Ever wondered what the difference is between regular and baby shampoo. Adult shampoos contain chemicals called anionics (like ammonium laurel sulfate) that create the lather most people want when they shampoo. This can be very drying, but since most adults use conditioner and other styling products and have oilier skin than kids, it's not an issue.
- Babies only need to have hair washed once or twice a week. If your baby has cradle cap, which (despite the flakes) is an oily-skin condition, wash with a dandruff shampoo two or three times a week after massaging a little olive or baby oil onto his scalp to loosen the flakes.
- Toddlers: Three times a week is fine (more often if he's got a penchant for mashing bananas on his head).
- Preschoolers and up: As your child's hair gets longer, wash it every other day (less often for very curly, dry, or African-American hair; in these cases, you can use conditioner once a week, too).
- At any age: Always shampoo at the end of the bath so your child's not sitting in the sudsy water, which could irritate sensitive skin.
The best way to comb painlessly after shampooing:
- DO use a wide-tooth comb, or a boar-bristle or paddle brush, on dry hair. Avoid using your vent brush, which has tiny teeth that can snag.
- DON'T start at the top; you'll just make tangles worse. Instead, begin at the ends and slowly work your way up the hair shaft, gently pulling apart knots with your fingers.
- DO the hair at the nape of the neck first, which tends to get most tangled.
- DON'T wet bad snarls. They'll only get more matted. Work in some regular hair conditioner or spray detangler, and hold the hair at the scalp while you gently comb out.