Heeeelp! Does anyone know how to make it fun for a child that hates her hair washed?

Ruth - posted on 03/13/2010 ( 28 moms have responded )

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My granddaughter is 9 and I thought she would grow out of her fear of water in her face when her hair is being washed. She screams and hollers and acts like your killing her until the washing is done. It's not the shampoo stinging her eyes as I use baby shampoo. It's just the fact that it's water running down her face. I've tried all things to prevent that to no avail. I tried taking her to the hairdresser and she ran out the door screaming. Her mother and I are at a loss as to what to do to make it easy for her. Drying and combing her hair no problem.

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Rita - posted on 09/08/2012

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Since she is nine she should be able to wash her own hair. It may not be the best job done, however "its done". Take her to the Drug Store and have her pick out her own shampoo. Telling her she is a big girl and how pretty she would look with her new nice and shiny hair. There are several appealing shampoos' on the shelf to children. Perhaps have her shower and hold her head back so that she isnt' feeling that water on her face. If she will let you hold a towel at her forehead so that the water isn't coming back into her face. She may just like the independence.

As well allow her to shower with one of the two of you showing her how you go abt. shampooing and make it fun. Even try a pair of sunglasses on her so she looks "cool" this way it will help with the water not going into her face so much. Again, make a game of it and dont' show anger because she isn't doing it or tell her the kids are going to make fun of her with dirty hair. This will stay with her for a long time and it isnt' the answer to the problem. Think of a fun game in hair washing, have her laughing 'cause your being funny doing your own and I think you will see a change. Good Luck its' worth a try!

Jessica - posted on 03/15/2010

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They make special cups that form to the childs forehead and have a handle so you can pour the water from the front to back without getting it in there face! Miracle invention, believe it was at walmart where i saw it!

Gina - posted on 03/15/2010

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My daughter was the same, she hated to get her face wet. I had her put her head back so the water ran back not down her face,she still hated it but at least her face wasnt getting really wet.Her aunt was puzzled when told by Leann had she loved baths but hates to get wet!

Shelia - posted on 03/14/2010

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My daughter did the same thing when I would rinse her hair. She never screamed when I put shampoo on her, but she screamed and kicked her arms and legs when I would get her head wet or rinse her. I purchased a hand held shower head. She loves to spray her own head. At first she got the floor more wet than her head and left a lot of shampoo in her head, but I never said a word. I wanted to her to do it and feel enjoy it and not scream like I was killing her. That was 2 years ago, and she still loves using the hand held shower head, but she doesn't have to have it every time. I hope everything works out for you.

Sabrina - posted on 03/14/2010

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tell her to hold her hed back and put a wash rag over her eyes. so she will think the water is from the rag. also let her pick her own shampoo and tell her it is no more tears

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Mindy - posted on 11/19/2012

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gosh some of you people are mean! i searched this on google and it led me to this site because my son is 8 and has autism and cant stand for me to wash his hair..give helpful suggestions or dont reply at all

Christine - posted on 09/14/2012

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Ask her why she does not like it. Baby shampoo can still sting (as i was told by my daughter) . If it is water then you may have to go about things another way (just as if you were teaching her swimming i.e. 1) playing happily in water, 2) splashing and flicking water, 3) Flicking water on the face yours first as they find it funny and they become more relaxed, 4) Flicking water on their own face or take it in turns she flicks you then you flick her but not too much,5) then try pouring a little water each time over her hair head back and maybe with her ears covered as that could also be irritating her.

Melissa - posted on 09/13/2012

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At 9 she should wash it herself, giving her the control over her hygiene should help. She may not get it rinsed completely but she is old enough to learn.

Amy - posted on 09/12/2012

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I have made a response 2 yrs ago. But for others, after you get the shampoo in the hair and lather, rinse by singing the ABC song ending after the soap is out that now my hair is nice and clean. It has helped over the yrs, but I still have to put the rag at times over the eyes. My children are now 8,7, and 4 yrs old. God bless.

Ariana - posted on 09/12/2012

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When I was younger my mom used to get me to hold a facecloth over my eyes during the washing. I'm sure I never actually had water burn my eyes but I was convinced I was in horrible pain. Tell her the facecloth will help, it helped me when I was younger.



If that doesn't work maybe you (or her mother) and her could talk to her and ask her what she thinks might help at bathtime. She may come up with an idea that you haven't even thought of, or you can help her brainstorm. Once you've decided on something try that out. It might work.

Marsha - posted on 09/06/2012

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My 80yr old mother is still afraid of water on her face. She suggests sitting cross-legged in the bath tub and bending forward. Your child can then hold her hands up to the side of her face to prevent the water from running into her nose or mouth. She said leaning her head back made her even more afraid because she could see the water.



good luck

Marsha

Amy - posted on 03/16/2010

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My 3 children are the same way ages 6, 4 & 2. I found that putting a rag over the eyes and talkin to them has made it easier, at least for my 4 & 6 yr olds. It may take some time. If that doesn't work you may try cuping your hand at the hairline of your granddaughters forhead, pour the water with her head tilted, and move your hand away from her face to avoid the water running onto her face. Good luck.

Lisa - posted on 03/16/2010

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Tell her you have to wash the bugs out of her hair. I have a 4 yr old girl who went through the phase of not wanting her hair washed, but when I told her about the bugs and that she has to be clean to get into bed, she went with it! I give her a mirror to put on the edge of the tub so she can see herself and have some fun doing it herself and then I give her a dry facecloth to put over her eyes/face, and she is doing very well with it now. Hope that helps a little:) Oh, and a popsicle for doing such a brave job is much appreciated too!

Justine - posted on 03/16/2010

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My son hated having his hair washed and I tried everything to keep the water from going into his eyes, even using a cloth to painstakingly wipe / rinse the shampoo out. What finally worked was when I started taking him swimming. As he became more comfortable and confident playing in the water he started not being upset at having water on his face. He also likes to do it himself or at least control when I pour the water over him (covers his eyes with a cloth or his hands and tells me when he's ready). I think the sense of control is important, especially if she is really afraid of the water. That's another reason to teach her to swim if she doesn't already know how.

Maybe you can let her wash your hair in the sink and show her it's ok if a little water goes on your face, then you can wash her hair. It could be fun to have a 'girly' night and do each other's hair.

Another suggestion could be to try a reward system and associate washing her hair with praise about being brave and small rewards like stickers or hair clips, or letting her choose what movie/ tv show/ activity you will watch / play at the end of the week if she has washed her hair so many times.

Lisa - posted on 03/16/2010

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OH LORD DO I REMEMBER THIS JOB OF HAIR WASHING. I THOUGHT I WOULD PULL MY ON HAIR OUT . THEN MY MOM SAID TO ME TO USE A FAMILY SECERT, IT WAS A HELPFUL TOOL CALLED COLONDER IT WORKS AND SHE SAID THAT WE LOVED IT AS KIDS. AND WATER WAS A BLESSING TO MOM'S EARS AFTER THAT.

Meghan - posted on 03/15/2010

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Try taking her to a salon or a salon school. Tell them the situation so there aware, explain to her that its there job to make sure water doesn't get on her face.

Kimberly - posted on 03/15/2010

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If the problem is not wanting water in the face wich does cause shampoo to get in her eyes you should have her lay on her back and wet her hair and rinse in the same way. If she is scared of the water just make the water just deep enough to get her hair wet when laying back. Good luck.

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My kids didn't like it either and sometimes still don't. Let them hold a facecloth over their face as you pour the water over. Get her to keep her face toward the ceiling so it won't go into her face. I also put stickers on the ceiling, so they could look at them while I washed their hair. Ask her to count how many "whatever" there are. I had space ship ones, and asked how many space ships, or how many stars are there. I also get them to help wash the shampoo, they like to see all the suds on their hands. Get her into swimming lessons, she'll have to put her face in the water there.

Teresa - posted on 03/14/2010

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let her help. My son hates it as well, but when we hand him the shower head he enjoys it slot more. that way he is in control, not the adult. My husband just has to direct his hand to the right areas. hope this helps

Grace - posted on 03/14/2010

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Have you tried using her doll as an aid? Maybe if she washes her dolly, show her how to do it then let her wash dolly's hair and sing a song while doing it. I know it sounds silly but it may help. A lot of times kids enjoy doing a chore or something where they feel more grown up and responsible. Once she gets the hang of washing dolly's hair she may eventually get the hang of washing dolly's hair then hers. Also, maybe have a sticker chart for her and dolly. Once the chart is filled she and dolly can have a treat, something of that sort.
Also, to make it more fun start by pretend mixing a concoction, instead of her putting the shampoo directly into her head. Maybe she can mix the shampoo with a little bit of water and let it bubble up. Kids love bubbles, haven't met one who doesn't. If she likes to help in the kitchen like my 6 yr old does, use props like measuring spoon. I know it may sound too tedious just to get a kid to wash her hair but if the aim is to make it enjoyable and fun for her then you may need to dig deep into that grandma imagination.
Some parents who resort to drastic measures bec. they feel they run out of fun options show pictures of hair ridden with head lice and eww! other yukky stuff. Aim is to show the child what happens if you don't wash and take care of your hair. Or they let the kids hair go unwashed for days and then let the child touch their hair and feel how greasy and yucky its become. Amazing, what parents can imagine and resort to out of desperation.
Anyway, thank God I didn't have that problem, maybe because early on I taught my kids to shower everyday. I've washed my hair everyday since I was a child because that's what I learned (I don't care what others say abt hair getting dry etc...). That is my routine and never had any problems with dry hair etc.... Now my kids do the same, they take a shower before going to school every morning. Nothing feels like having a clean head of hair and clean body. Believe me, my problem is getting my diva dog to take a bath, LOL. Sounds like you're a great grandma, kudos on doing a great job.

Liliana - posted on 03/14/2010

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I have four kids and the two oldest didn't like to wash their hair but my son was extremely nervous child and when it was time for him to wash his hair he would scream bloody murder. When I would put the shampoo in his hair and with a cup I would tell him to put his head back and that way when I rinsed out the shampoo it would not go into his face after about a month of doing that he would wash his head alone with the cup now he showers with the shower head. Patience is the only friend in this case

Ruth - posted on 03/14/2010

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Hello. Filicita's mother and I have decided to give her a short haircut to make her hair more managable. We bought a portable sink hose and let her use it the way she feels comfortable with. It seems to be working. Some good days some not :o). Thanks to everyone for your help and suggestions. It is greatly appreciated.

Libby - posted on 03/14/2010

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Hi Ruth, my littl girl is going thru phases. At first when a newborn she hated it bt then she loved it ,thn didnt and now she does, i found with my littl woman that if i allow her to "help" me that she is happy and i keeps her mind off me doing it,i know its weird cause shes still having her hair washed bt yeah. Hope this is of some help to u.

Joanie - posted on 03/13/2010

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with my daughter who is six now, i let her wash my hair and when she started i began screaming like she did. She asked what was wrong and why i was screaming but i didn't answer her. Everytime she acted that way so would i she thought i was crazy but i told her it was the same reason she did it. After I said that she stopped. She didn't like me being like that.

Claire - posted on 03/13/2010

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We have 2 sons our eldest is 7years old now but he used to scream the place down i'm sure the neighbours used to think i was drowning him but he never liked having his hair washed either we tried everything as well the foam ring round his head so the water didn't go in his eyes, now i just sit him in the bath and pour the water over his face and wash his hair and he's not bothered, going back to the hairdressers sam used to scream and we had to sit him on our lap and hold his hands down to let them cut his hair but then a hairdresser came down to his level and placed the cutters on his hand while they were going and he calmed right down and let her cut his hair but she wasn't talking over him she was down on his level and he seemed to calm down and we didn't have to fight him to keep his head still. Now our youngest he's totally different if we go anywhere near a hairdresser he starts crying and trying to be sick even when i go to the hairdressers he cries because he thinks its for him and trying to wash his hair is a bloody nightmare he still tries to be sick, but the funny thing is he likes it sometimes and other times he doesn't but i get him in the bath and just carry on even though he screams and cries it needs doing. hope this helps

Rona - posted on 03/13/2010

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My 5 year old step daughter washes her own hair, and so does my 5 year old son. I started letting them take showers by themselves, and just talk them thru the shampoo and conditioner parts.... standing outside the shower door, and eventually just walking out of the bathroom and peaking in every few min to make sure they were actually bathing and not just "singing in the rain" .....it's a long process.... in fact it takes them almost an hour to wash their own hair. But I guess its just one of those times that calls for patience. Now, they can't WAIT to wash their hair and bathe themselves (altho Kali doesn't like to be in the bathroom alone... I think its because she doesn't like to be by herself EVER and wants somebody to talk to and hang out with, lol, typical girl in the bathroom!).

Danielle - posted on 03/13/2010

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my daughter was totally the same way. finally i let her do it herself. if i saw she wasn't wasching all of her hair i'd just say oops missed a spot!! then she'd let me help her. it's easier too if she takes a shower too.

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