Hair washing, brushing, styling and cutting can be an extra pressure for our Daisies, especially if they really want to have their hair long. This can be due to lots of different reasons, but can often be sensory-related. Here are a few tips and links from parents in our community to help ease the way.
Keep to a routine
Keeping hair brushing as part of a routine from a young age can help a lot, especially if your Daisy gets to the point of being able to brush her own hair.
Have plenty of distractions on hand for her while you’re brushing.
“I can get really frustrated when hair brushing becomes difficult, particularly if we’re in a rush to get to school in the morning. It makes me feel so impatient. But now I’m trying to leave more time for it, and to not get frustrated if she gets upset or minimise how she feels. I do think it’s good that she’s expressing her needs, so we try and problem-solve together.”
Brushing knotty hair
Use a detangling spray or leave-in conditioner along with a detangling brush.
Long, thick hair can need more conditioning – try using a conditioner after shampooing, and leaving it in for a while before rinsing. After towel drying the hair, try a detangling spray and brush it through.
“To stop the scalp pulling, take the bit of hair with the tangle in it and twist it several times and the root end, then hold that twist tightly.”
Massage her scalp before brushing out knots or hair washing (a tip from an occupational therapist).
“Brush or ease out tangles from the bottom and work your way up with longer or more wavy hair.”
“A tip I'd give at any length is leave in spray conditioner and either finger combing or head upside down and give a good shake. You could try a wide toothed comb if she'd tolerate it?”
“We have also just invested in a silk pillow case, to reduce morning tangles, frizz and breakage.”
Adjusting your own expectations about how often she needs to wash her hair might help. Just wash her hair less and find ‘hacks’ to keep it looking fresh.
Invest in dry shampoo and/or a fragrant hair mist if her hair needs freshening up but she’s finding it difficult to have a shower or bath. If strong scents make hair washing more difficult, shampoo and conditioner bars can help family because the scent is less powerful.
Give additional sensory input to prepare her: put your hand firmly on your Daisy’s shoulder before attempting to rinse her hair. That can help her to feel more confident about tilting her head back so the water doesn't run into her eyes.
Shorter hair styles or undercuts help enormously with the sensory aspect of hair care, as well as reducing tangles and taking less time to wash and dry.
“My youngest has incredibly thick curly hair, it used to cause major issues, she’s now got it completely shaved on all sides and long on top, she’s much happier and so much easier to care for.”
“Choose a messy/choppier style which looks deliberate when left!”
Put longer hair up into styles that can be left overnight and just tidied up in the morning. You can use a little hair spray to flatten down flyaways and keep it in place. This can be particularly helpful if you know they are having a particularly overwhelming week with lots of transitions or new things happening and you need to reduce the pressure.
Products our community loves:
Brushes and combs:
Shampoos / conditioners:
Leave-in products and sprays:
Johnson’s No more Tangles conditioner spray
Palmer’s Olive Oil Formula Leave-in Conditioner
Other helpful products:
Gemma at Tame the Mane
Dania at Dolz Hair Salon
A big thankyou to all our parent/carer community for all your contributions!
Join our community: Our private Facebook group is for sharing tips and to connect – it’s for parents or carers of neurodivergent girls or gender diverse young people in south west England.
Do you have any comments or suggestions to add? Please email email@example.com and we’ll keep updating this page!
These products are recommended by our community, but products are not affiliated with or recommended by NeonDaisy at all. Please see our disclaimer here.