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Mention stresses and struggles with babies and young children and you’ll hear the same old ones; getting them to sleep through, getting them to feed or eat well, and finally, getting them to use a potty rather than be content sitting in a dirty nappy for 26 episodes straight of Peppa Pig (it’s ok to allow our children to watch this many episodes, right? Asking for a friend).
But there’s another one, that we tend to forget, and perhaps that’s because it doesn’t necessarily affect all families, but it’s definitely been a huge stress in our household, and that’s washing the kids’ hair.
Ok, so my daughter, Edie, is five, almost six, so she’s fine nowadays, but she used to scream the house (scrap that, the entire street) down when it came to hair washing night, but said hair washing hatred has unfortunately continued with my son, Arlo, who’s two.
If I’m being totally honest, in the past we’ve often skipped his hair washing night because it’s been such an ordeal. On top of the screaming, his hair is so thick it would often be difficult to brush if left unwashed for a few days – thus prompting even more apparent agony at having to remove any knots. But, after attending the last Johnson’s ambassador event where we met with Rebecca Bennett from Johnson’s, who presented on hair types, variations in structure, manageability and growth over the years, I now know a lot more about varying hair and the importance of keeping hair and the scalp healthy.
We were taught the difference between hair from around the world; for example, hair in Asia is commonly dark, the hair fibres are often parallel, and the hair has a natural shine and softness due to the natural oils being well distributed to the fibres, but in Europe, the colour can differ hugely and so can the structure and manageability.
What caught my attention during this more localised part of the presentation was the talk of how fibre thickness can often vary with the possibility of straight to curly hair. Now, if you’ve seen Arlo, you’d know about his curls from when he was younger – it was like an ‘80s perm many a German footballer of that era would have been proud of. Two years on, and with his hair a lot thicker but a lot shorter, it’s now straighter than it once was but still retains some curl, so matches up to a lot of European points detailed by Rebecca:
• Hair fibres are not so mixed, but may still be difficult to comb. CHECK
• Natural shine of the hair is related to the amount of curls and hair colour. CHECK
• Many potential hair colours. CHECK
• Frizz may be a problem. CHECK
Check, check, check, check. That’s basically Arlo’s hair in a nutshell.
So, to keep on top of Arlo’s thick hair and to also ensure his scalp remains healthy, I quickly realised after the Johnson’s event that we’d need to up our hair washing game. Since the event we’ve tried our best to make hair washing less stressful for all concerned. Using a specially formulated baby shampoo such as Johnson’s No More Tears, we’ve ensured Arlo doesn’t fear his hair being washed by bringing in an element of fun. We sing songs, we wildly celebrate his ‘bravery’, encourage his older and wiser sister to get involved, and we have taken to bringing in some of his action figures to have their (very solid and plastic) hair washed too – Superman never looked so good. After the wash, we now also use Johnson’s No More Tangles Conditioner Spray to help remove any knots when brushing.
And there you have it, one of the stresses of having young children is removed thanks to a couple of simple changes. Next up, potty training – wish me luck!