Tricks for taming winter hair

It’s the most wonderful time of year – except if you want your kids’ hair to look presentable out in public or while visiting the in-laws. So, we turned to the experts, KidSnips, Chicago’s premier family hair salon with eight locations throughout Chicagoland, for tips to tame those precious locks now that the cold has settled in to stay for a while.

Master stylist Jill Jensen, KidSnips’ lead creative and education manager, has seen and heard it all when it comes to winter hair woes. These are the biggest tips she shares with clients every day.

1 Don’t wash your kid’s hair every day.

Daily shampooing dries out the hair and is hard on the scalp. Unless the kids are coming home sweaty every night, plan to have them wash their hair no more than once or twice a week this winter.

2 Get a humidifier.

The dry heat from the furnace can be really hard on the skin and scalp. Putting a humidifier in your rooms puts the moisture back in the air.

3 Do a deep conditioning once a month to keep hair healthy and strong.

For kids with finer, thinner hair, use a leave-in conditioner or leave-in detangling spray to moisturize the ends, which keeps static and flyaway hair at bay.

4 Prevent hat head.

While some adults prefer to put a silk scarf around their heads before putting on a hat, that might not be practical for busy kids on the go. Instead, teach boys and girls with short hair to push their hair back first before putting on a hood or winter hat to alleviate the flat head look. For girls with long hair, opt for braids and ponytails to control fly-aways and make it less accommodating to lice. Add a lice prevention spray with a peppermint or tea tree oil for good measure. If hair does get flat, add a styling product and use a hair pick to give it back its lift.

5 Don’t leave the house with wet hair.

Not only will it make a kid feel cold, but between the cold air and the hat, it damages and roughs up the hair cuticle and makes hair unruly. When blow drying hair, use a blow dry protectant spray to guard the hair and scalp. Blow dryers are hard on hair because they steal moisture from the hair; a protectant will help hair keep its natural oils and luster.

6 Avoid nylon brushes.

Those kinds of brushes create a lot of static and make the hair stand up and fly away. Instead, look for brushes with a natural bristle or brushes such as the Wet Brush or Knot Genie brush, which tend to reduce static.

7 Use products.

Products like Moroccan Oil, which they sell at KidSnips, or a favorite hair oil will give hair shine and luster. Use on wet or dry hair, working it through the hair from the ears down. It can be used throughout the week. Benefit for mom: After using on the kids, rub the leftover into your cuticles, which get dry from handwashing to avoid colds and flu. Jensen also likes Scalp Wellness by Malibu to address any scalp issues without robbing the hair of moisture.

8 Don’t be in a hurry.

When you or the kids shampoo hair, do it twice, particularly when there are scalp issues, then squeeze out water out and apply a conditioner on the long part of the hair from the ears down. Finish the shower, then rinse with lukewarm or cool water to lock in the conditioner. (Jensen acknowledges this is a tough this time of year.)

KidSnips is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year in Chicagoland. Check out of one their locations in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, Naperville, Deerfield, South Barrington, Arlington Heights, Wilmette, Vernon Hills and Oak Brook. Find more at kidsnips.com.

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