Parenthood is all about lurching between battles, negotiations and explanations. Like, “Everyone wears shoes,” or, “No you may not bring your LOL Doll to school,” or, “Just because Daddy says that word in the car doesn’t mean you can say it to Granny.” But the biggest battleground of all must be doing children’s hair—it’s full of (literal) pain points, from shampoo-in-eyes to detangling and removing hair elastics from toddler locks. These four products are the essentials—recommended in our mom-friend WhatsApp groups, whispered about at the school gates, tried and tested in our bathrooms. They’re not guaranteed to prevent tears—children are, after all, insane people—but they will make things a little easier. And if all else fails, there’s always the electric shaver (don’t think we haven’t been tempted). —Aileen Lalor
Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo and Wash Fragrance Free ($10): Made from 99.9 per cent natural ingredients, this shampoo and wash has aloe and oat flour, and is free from phthalates, parabens, petrolatum and SLS. We’ve used it since our tiny ones were tiniest, without them shedding a single tear. It’s available fragrance free, or with a lavender/vanilla scent that didn’t send our babies to sleep but sure made us feel more relaxed.
AG Conditioning Mist Detangling Spray ($25): The best thing about this spray is that you can use loads of it on even very fine locks without it causing grease, whether the hair is damp or dry. Good for dry, oily, thin, thick, straight or curly hair, suitable for adults, and made in Vancouver. The brand also makes a natural detangling spray, The Remedy, which is formulated from 98 per cent plant-based ingredients.
Tangle Teezer Original Detangling Hairbrush ($15): There’s a reason this hairbrush brand made $40 million last year and is endorsed by Allure magazine, Emma Watson and Victoria Beckham. It’s amazing. In combination with detangling spray it removes even the gnarliest knots without causing damage, breakage, or tears, and the chunky shape means that slightly older kids can use it independently. The brand has just launched its Wet Detangler, which is said to be ideal for the curliest, thickest hair, and can be used to distribute shampoo and conditioner in the shower for deeper cleaner and more shine.
Invisibobble Nano ($9): If you have a toddler with fine baby hair that needs to be kept out of his or her eyes, the teeny-weeny high ponytail is a perfect ’do. Except it’s not, because those fine locks can’t hold a regular hair elastic, or you rip half the hairs out when you’re removing the ponytail at night. Along comes the Invisibobble Nano, the ‘knight in spiral armour’ that never causes headaches, doesn’t get caught in hair or leave kinks when it’s removed, and is small enough to grip even a single wisp. Kids with thicker hair love the Invisibobble Kids.
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