If you are expecting a little girl, have a baby girl, or even a toddler and you want some hair advice, you have come to the right place! I have two little girls, Abella (age 6) and Charlie (age 2) and I am a hair styling expert! Today I am going to teach you everything from how to wash your toddlers hair to how to style it like an expert!
I recommend washing your toddler’s hair every two days. Bathing every day is a good idea, but you don’t have to wash their hair every day unless it has dirt or food in it (and we all know that does happen).
For shampoo, I would suggest Glop and Glam’s Blueberry Blast Clarifying Shampoo. It’s my favorite because it smells so good and it is gentle on their eyes. It’s paraben, sulfate & alcohol free, plus it has ingredients that prevent lice. If you like to use a conditioner (you won’t need to until they are a little older and getting more tangles), Glop and Glam also has a great conditioner called Cake Batter Conditioner. It also smells amazing and has all of the great qualities of the shampoo.
The best way to go about washing a toddler’s hair is to have her lay back in the water to wet it and rinse it this way. If your child will not do this, then use a plastic cup and tilt her head back and pour the water over her head. You can put your free hand over her forehead to prevent the water from going in her face, but having her tilt her head back will prevent most of this. Once you have it all wet, put about a nickel sized amount of shampoo in your hand, rub your hands together to get it into a lather and then start massaging her head with it. It is most important to get her scalp clean. Babies can get yucky scalps if you don’t wash their hair thoroughly enough. Once you have her hair clean, rinse the hair in the same manner as you wet it. Make sure you rinse it good! When you get her out and dry her off, just blot the hair with a towel. Avoid rubbing her head with the towel, because this causes extra tangles, which can be painful to comb out.
Getting the tangles out:
If you don’t have any problems with tangles, go straight to combing. I prefer to use a detangling spray because it makes it a lot easier and less painful for the little one. It also makes their hair softer and more manageable when it’s dry. My favorite it is the Glop and Glam Creamsicle Detangling Spray. It smells great and get the tangles out like magic, especially when used with the Glop and Glam shampoo and conditioner. I use it every time I wash my kids hair. Most detanglers work great though, if you chose to get another brand, that’s great too! If you don’t have one, no problem. Just be prepared to take a little extra time to comb their hair out gently. The less painful of an experience combing is, the more likely they are to cooperate when getting their hair done.
*Always start from the bottom when combing. If you start out combing at the top, you’re going to create more tangles.*
Don’t be in a hurry when coming your child’s hair. It will cause frustration for both of you! Use this time to sing songs, tell stories, and talk softly with her.
Prepping the HAIR for styling:
A lot toddler styles are best done on damp, tangle free hair. So if your child’s hair needs washing, do this first. If it is clean already but dry, use a spray bottle to get it wet again and then comb all of the tangles out. You don’t want her hair dripping wet, just damp.
Getting your CHILD ready for styling:
The hardest part is getting this little wiggle worm to sit still long enough to get her hair to look decent! My biggest tip is to start styling it at an early age! As soon as your little one has enough hair to do a tiny waterfall ponytail on the top of her head, do it! The more you fiddle with it as she grows, the more patient she will become as time goes by. Then by the time your little girl has enough hair to do some fun stuff with, you’ll have a patient and willing little one to style! It’s good practice for you, as well! But don’t worry, if you already have a toddler and you haven’t been styling her hair, she can learn to be patient. It just takes practice!
Before you start trying to style your little one’s hair, make sure she has something to do to keep her busy. Don’t just sit her in front of you and expect her to be still, because it’s not going to happen.
Here are a few things that have worked really well for me in the past:
1) Put her high chair, bumbo seat, or booster seat and give her a yummy (and of course, healthy) snack and maybe even a sippy cup.
2) If the snack doesn’t keep her hands busy long enough, try adding the TV into the mix. An iPad or smartphone work great too, except its easier when they are looking UP instead of down because their hair tends to fall forward and it can be hard for you to reach when they are looking down. This is when my kids were most content and most likely to let me mess with their locks.
*Keep yourself mobile. You can sit on your knees or even stand above her if she is on the ground. Don’t hesitate to move around to get to the angle you need to be at. Chances are, she’s not going to keep her head where you want her to put it. If she starts turning her head back and forth, just hold on to her hair gently to keep the style in and take a break until she stops. Trying to keep going through it will make you crazy.*
This last idea works great but do not do it unless you are going to use caution.
3) Sit her right on the bathroom counter so that she can play with her reflection. NOTE: if you do this, make sure you DO NOT walk away or look away from her. Always have one hand on her and keep a very close eye so that she doesn’t fall. With my oldest, I actually used to put a towel in the sink, covering the faucet so that she couldn’t turn it on, and sit her right in it. It helped keep her sitting up and kept her from getting away. Try giving her a toothbrush (they especially like an electric one if you have one). It will keep her entertained and teach her to love teeth brushing!
4) Keep some toys that she doesn’t play with often handy. Toddlers especially love things that are not even actually toys. Like an empty Kleenex box and a pile of cotton balls they can put in and out of, or pipe cleaners. Anything that uses fine motor skills.
Things you will need:
You will need: a styling comb that looks similar to one of these.
I would recommend having one or more of each of these styles of combs because some partings are easier with each style.
They are very inexpensive and you can get them at a beauty supply, drug stores, grocery stores or online. It’s a good idea to get a pack with more than one, because if you’re like me, they will go missing! Make sure to keep the pointy ones out of your child’s reach because they are dangerous for little ones to play with.
You are also going to want to have a good stash of tiny elastics. I find mine at Sally Beauty, Walmart, and online.
These are all examples of elastics that I have tried. They are not all created equally, because some break a lot easier than others, but I have found that the Goodie brand are pretty sturdy. Don’t count on using these more than once. They stretch out after one use. Plan on staying well stocked up on these, as well as your combs.
Taking Elastics OUT:
Do NOT pull these out. Simple go through and break each one and they will come right out. Pulling them out will cause a lot of undesired breakage!
Lastly, you won’t need bobby pins for your child until she gets a little older, but I have to throw this on in there for you. These bobby pins from sallybeauty.com are the ONLY bobby pins that I like. They are very strong and they come in a really nifty container that keep them tidy in your hair accessory stash. They come in 3 or more colors, so make sure you buy the color that is right for you and your child’s hair so that you can hide them easily.
Now, when your little one finally has enough hair to put in elastics is when the fun starts. No braiding skills are required for this, you just have to get crafty with your comb and the way you do partings!
Now lets get started on some cute styles!
Styles that do not require braiding:
This photo is of one of the first times I styled my little Charlie girl’s hair into a full style. I was so excited because it was all completely out of her face so she stayed super clean all day.
How to Achieve this look:
1) I took the very front, did an arched parting from one side of the forehead to the other and put that in an elastic.
2) I did another parting from one ear to the other, and put all of this, including the ponytail from the previous step, into an elastic.
3) With the remaining hair, I parted it all down the middle and split the ponytail from the previous step in two. Then I put the hair into pigtails, putting one half of the ponytail from previous into each one.
Voila! A cute little do that will keep all of your toddler’s hair out of her face, keeping it free from everything sticky that would normally be in it within three minutes of bath time!
Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t work out on your first try. Like I said, your little one needs practice being still and getting used to you messing with her head, and you will probably need practice on the parting. Whatever you do, do not lose your patience! If you start feeling frustrated, stop and try again tomorrow. The more peaceful and calm experience you can make it, the more likely you will have success.
Here is another style that you can do with the same length of hair. The beauty with these styles is that her hair was not long enough to have the sides stay in a ponytail to stay out of her face. Doing it one small section at a time makes it a lot more likely to stay.
How to achieve this look:
1) Part your little one’s hair down the middle.
2) Start by styling one side: Make a triangle parting at the very front from the side of her face to the part and put this in an elastic. Go about half an inch down and make another parting, parallel to the first one. Put this hair and the ponytail from the previous step into a ponytail. Repeat this step until desired result achieved.
In this photo, I only went down with it far enough to be half up. You can, however, keep going until you reach the nape of the neck so that all the hair is up.
This one is an example of the same style, only I did my partings further apart and went all the way to the bottom with it instead of just halfway. As you can see, it changes the look a lot if you change up the colors of elastics! You can use rainbow elastics, all one color, clear, black, whatever you want!
This next style was when she was a little big older, so her hair was a little longer. It starts the same as the first style I showed you, and you achieve it in the same manner. I ended it all the way down at the nape of her neck like a low ponytail. Then I added colorful bows to finish the look off!
As you can see, these styles all vary slightly, but achieve different looks. You’re just making little ponytails that join together to created a braided effect.
For this style, you would start by making partings that join into a point from the front to the middle and make one ponytail. Then part the hair from the point, all the way down to the middle of the nape of the neck, splitting the hair in to equal sections down the middle. Then you would make each parting diagonal all the way own. I loved the way this one turned out.
This next one is an example of how fancy you can get with it! Your toddler’s patience level will have to be more advanced for one like this. I started my style at the bottom, went up halfway with it, then started again at the top and went down with it. Then I joined all of them in the middle in a ponytail.
These styles will last ALL DAY. I kid you not.
This is an example of a much quicker style. I just did a small section in the front, and then turned it into pigtails from there. Her hair was too short in the front to stay in pigtails, but this allowed me to achieve the look and have it stay in.
Headbands and Flower Crowns:
If you don’t want to mess with partings and elastics at all, invest in some cute flower crowns and headbands and get her used to them as she grows. If you wait until she’s a year old and then throw a headband on her, chances are, the thing is quickly coming off. If you start out putting them on her as an infant, she will probably be more likely to keep them on.
The way that I got my little ones to keep flower crowns and headbands on and even simply keeping their hairstyle in, was persistence. They will most likely go through a phase that they want to pull out whatever you put in.
I have had a lot of mothers tell me that their child rips their accessories and hairstyles out as soon as they finish. Mine tried this, but I was persistent with them and they eventually stopped.
When your child does this, simply tell them “no, no.” sternly but gently, and put it back on. If they do it again, repeat. After the second time, just put it back on with no words. You might struggle like this for a while, but they will eventually get the point. If you give in and leave it off, they will probably keep doing it the next time. It’s a struggle, but if it’s worth it to you to have your child looking cute and accessorized, it’s worth sticking with it.
When your child’s hair is a little longer, you will be able to achieve a lot more looks.
There is a lot to be said for classic pigtails! You can do them high, low, mid height, whatever you want! It’s adorable and requires no braiding whatsoever. Plus, it’s quick and easy!
Buns are another great, classic look that is easy to achieve.
A tiny sock bun! Seriously?!
This bun was done when Charlie’s hair was wet still, and I probably added a little bit of light hold gel (not too much to make it look wet all day, just a little bit to keep flyaways down to keep the sleek look). Then I put her hair in a ponytail. I took one of her old socks, cut the toe off and then rolled it up. Then I put the sock around the ponytail and spread her hair out over it. Then you just take a rubber band and place it around all of the hair, and this creates the bun look. With the remaining hair, simply twist it, wind it around the base of the bun and pin it down!
This is a classic bun that I did on her hair when it was dry. You can see the huge difference of doing it when the hair is wet compared to when it is dry. If you want that messy, wind blown look, do the bun when her hair is dry. Just make a high ponytail, twist it and then wind it around the elastic and pin it down! So simple, and so adorable.
You can’t forget about curls!! Let’s face it, this isn’t an everyday thing because it just takes a lot of effort and of course, you don’t want to heat style your little one’s hair too much because it is damaging. But once in a while, you just have to do the curled look.
For this look, I simply wrapped each section around the whole barrel without using the clamp, used plenty of hairspray and let it cool completely and then combed my fingers through it. Then I just gathered the front of her hair up loosely and put an alligator clip in it! It was SO cute.
The Topsy Tail tool is a super simple way to add a little style to ponytails. Try making more than one ponytail (this is three in a row) and using the tool on each one! After doing the Topsy Tails, I pulled all the hair to a low side ponytail and added a bow.
The first braid. You’re going to want to keep it simple, because changes are, its going to be a little hard for you to get used to grasping this tiny, fine baby hair and braiding it.
Charlie’s first braid:
I parted all of her hair far to one side. Then I started with a corner shaped section in the front and did a French braid a little ways and finished it off by braiding to the ends of the hair and adding an elastic. That simple, but oh so cute.
This next photo is another really simple braid. It’s called a lace braid! It’s a step up in difficulty level from a three strand, but the same as a French braid.
How to achieve this look:
1) Start by parting her hair down the middle. You only need to go about half way down.
I started this braid at her ear instead of on top by the part. Each time you cross the top section over, you are going to add hair in like a French braid. When you cross the bottom section over, do not add hair in. Treat it like a normal three strand braid.
2) Do this until you reach the middle, and finish off with a three strand braid.
3) Repeat on the other side and then join the two braids in the middle!
How to achieve this look:
1) Part the hair down the middle, until about halfway down. Clip one half out of the way.
2) Start French braiding at the front, in a triangle parting by the part. Braid all the way until you get to the ear, then stop adding hair in on the top, and add hair in only on the bottom section for a few stitches.
3) Stop adding hair in and finish the braid off to the ends with a three strand.
4) Repeat on the other side, then join the two braids in the middle
5) Finish the style by adding an accessory!
How to achieve this look:
1) Make a part from one ear, all the way across to the other ear.
2) Put the bottom section in a ponytail to keep it out of the way.
3) Start a French braid at one ear, and braid all the way to the other ear.
4) Finish braiding all the way to the ends and put an elastic in.
5) take the ponytail out, add the braid in, and redo the ponytail. If your ponytail doesn’t need to be redone, just add the braid in to it by adding a new elastic.
The classic French Braid. Just start in the middle, front and French braid all the way back. You can end it at the nape of the neck with a ponytail, or keep braiding to the ends of the hair.
Two French Braids. Part he hair down the middle, and French braid all the way back. You can end this in pigtails at the nape of the neck, or finish braiding to the ends of the hair.
OH, the waves and volume the day after two French braids. You will love it. Take advantage of this two day style! Just simply pin up the front to keep it out of her face the next day.
…OR you can create a cute, funky textured braid with it! This is just a French braid starting at the top and ending at the nape of the neck in a ponytail!
Partial French braid. Get creative! You can stop and start a French braid anywhere! Here, I just did the very front in a little, almost half up braid, but I left the sides out so that she would have some hair to frame her face to give her a softer look.
The Dutch Braid. This braid is just like a French braid, but instead of crossing the outer sections OVER the middle one, you cross them UNDER the middle. It creates a great 3D effect! You can do this for any of the French braided styles I’ve shown you and so much more!
Here is a style involving partings and Dutch braids:
How to achieve this look:
1) make a parting in the middle into a triangle with the point at the very middle, back of the head.
2) Part the hair from the point to each ear and put the outer sections in elastics or clips to keep it out of the way.
3) Dutch braid each section from front to back, and meet all of them in the middle with a ponytail.
How to achieve this look:
1) Part the hair down the middle
2) Make a part from the middle parting to each ear, and put an elastic on each side, creating half up pigtails.
3) take a tiny section from the middle of the hair that is down, and a tiny section from each pigtail and start a French braid with it.
4) Each time you add hair in, add hair from the bottom, and a tiny piece from the pigtail on the same side.
5) Do this until you run out of hair and then finish off with a braid to the ends or a ponytail at the nape of the neck.
This braid was done on clean, dry hair, and I simply French braided her hair from one ear, across to the other ear, incorporating all of the hair.
To achieve this look:
1) Part the hair down the middle
2) French (or Dutch) braid each side, starting at the end of the ear and ending at the nape of the neck
3) Finish by adding an elastic at the nape of the neck, making pigtails.
How to achieve this look:
1) Part the hair down the middle
2) part the hair from ear to ear and section off into four sections.
3) Start French braiding in the front of one section, then skip over to the section diagonal from it and continue braiding until the nape of the neck. End with a pigtail or keep braiding until the ends.
4) Repeat on the other side.
You’ve created criss crossed braids!
Last but not least, I wanted to show you a couple more advanced styles.
this style I created using a heart parting to show you just how creative you can get with that comb!
This style was created by partings micro braids, weaving them before putting them in to pigtails.
This is side parted hair and two lace braids combined to make an off center heart!
For this style, I sectioned the hair in four off center sections. On each side, I put them in ponytails close to the middle part, braided each ponytail and then wrapped them around each other to create a bun on each side.
The top braid in this photo is a lace braid going horizontal across the back of the head. Under it is a French braid and they are joined into a ponytail at the side and accented with a tiny gold leather bow from Southern Adoornments
I textured her hair with the Sam Villa TEXTUR iron, then did pigtails. I took a chunk of hair from the top of the pigtail, braided it, pancaked it and made a bun with it on top of the ponytail. I love this one because it’s so simple and you don’t need any accessories!
Pigtail braided buns are a simple, classic style. Super easy to do and extra cute! Accent with a headband if desired!
This is a micro lace braid! To make a micro braid, just use tiny bits of hair! I only took very small sections fro the front of the hairline to add to it.
The day after French braids is a great time to have your little one wear their hair down or with a simple headband. If you want the hair to have more volume like this, gently brush it with a soft brush but be cautions because sometimes this can cause friz! If it does friz, put it in a fun high ponytail until it calms down enough to wear it down!
I started these French braids upside down and brought them toward the face, then I made buns with the braids in the center front! Again, this is day after French braids.
This braid is a 3 strand braid done in the front center with 4 feather pieces left out on each side. Then I went back and added a braid on each side, incorporating the feather pieces from the first braid. You can use colored elastics or clear ones so that they don’t show up.
Thank you for stopping by my blog! I hope that I have inspired you to try new things on your little ones! Don’t forget, have plenty of patience and spend time daily on your child’s hair to build their patience level and ability for them to stay still for you to do more difficult styles eventually! My daughter is only 2 and she will sit through about 25 minutes of braiding with no problem now because of this method!