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How to Wash Children’s Hair

Ideally your child's hair should be washed at least 2-3 times per week and always after sport (especially swimming). We suggest adults wash their hair daily, but we realise this is less realistic for children.

Children often hate having their hair washed, because water and shampoo get into their eyes. Using bath-time toys, games and stories can sometimes be helpful — as can following our tangle-free routine below!


De-tangle long hair with a wide-tooth comb prior to washing. If you start off with tangles, you are likely to end up with more. If you do not have a comb handy, use a brush with widely-spaced plastic prongs. These are better for hair than bristles and do not pull as much.

Start near the ends of your child’s hair and work up to the roots. Do this until the hair can be combed/brushed from root to tip without hitting any tangles. If your child’s hair is exceptionally knotty, you can comb through first with a bit of conditioner or a detangling spray.


Children up to 3 years old should have their hair washed with a baby shampoo or a diluted version of your own shampoo. Thoroughly wet your child’s hair before applying shampoo.

This creates good lather and also means less shampoo is needed. Squeeze a coin-size quantity of shampoo between your hands and smooth this over their hair. Lather using both hands in a gentle kneading motion, working from forehead to nape. Do not pile long hair up on top of your child’s head. This can lead to knots and uncomfortable de-tangling later on. Simply allow the lather to run down and rinse thoroughly.


Apply conditioner to the mid-lengths and ends of your child’s hair. You only need a little. Rinse out the conditioner. (It is normal for your child’s hair to still feel a little slippery afterwards.)

Towel Dry

Gently squeeze excess moisture out with a towel. Never rub — rubbing can cause hair breakage and tangles. We suggest you gently comb through with a comb rather than a brush, starting at the tips and working up towards the roots. Wet hair is more vulnerable to damage, and combs are gentler on your child’s hair and will not pull as much.


Ideally your child’s hair should be left to dry naturally. If you do blow-dry, use a low heat setting and hold the dryer at least 15cm (6 inches) away from their hair. A child’s skin and scalp are very sensitive to heat.

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