Last week I sent out a call for your best kids' haircare hacks, and the response has been FABULOUS! Thank you for all the emails, tweets, and Facebook comments.
To kick off our extravaganza of kids' haircare hacks, I'll begin with one that came up repeatedly: stop shampooing your kid's hair every time she takes a bath or shower. Instead, do a conditioner-only rise for fewer tangles and more managability.
Here's Maggie's story:
One of the hacks I use on my daughter's hair is to "wash" it with conditioner only. She is 4 and does not have the patience for shampoo + conditioner, and the 2-in-1 products still leave her hair too dry and flyaway. I checked the ingredients in shampoo and conditioner, and many are the same, so I just use conditioner on her hair to get it clean.
Another advantage is that it does not drip or run like shampoo, so there's much less trouble with it getting in her eyes. Since her skin doesn't get oily and she doesn't use any styling products, there's no greasiness, and the conditioner gets out the food and art supplies that seem to solidify in her hair!
Bonnie's take, which also answers the "but won't their hair get greasy?" question:
What most parents don't know is that almost all shampoos are too powerful for young hair (and grownup hair for that matter) and it strips it, making it tangle more easily and get dirty/greasy faster. Use a good-quality conditioner only. Conditioners have a small amount of cleanser in them so they rinse clean and the creaminess makes getting food/paste/paint messes out much easier than shampoo, and it doesn't hurt as badly when it gets in their eyes. It will take about a week of transition for their hair to stop producing so much grease, but after that it will be MUCH easier to manage. (For the really nasty messes, vinegar works well.)
This is a great hack for adults, too. I haven't used shampoo in months, I'm conditioner-only, and I've never gotten so many compliments on how great my hair looks! Better for little ones, better for fashion, and better for the pocketbook. Hacks don't get much better than that!
Indeed. I'm going to give this one a try myself. I like the idea of fewer bottles in the shower, and fewer chemicals down the drain.
On the Parent Hacks Facebook page, XXina recommends sticking with high-quality conditioner. She likes Neutrogena, but also suggested grapeseed oil as an inexpensive natural alternative. My dad, who grew up in India, swears by coconut oil as a hair and scalp conditioner. But I'd imagine you'd have to rinse the oil out. Right?
What's your favorite hair conditioner? Is expensive conditioner really better than the cheap stuff?