) was a daily part of my life. First, spritz (did you know this is the Yiddish word for spray?), then comb, then brush, then style. My mom always started combing at the tips and worked her way to the root.
Boy did I look cute in those old photos, but when I imagine spending that much time on my daughter's hair? Can't see it happening. This makes me think we need to have a little "Talk Amongst Yourselves" about simple, cute girl's hairstyles. Hmmmm. I'll get back to you on that one.