top of page

Detangling: An Enemy and a Friend

Detangling curly and coily hair can be a chore, and sometimes even a pain. Toddlers are temperamental by nature, and most of them do not care for getting their hair washed, let alone styled. There are a few tools and tricks that can make the detangling session with your little one easier, and even quicker.

Toddlers are young and so impatient, and we do not want to hurt them of course, so combing their hair can be extremely problematic and tedious if you are not using the right tools and tricks to make the process smoother for the both of you. Here are some tips, tricks, and products that should help ease the process and keep them in smiles.


This is an obvious one but keeping them preoccupied truly helps - easier said than done I know. Let them watch a movie, listen to music, or play with a toy when you are doing their hair. It helps distract them, and will allow for you to have some unbothered time to work through those tangles. I would recommend any distraction that keeps their head from moving around. The more they move, the more tugging you have to do.


One of the most important steps in my own curly hair wash day process is to do a pre-shampoo before shampooing my hair. If you are not familiar with this term, it's basically just the process of applying an oil and a detangler to the hair (for at least 15 minutes) just before you're going to shampoo it.

To pre-shampoo your little one's hair, apply a R2 coin-sized blob of oil directly to their scalp and gently massage it in with your fingertips - be careful not to use your nails as this could hurt them and cause inflammation. Scalp massages help to improve blood circulation in the scalp which promotes hair growth in the long run, but it also helps to relax them. Depending on how much hair your little one has, you may find it easier to part it in sections to have easier access to the scalp when applying your Oil. I recommend using Aunt Jackies Soft Oll Over Oil. It's a daily treatment formulated with flaxseed oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, grapeseed and ginseng to invigorate and deeply moisturise their hair.

After you've applied the oil to their hair and you've done a mini-scalp massage, I recommend that add you some oil directly to the palm of my hands, rub them together to make the oil warm and then rub it into their hair. It's important to note you should't start to detangle at this step because it's much harder to do this while the hair is dry, even with the oil in it! This brings us to the next tip!


You should only ever start to detangle when their hair is wet and saturated with product. Once they are in the bath, you can either use a cup or the detachable shower head to wet their hair with some water and begin the final steps of the detangling process.

The next step is to use a water-based detangling product. I recommend using Aunt Jackies Knot Havin' It detangler. This product is enriched with coconut oil, shea butter and extra virgin olive oil to deeply moisturise their hair and scalp, and it provides the perfect slip which makes detangling that much easier.

The combination of oil, detangler and water in their hair should allow your fingers or comb to slip right through any tangles! If you don't want to use your fingers to detangle, my comb of choice is the essential comb from Clicks. I really emphasize doing this part of your detangling process while your little one's hair is soaking wet because it is much more pleasant for them than trying to detangle dry hair; Remember our goal here is to achieve tangle-free hair with no tears!


Do not put off removing those tangles, as they will only get worse. If you see they have had a hard day of playing, and their hair is making its move into tangle-mode, take a few minutes with a detangler, and work the tangles out with a wide-toothed comb, or a detangling brush.


They are a must to help remove those tangles, without yanking or breaking their hair. Many places have cute styles and colours that will make your little one's themselves want to use them (if they're old enough to even know what a comb is). It could also contribute to them wanting to help with their hair care. The 3-Pack Comb-set from Mr Price is a favourite among moms and dads because it works well with detangling and combing the hair, and it appeals to children's love for all things bright and colourful. It is up to you to set the tone for healthy hair care and that starts with the detangling process.


We must remember to be patient with our little ones in the detangling and wash day process. Toddlers are focused on playing and having fun! I am yet to come across one who loves to sit still and have their hair combed out, washed or styled (if you have one that does, kudos to you!). This makes it vital that you remain patient and show them extra love throughout the process. You could sing a song while massaging their scalp, and talk them through the process just to let them know what you're doing. These things are soothing and make the process more enjoyable for little ones - and aid in an advantageous bonding session. The most important thing is to avoid creating a negative association in your child's mind about hair care.

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page