Help! My 3 year old will not stop twisting her hair!

Steph - posted on 03/07/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My three year old has this horrible habit of twisting her hair. It is so fine that within minutes, it is in an impossible knot. 90% of the time, I have to cut the hair to undo the knot. What a nightmare!! Her beautiful hair is getting damaged and uneven. It is making me crazy. Everyone I have talked to just tells me that she will out grow it. Will she have any hair left when she out grows this habit?

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Danielle - posted on 09/27/2014

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My daughter does the same thing. I was hoping it wasn't something psychological like anxiety.. because I have it :( Any tips/advice would really be appreciated. She twists her hair until they literally look like dread-locks.. and I've had to cut them out a few times.

Pheonex - posted on 03/07/2009

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I used to do that too when I was little, my mom said I would twist it around my finger and pull it out. I also have fine hair. I still twirl my hair, but I have a method to it. You could show her how to twirl it around her fingers so it slips around and doesn't knot. It is probably soothing to her, so she probably won't be able to stop any time soon. You could try getting her a barbie or one of those heads that you style the hair and tell her she can do whatever she wants to that hair, but she needs to be more gentle with her own, just remind her that she is hurting herself. Your only other option is to cut it short enough that she can't twirl it, talk to her about it first, it may be the incentive she needs to be more gentle with her hair.

Amie - posted on 03/07/2009

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My little one does something like this. She's not twisting so much as rubbing her hands in it and all over. She has very fine hair also so it doesn't take much to get horrible knots that are painful to get out without cutting them. I've tried the kids leave in conditioner and the L'oreal Kids tangle tamer but none of that worked. So I started using a leave in conditioner for adults with curly hair every time she gets out of the tub. It has helped a lot. She still gets knots but at least now we're not cutting them out or having to tug them out and hurting her lil head. She used to hate having to comb her hair now she brings the comb to me. =) Hope it helps, it's aggravating I know.

Emily - posted on 03/08/2009

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I had this same habit when I was her age. My mom cut my hair so short that it was impossible for me to twist it anymore!

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Steph - posted on 03/09/2009

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Thank you so much for all the suggestions.  I will try anything!  I know that she does it when she is tired.  She has her thumb in her mouth and the other hand twisting her hair.  Most of the time it happens during her naptime.  I stop her when I see her do it, but it is hard to stop when she is resting.  Thanks again!

Linda - posted on 03/08/2009

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I can feel sympathy and I have no real solution for you. My beautiful granddaughter who is now 11  1/2 with a beautiful mane of hair use to do the same thing. She mostly did it when she was tired. Her mom would get so frustrated with the knots. The only thing I can suggest is that when you see her doing this, start brushing her hair and she might fall asleep.

A - posted on 03/08/2009

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Its obviously a comfort thing. Like some kids suck their thumb, or still have a bottle or dummy at that age. She just twists her hair. If you can take her mind off it when you see her do it, that'd be the best thing. Redirection constantly. Soon enough she'll do it herself. She should grow out of it but having said that, I know 2 kids who are now in their 20s who still suck their thumbs when at home!!  Have you tried putting something slippery on her fingers, maybe like vasoline, or hand cream? Maybe when you see her do it say 'right, cream time' and lather her hands up. Im sure she'll soon get the hint.

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