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  1. #1
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    Default Help! Toddler terrified of washing her hair

    My dd1 (almost 3) won't let me wash her hair. She's terrified of water on her face. I'm sure she won't grow out of it because I never did- I can't swim and hate water on my face too- I'm sure I've passed this on

    Bribes no longer work.

    Swimming lessons were an epic fail she wanted nothing to do with it.

    I've done it by force once and the experience was traumatising for all involved and she hurt herself by slipping over trying to run away so will never do that again. Plus I still have memories of being dunked and it's just awful.

    I tried being sneaky but then she no longer trusted me and flat out refused a bath/shower for a week even though I promised her I wouldn't wash her hair.

    I use detangling spray when brushing to try and clean it.

    She still has sand in her scalp from the beach 2 weeks ago. She's let me comb most out with a fine tooth comb.

    I'm just at a loss.

    Help!!! I don't want to have a dirty stinky little girl and scared of when she hits school.

  2. #2
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    We have a child with a bad fear of water on their face too. He goes in a full on meltdown and flee response is so extreme that both hubby and I have been hurt when a accidental water touches his face.
    We do the face washer cover his eyes and the type of tap that has the hose so you can control the water better. Allowing him to take more control has helped too. He is 7 and is only now able to do it himself.

    Have you tried dry shampoo for times when her anxiety is super high?

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    Little Miss Sunshine  (11-12-2015)

  4. #3
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    We use a shampoo shield its like the brim of a hat stops water and shampoo going anywhere near their eyes, only a couple of dollars, works well for us, no more dramas with hair washing

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    Little Miss Sunshine  (11-12-2015)

  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoveLivesHere View Post
    We have a child with a bad fear of water on their face too. He goes in a full on meltdown and flee response is so extreme that both hubby and I have been hurt when a accidental water touches his face.
    We do the face washer cover his eyes and the type of tap that has the hose so you can control the water better. Allowing him to take more control has helped too. He is 7 and is only now able to do it himself.

    Have you tried dry shampoo for times when her anxiety is super high?
    I thought with dry shampoo though there would be a build up of product in the scalp which would eventually compound the problem? I'm willing to try it though.

    I use the hose attachment too on her so it won't hit her face (mostly) but she's already in a panic therefore won't close her eyes or keep the facecloth in place. I might see if she'll try doing it herself- it's just hard when she's so young.

    It's nice to know I'm not the only one struggling. It is a genuine fear (I'm the same) therefore I know just simply doing it regardless of tears is not the way to go. She literally starts running to as soon as it hits her face - into the shower walls or into the shower door to try and get away

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    Quote Originally Posted by raspberries View Post
    We use a shampoo shield its like the brim of a hat stops water and shampoo going anywhere near their eyes, only a couple of dollars, works well for us, no more dramas with hair washing
    Will investigate this thanks. Where would get this from?

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    My eldest was a nightmare when she was around 2 and 3 yo. I only wash her hair once a week and she still used to scream the house down.

    To be honest I tried everything. In the end I just had to push through the fighting and screaming and do it.

    She's 10 now and still isn't a fan of hair washing.

    On the bright side nits hate dirty hair.

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    Little Miss Sunshine  (11-12-2015)

  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Miss Sunshine View Post
    Will investigate this thanks. Where would get this from?
    We got ours from the pharmacy, if you google shampoo guard theyre at lots of places ebay or those cheapnic nac shops. Good luck

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    Little Miss Sunshine  (11-12-2015)

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    Could you try a doll with hair that she could wash while you're doing hers?

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    Little Miss Sunshine  (11-12-2015)

  14. #9
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    Long shot - do you go to the hairdresser and they wash your hair in the basin? Perhaps you could take DD along so she can see and say how nice it is getting your hair washed like that and does she want to play hairdresser at home starting with her washing your hair? Maybe getting her to do things with water to you (sorry I hope that doesn't freak you out) or a doll as a PP suggested might be a start and go very slowly from there to maybe washing the ends of her hair only and building up to her scalp.
    I don't want to come across as insensitive but does she see you freaking out about water on your face and this is contributing to her fear?
    I think that shampoo guard thing sounds like a winner too.
    Good luck with it sounds very distressing for the poor little munchkin (and you) 😔

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    Little Miss Sunshine  (11-12-2015)

  16. #10
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    Both of mine are like this. DD is 10 now and is now okay with water on her face and hair for swimming and showering, but not like other kids. Its a matter of 'enduring it', she doesn't like it.

    DS is 5 and we're still battling it. He won't do swimming lessons because of the terror of getting his hair wet. The hat like things that go around their head and protect their face don't work with him because he can't stand the feel of wet hair at all. Its tough.

    With DD we eventually had a breakthrough when she was 6 and peer pressure started to kick in and she wanted to get past her fear. Once she wanted it, then giving her a bucket to pour water over her head helped desensitise her while putting her in control.

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    Little Miss Sunshine  (11-12-2015)


 

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