I meet so many parents who wash their child’s hair every day. It’s THE most common children’s hair care mistake I see. For most kids, shampooing daily strips their hair of its natural oils, drying it out and leading to frizz. Here’s my recommended schedule:
Oily hair – Every other day, or more often if your child’s hair still looks oily and limp.
Dry hair – Twice a week. Use conditioner whenever you rinse out your child’s hair, whether you’re shampooing it or not.
Combination hair (oily roots, dry ends) – Every other day. Condition the ends, but not the roots.
Normal hair - 2-3 times a week.
If your child’s hair gets dirty (sweat from sports, chlorine from swimming, glitter from crafting mishaps, you know what I mean), then you should wash it rather than waiting for the next scheduled shampoo.
For all hair types, using a clarifying shampoo regularly is a great idea because it removes any buildup left behind by other shampoos and conditioners. Plus, it removes the chlorine your kid’s hair picks up in the pool. Use a clarifying shampoo on your child’s hair once a week if it’s oily, once a month if it’s normal or day, and always after swimming when possible.
You might also want to switch to a shampoo and conditioner with tea tree oil (like Boo!) any time you’re worried about lice. Tea tree oil is the strongest natural repellant of lice, so if you’re worried about your little one coming home from a sleep-over with lice (or summer camp, or school during an outbreak), use products that contain it instead of your usual children’s shampoo.
Other than that, different hair textures require different approaches to shampooing.
If your straight-haired little one’s hair is limp, use a volumizing shampoo some of the time to give their hair a little lift. But don’t use volumizing shampoo exclusively, since it can weigh hair down.
Aim to shampoo curly hair only 3 times a week to keep the curls healthy. Use a curl-enhancing shampoo and conditioner–they contain moisturizers and frizz-reducers that will keep curls looking their best. With curly hair, combing should be part of your washing routine. I recommend combing out curly hair after shampooing, while conditioner is still in your child’s hair. Use a wide-toothed comb, then scrunch the hair, which will coax the curls into shape.
Use shine-enhancing shampoo on your child’s wavy hair. It’ll make their hair soft and shiny, without weighing it down and straightening out the waves.
Worse than shampooing daily is the old lather, rinse repeat routine. It’s like washing your child’s hair twice a day, with all the drying out that comes with it. If your child has very oily hair, then go ahead and repeat. Otherwise, lather up only once.
Just think–not only will not shampooing daily keep your children’s hair in better condition, but it’ll also make bath time go more quickly!