Care for your child's hair
Who does not like a shiny mop of hair on your little one? Baby hair care is important. Take care of your child's hair with the help of these useful children’s hair growth tips.
By Shashwathi Sandeep
Do you struggle to maintain your child's hair? Is your child's weak hair giving your sleepless nights? Healthy hair depends on a lot of factors and needs a lot of care. We give you some practical tips on child hair care to maintain your child's mane.
There are a few basics to be followed when washing a child's hair. A child's hair growth depends on many factors and washing is one important one. Try to stick to natural shampoos, which are infused with vitamins and antioxidants, which will moisturise your child’s hair.
Vasundhra Vasu, a cosmetologist who runs a salon in Chennai says, “Hair should be washed at least twice in a week. As far as possible, use a separate shampoo and conditioner. A good shampoo should have a pH of 4.5 to 5.5 and should have sodium citrate as a neutralising agent."
“If possible, use herbal products for you and your child as these are safer options,” says Edna Mahajan, a hairdresser in Chennai.
How to make home-made shampoo
You can also make your own shampoo for your child. Mix one-fourth cup of distilled water with an equivalent amount of herbal green tea. Add to this some lemon juice and honey. Your home-made shampoo is ready to use.
After a shower
Do the following after a shower:
- Gently squeeze the water out of the hair with a towel. Rubbing too hard with a towel can make the hair frizzy and cause it to fall.
- Use a wide tooth comb on wet hair, as any other comb can pull out lots of hair.
- Avoid using the hair dryer directly on wet hair as the heat can make the hair dry.
- Leave your child’s hair loose when wet, since tying it up immediately can cause the hair to get all tangled up.
Your child’s hair will grow better if he oils his hair regularly. “You need to massage the scalp as this helps the blood flow to the hair roots and nourishes the hair,” says Vasundhra.
Oil is a good lubricant. She recommends olive or coconut oil, which doubles up as a natural sunscreen, and keeps the hair moist. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause dryness.
Brushing helps blood circulation in the scalp. The hair should be brushed from the bottom and worked till the top, removing the knots along the way.
“For curly hair, combs with big teeth should be used. For straight hair, use a brush with smaller teeth. Combs with very small teeth harm the hair,” says Edna.
Trimming will reduce split ends and keep the hair healthy. “Trim once in two months for girls, and once a month for boys,” adds Edna.
- Fruits and vegetables, including orange and yellow vegetables containing vitamin A, help promote a healthy scalp.
- Strawberries, citrus fruits, dark green vegetables and tomatoes contain vitamin C which prevents hair breakage.
- Vitamin E in green leafy vegetables and proteins in egg and fish also promote healthy hair.
Regular exercise stimulates blood circulation and hair growth. Try to ensure your child indulges in physical activity or games twice to thrice a week.
Wearing tight rubber bands can cause balding later. Avoid heavy metal clips as they damage the roots. Children should use plastic or light metal clips as accessories.
Lice can be treated with a good anti-lice lotion.
“At home, you can grind tulsi leaves and apply it on your child’s hair for about 20 minutes. Wash it off later,” says Vasundhra.
During puberty, many children get dandruff. You can treat this troublesome problem by alternately washing the hair with a medicated shampoo and a mild shampoo. Home remedies often work well on children. Apply warm coconut/olive oil, massage the scalp and leave it overnight, before washing with a gentle shampoo the next morning. Massaging the hair with a mixture of vinegar and warm water also helps.
Note that if any shampoo is not completely washed off, or if conditioners or other styling products are used when there is dandruff, it could worsen the condition.
Healthy hair demands regular oiling, shampooing and brushing. With a little bit of care and guidance from your side, your child can have a healthy mop of hair.
(With inputs from Vasundhra Vasu and Edna Mahajan, hair experts from Chennai)
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