When I was little, HAIR was a four letter word. I couldn’t get past how it never looked right or reflected how I felt, especially when I was having a bad day. Now that I’m an aunt to two girls and a boy, I see the same struggles. My sister with the two little girls has a constant battle with their hair, yet her struggle got me thinking that maybe the best advice comes from those with personal experience. Here is a bit about my childhood and what moms should know to help their little ones defeat the “knotty monster”
What Is The Knotty Monster?
The Knotty Monster (as my family and I call it) is a knot whose miraculous appearance tangles hair. Eventually the Knotty Monster can grow to mammoth-size proportions and take over your hair. In extreme cases, it means a drastic haircut. For me, dealing with the Knotty Monster began at an early age. There are very few photos of me as a child without wild hair.
A Haircare Relearning
As a preteen, I began losing interest in my hair. Embarrassed by my already changing appearance, I had not told my mom that I stopped brushing my hair and had developed a large knot. Within a year, my hair had to be chopped off, much to my dismay. Yes, my mother had taught me better, but I had to relearn the finer points of curly hair care, including detangling.
Combing and Detangling
Starting at an early age is the key to preventing some major haircare issues down the road. The two most important items you can have in your haircare regimen are a comb and a good detangler. During the shower, use Slip detangler and comb your child’s hair from ends to roots, and when wet, to prevent knots. After the initial detangling, use a mild, cleansing shampoo to wash away excess grime that also can cause knots.
When it comes to getting little ones to sit still for detangling sessions, distractions and bribery can work in your favour. But just as detanglers and combs are for all ages, positive reinforcement works better for the older kids. Continue that positive reinforcement even if you don’t think they need it any more. Check their appearance and note the differences at any age. Sometimes the best lessons can be taught more than once.
Hair Today, Detangled Tomorrow
These days, I do a lot better with my hair thanks to one simple principle: detangle, detangle, detangle. And thanks to my mother, I learned that the knotty monster was not just a state of hair. It was a state of mind.
There are two things my childhood has taught me. The first is to know who you are, and that includes you hair. The second is that parenting may not always be easy. Nevertheless, it’s with your support and your knowledge that your children will succeed. Whether it’s detangling naturally curly hair or detangling life, there are lessons to be learned. In the end, you and your children will defeat the Knotty Monster together.
Photos Courtesy Of: Laura Fox Van Gilder and Eric Van Gilder