6 Clear Steps on How to wash toddler hair

How to wash toddler hair

Washing toddler hair is a task that can strike fear into the hearts of even the most experienced parents. Between the water splashing, shampoo spills, and the inevitable tantrums, it’s enough to make you want to pull your hair out. But as parents, we soldier on, because we know that keeping our little ones clean and healthy is important.

As the great children’s author Dr. Seuss once said, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” And sometimes, the direction we choose involves a bottle of tear-free shampoo and a lot of patience.

In this post, I’ll share some of the tips and tricks on how to wash toddler hair that have helped me through the hair washing battles. We’ll cover everything from timing and preparation to keeping your child entertained and engaged. 

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Understanding Your Toddler Hair

We all know that it’s not the same as adult hair, right? It’s like trying to wash a baby chick’s feathers – it’s delicate, fine, and requires some special attention. And let’s not forget about those sensitive toddler skin types! One wrong product and it’s a meltdown city.

So, before we start exploring how to wash toddler hair and the best baby hair products for washing your toddler’s hair, we need to understand your child’s hair type. Trust me, I learned this the hard way. Toddler hair is more fragile and prone to tangling than adult hair, which means that you need to be extra careful when washing it. And those sensitive skin types? Don’t even get me started.

When it comes to choosing the right shampoo and conditioner for your little one, there are a few things to keep in mind. Look for products that are specifically designed for babies, as these are formulated to be gentle on delicate hair and skin. And let’s not forget about those magical natural ingredients, like aloe vera, chamomile, and coconut oil, which can help soothe and moisturize your little one’s hair and scalp. 

Preparing for the wash

Before you start washing your toddler’s hair, it’s important to prepare for the task ahead. Here are some tips to help make the process smoother:

  • Gather all necessary supplies: Make sure you have everything you need within arm’s reach. This includes shampoo, conditioner (if necessary), a washcloth, a cup or shower head attachment for rinsing, and a towel.
  • Choose the right time and place: Try to choose a time when your toddler is calm and relaxed. For some kids, this may be right before bedtime, while for others, it may be after breakfast. Choose a place that’s comfortable and safe, like a bathtub or a large sink.
  • Explain the process to your toddler: Toddlers love routine, so it’s important to explain what’s going to happen before you start washing their hair. Use simple language and show them the supplies you’ll be using. You can even make it fun by using a doll or toy to demonstrate the process.

How to wash toddler hair

  1. Wet hair: Using a cup or a shower head attachment, wet your toddler’s hair thoroughly. Be sure to use warm (not hot) water, as this will be more comfortable for your little one.
  2. Apply shampoo: Place a small amount of baby shampoo in your hand, and gently massage it into your toddler’s hair and scalp. Use your fingertips to work the shampoo in, but be careful not to tangle the hair.
  3. Rinse: Rinse your toddler’s hair thoroughly with warm water, making sure to remove all the shampoo. You can use a cup or a shower head attachment to help with rinsing.
  4. Condition (if necessary): If your toddler has longer hair that is prone to tangling, you may want to use a small amount of conditioner. Apply the conditioner to the ends of the hair, avoiding the scalp.
  5. Rinse again: Rinse the hair thoroughly with warm water, making sure to remove all the conditioner.
  6. Dry: Pat your toddler’s hair gently with a soft towel to remove excess water. Avoid rubbing the hair vigorously, as this can cause tangling and damage. You can also use a wide-toothed comb or a detangling brush to help remove any tangles.

Tips for Washing Toddler Hair

Now that you’ve chosen the right baby hair products for washing toddler hair, it’s time to get down to the business of washing your child’s hair. Here are a few tips to make hair washing a breeze:

  • Use a gentle touch: Toddler hair is delicate, so be sure to use a gentle touch when washing it. Avoid scrubbing too hard or using too much pressure, as this can cause irritation and dryness.
  • Use a detangling brush: If your child has curly or coily hair, use a detangling brush to help work out any tangles or knots before washing. This will help to prevent breakage and make hair washing easier.
  • Rinse thoroughly: Make sure to rinse your child’s hair thoroughly to remove all shampoo and conditioner residue. Leftover product can cause irritation and dryness, so take the time to rinse thoroughly.
  • Be prepared for tears: Hair washing can be a stressful experience for toddlers, so be prepared for tears and protests. Try to make the experience as fun and relaxing as possible, and be sure to praise your child for their bravery and cooperation.
6 simple steps on how to wash toddler hair by Colossalumbrella
How to wash toddler hair

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Washing Toddler Hair

When it comes to washing toddler hair, there are a few common mistakes that parents often make. Here are a few things to avoid:

  • Using too much shampoo or conditioner: Toddler hair is delicate, so using too much shampoo or conditioner can cause dryness and irritation. Use a small amount of product, and make sure to rinse thoroughly.
  • Skipping the conditioner: Conditioner is important for keeping toddler hair healthy and hydrated, so be sure to use it after shampooing.
  • Using adult hair products: Adult hair products are often too harsh for toddler hair, so be sure to choose products that are specifically designed for babies.
  • Not rinsing thoroughly: Leftover product can cause irritation and dryness, so make sure to rinse your child’s hair thoroughly after shampooing and conditioning.

How Often Should You Wash Your Toddler’s Hair?

The frequency with which you should wash your toddler’s hair depends on a few factors, such as their hair type, activity level, and age. Here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • Age: For newborns and infants, you may only need to wash their hair once or twice a week, as they do not have the same level of activity as older toddlers. However, as your child becomes more active and starts to sweat more, you may need to wash their hair more frequently.
  • Hair type: If your toddler has fine hair that is easily tangled, you may need to wash it more frequently to prevent matting. On the other hand, if your toddler has curly or coarse hair, you may be able to go longer between washes.
  • Activity level: If your toddler is very active and sweats a lot, you may need to wash their hair more frequently to prevent odor and buildup.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to wash toddler hair every 2-3 days. However, if your child is particularly active or tends to get sweaty, you may need to wash their hair more frequently.

Additional Hair Care Tips for Toddlers

In addition to washing your toddler’s hair, there are a few other things you can do to keep their hair healthy and looking great:

  • Use a soft brush or comb to detangle hair: Avoid using harsh brushes or combs that can cause breakage and damage.
  • Trim hair regularly: Regular hair trims can help to prevent split ends and keep hair looking healthy.
  • Protect hair from the sun: If your child will be spending time in the sun, be sure to protect their hair by using a hat or scarf.


Washing your toddler’s hair can be a fun and enjoyable experience, but it can also be a challenge, especially if your little one is not a fan of getting their hair wet. However, with the right tools, techniques, and products, you can make hair washing time a breeze.

Remember, when it comes to washing toddler hair, it’s important to use gentle, baby-specific products that are designed to be safe and effective for delicate hair and skin. Take the time to understand your child’s hair type and choose products that meet their unique needs.

By following the steps outlined in this post, you can help keep your toddler’s hair clean, healthy, and tangle-free. And don’t forget to make it fun – sing a song, tell a story, or play a game while you’re washing their hair. These precious moments together are what make parenthood so special.

So go ahead, get out that shampoo and start washing! With a little patience and a lot of love, you can help your toddler look and feel their best.

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6 Clear Steps on How to wash toddler hair
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