Proper hair care starts when kids are babies. But tweens will usually start showing interest in caring for their hair themselves. This is a necessary skill. It especially comes in handy for when the kids are not with you, such as at school or at a friend's house. Whether their hair needs some extra maintenance or a full-on routine, tweens need to know how to properly care for their own hair.
Show them by example. The first step in teaching tweens to properly care for their hair is as simple as caring for your own. When they have a good example to follow, it's much easier to get the point across. On the other hand, if your hair is mess, why would they trust that what you have to say about hair care is correct? Anything you are telling them to do is something you should also be doing yourself. My kids already know that if I am telling them something about hair care, I have either been doing that myself with my own hair or theirs. If your family has various hair types, like in ours, make sure they understand which things you cannot do with your own hair, but that are great for theirs.
Always have the proper supplies within reach. It's much easier to keep up a hair care routine if your tween has easy access to the supplies. Don't make her search for the basic supplies needed, like a brush, comb, shampoo, conditioner, or hair accessories. Everything your tween needs to style his hair should be in a convenient location for him. This will avoid frustration for everyone. You may be thinking about hair products that could be toxic. We have a general rule about toxicity in our house. If something's toxic enough that you'd worry about the kids using it without you, it doesn't belong in the house anyway. We generally purchase or make our own hair care products that use only natural and safe ingredients.
Make it a part of the daily routine. There should be a set time for your tween to maintain her hair each morning. She should also know that even if she brushes and styles her hair at that time, there may be extra maintenance throughout the day. Most hairstyles will have to be adjusted at some point during the day. Knowing to do this will also help your tween feel more confident at school and in other public places.
Explain the purposes of each item. While you may think it is obvious, there are some things your tween needs an explanation for. He may know what the item is, but does he know the purpose of it as well as why it needs to be done? For instance, myself and two of the kids use Hollywood Beauty Tea Tree Oil in our hair care routine. For us, it helps keep frizz under control, reduces breakage, prevents dandruff and dry scalp, and more. They may know the routine and that a particular item is part of it, but let them know the reason that routine is in place.
Teach them easy hairstyles. If you expect your tween to maintain proper hair care, simple styles must be taught. Of course you can also teach them elaborate hair styling techniques. But start with the basics and make sure they have plenty to choose from. This makes it easy for them to get ready in the morning. It also will help if their style comes loose at school and they need to improvise. Girls lose their ponytail fasteners often. Make sure they know how to style their hair both with and without accessories. My tweens know how to style their hair so well that they prefer to always do it themselves.
Explain what happens to hair not properly cared for. Not only do tweens need to understand what happens when they style their hair, but they also need to understand what happens when they do it incorrectly. Show them what non-managed hair looks like, if possible. Talk about how people can go bald, get knotted up hair, split ends, and more when the wrong products are used or when nothing is done at all. Have them look in the mirror when they first wake up and ask them if they would go to school that way. If they are homeschooled, like mine, instead ask them if they would go meet their friends that way or go to a sports practice or library like that. When they can visibly compare well kept hair to that which isn't, they may better comprehend why proper hair care is so important.
The kids are looking forward to going back to school for the fall, but you're dreading that morning rush. Hair styling can take up a good portion of time if you allow it to. But there are several ways to minimize some of the time and stress involved with styling a kid's hair for school.
Wash and Condition at Night
By washing and conditioning a kid's hair at night, parents can minimize the time it takes for morning hair styling. This way the time that may have been spent washing, conditioning, and drying the hair can be better spent on something else.
Forget Heated Devices
Not only are heated devices damaging to the hair, but they can add on a great deal of time, depending on how elaborate your kid's school hairstyle may be. If some style is needed, soft curlers can be placed in the hair before bed and are generally easy to remove. For quicker morning styling time, a large number of curlers is not recommended.
Use Long-Lasting Hairstyles
Kids with longer hair may benefit from long-lasting hairstyles for school. Some of these may include cornrow braids or dreadlocks. For the best results, these hairstyles should be well-maintained, as appropriate for each. If done right, there will be little to no hair styling involved while getting ready for school. This will certainly speed the morning routine.
Keep Hair Short
Short hair may be easier for kids to maintain themselves both while getting ready for school, as well as during school. Try choosing a short hairstyle for kids that can be achieved within just a few minutes.
Keep Hair Soft
Sometimes tangles in the hair can prolong hair styling time. Condition and brush the hair well at night to avoid this. Another thing that may help is to brush a small amount of tea tree oil through the hair both at night and in the morning.
If either you or your child has been expressing interest in a summer haircut, there are many things to consider. Perhaps your child is not interested in the haircut or maybe you are the one questioning the idea. While a summer haircut may be right for some kids, it may not be for everyone. I've discussed this topic with all of my kids at some point. Together, you and your child can make an informed decision after considering all the options.
Is your child getting hot too easily? This is one of the biggest reasons people opt for shorter hairstyles during the summer. Kids are no different. If your child's hair is contributing to the heat, a haircut may help with some ventilation. Some people may instead opt to keep the child's hair in a bun, braid, or ponytail. Some kids may feel more freedom when they don't need to tie their hair back in this way. That's when a shorter cut can come in handy.
How quickly does your child's hair grow back? If your child's hair grows quickly, it may not be a big deal to cut it for the summer. On the other hand, if you have a hard time getting your child's hair to grow, you may not want to do much more than trimming. If your child prefers length and it takes a long time to get there, a short hair cut may not be a very good idea. My son loves it every time I cut his hair. However, his hair grows back extremely fast. None of my girls will allow their hair to be cut by much. One has hair that grows back fast and the other two do not.
How attached is your child to the longer hair? Some kids are very attached to their hair. Other than trimmings and cutting the bangs, none of my girls like to get theirs cut short, summer or not. If your child likes longer hair, you should consider those feelings before deciding to cut it all off. My well-intentioned mom made a mistake in this area when I was a kid. It was summertime and she was trying to cool me off. I ended up with a very short hair cut and I was saddened about my long hair being missing for quite a long time. To this day, my hair has still never returned to that length. Therefore, whenever I think about giving my kids a haircut, I keep that in mind.
What look does your child prefer? Whenever you do anything regarding a child's look, you should always ask that person first. Talk to your child about preferred styles. Your child should always be happy with the decision. Some kids just do not like short hair, even if it feels breezier that way. Other kids aren't happy with longer hair. No matter how cute you may think a summer haircut will be on your kid, ultimately it's not your choice to make. Unless you are dealing with a baby, your child should have the final say in whether a summer haircut is ideal.
At the end of the day, it's just hair. In the grand scheme of things, does a hairstyle really matter? There are so many more important things in the world to be considering. If your child is the one who wants the haircut and you are the one attached to the hair, remember that it's just hair. Hair does grow back eventually in most cases. You can also explain this to your child so that all options are covered. It will be easier for you and your child to come to a decision when all points are presented.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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