1. My DD, age 4, has always hated having her hair washed, too. Recently I hit upon the idea of having her show her little brother (who also is prone to crying during hair washing) how “easy” it is for “big girls” to have their hair washed. Suddenly, she’s Ohhh-ing and Ahhh-ing about how the shampoo smells so good and how nice the warm water feels. If you don’t have a little sibling handy, maybe a doll would like to watch?

  2. Karen in Iowa

    We had the same problem. We encouraged our daughter to ‘swim’ like a mermaid and this helped get her hair wet enough to shampoo. We let her put the shampoo on herself — just a little to keep the lather from streaming down. Then the surprise — we put a silly picture on the ceiling and used a child’s plastic watering can to rinse our daughter’s hair. The picture made her laugh and caught her off guard. Instead of fussing, she giggled through the rinse. The watering can also holds enough water to gently rinse all the soap. HTH!

  3. We haven’t found a magic solution for this either. Most times we just grit our teeth and power through the hair rinsing.
    Sometimes we are lucky enough to distract Princess through the event. Getting her to look at the ceiling, look up at a mirror and watch the shampoo rinse away. Or try getting her to sing a song, like the alphabet song.

    I wish I had something more to tell you but we’re still struggling with this in our house. Good luck!

  4. I had the same problem with my daughter and I have to say it took a very long time to get over it but we managed. First I bought one of those shaving mirrors that are meant for the tub. This helps since you can turn their hair into all sorts of horns and designs with the soap and then they laugh at themselves in the mirror. I also was sneaky about getting the soap up there. First you start making funny soap designs on the belly. Then a dab on the shoulders, then some dabs on the head. Don’t worry if you don’t think you have enough to actually wash with, they don’t get THAT dirty. I also let my princess be in charge of holding the protective washcloth for wiping away drips. This was helpful since she could rub her own face instead of yelling for me to do it. Also, make sure the shampoo you have is tearless, just in case.
    Finally try taking a bath with her and demonstrate how you wash your own hair (swimsuits are fine for both of you if it is more comfortable). She may be so surprised to have mom or dad’s hair to play with and wash that she wants to try the same silly poses with her own hair.

    Good Luck! bath night should be a joy not a terror so I hope it all works out for you!

  5. LeeAnn


    My husband always makes a fuss over how beautiful my daughter’s hair looks after it is cleaned and dried. He takes over the hair brushing then too. He has a special connection with her.

  6. I give thema dry washcloth to hold over their eyes, so they can wipe those droplets away. I also saw a cool gadget at walmart that pours water over their head-one side is soft and conforms to their head.
    Good luck with this one.

  7. Hmmm, maybe there is some kind of gene that crops up in little girls when it comes to getting their hair washed. You could have been describing our little Princess. Anyway, when she was really little my own Steady Eddy did the washing as he is possessed of much more patience than I. Then when she was about 5 years old she started washing it herself. I do check that all the soap bubbles out but she does most of it herself. I wish I had a better answer for you, maybe this is just encouragement that it does get better. It might take some time but it does get better!

  8. We have that problem here too (though maybe not as severe as yours). I have started to work through it by doing a couple of things:

    1. Teaching her to tip her head back so NO (or very little) water actually rolls on her face.

    2. Once the hair is wet and the shampoo is on, I sing a super silly song. Usually it is a song with the words all messed up. It is usually enough of a distraction that she will stop with the ouches long enough to correct me.

    3. As a last resort, I remind her that there will be NO time for playing if I spend all the time struggling with hair and body washing.

    Hope those help a little.

  9. I’ve found no magic trick other than time. It seems like all of my kids (and I have six) have gone through a phase when they hate having their hair washed. Then they get over it, although some still like to have a washcloth held over their eyes tightly when it’s rinsing time.

    With a few of the kids, I used foam bath visors, which I got at Target. Those seemed to ease the anxiety.

    Another thing to try is to let her soap up her hair with shampoo she’s picked out. The Suave kids shampoos are a big hit around here because the kids love the way they smell. We use a pitcher to rinse hair. Maybe let her dump it over her head herself? Maybe if she feels in control, it would go better.

    Otherwise, just grit your teeth and get it done. Some kids are like cats and hate to be wet. You rarely meet and adult who screams and cries when they are being shampooed.

  10. Well at that age, you simply don’t. My five year old is fianlly getting the concept of holding her head back. My three year old has figured it out now.

    But with my little boy who is 20 months, I don’t fill the bathtub up alot. I take a wet rag, and swish it on top of his head to wet a bit. Shampoo it, then lay him down in the water on his back and do a quick rinse.

    Of course he is crying the whole time I am rinising his hair, but it is over in about 5 seconds, and once he sits up, he is his happy self again.

    So that is the quickest way that I have found to wash their hair. But peacfully? That will take a bit of time on their part. Hope this helps a bit.

  11. We are all about games. So our game in the tub was “Animals on the ceiling.” We would give a clue about what animal was on the ceiling while they tilted their head back to get rinsed. This works most of time for our kiddos, but it took awhile (and a silly animals, like pink rhinos on the ceiling), but when it did, it eased the chore into a game.
    Hope that helps!

  12. The best thing I’ve found is that thing Corrie mentioned. A little cup with a handle on it–one side of the cup is soft, so it conforms to the kid’s head. It worked wonders at first, now MY almost 2 year old has discovered how to push the cup out of my hands. Fun times.

  13. We have a shower head that you can hold in your hand. This is a HUGE help – it rinses the hair out quicker than anything else we can come up with. The other thing we’ve done that sometimes worked is to tell our dd that she had a choice. She could a) cooperate and get it all done quickly and easily or b) fight us and have it take long and be NO fun. Once we let her know that she had an option (and not getting the hair washed was not one of the options), she generally cooperated.

    Good luck!

  14. I would do my girls hair in the kitchen sink. They would lie on the counter with a folded towel gently cradling their head. They covered their face initially with a wash cloth, but after a bit, they didn’t need to do that. They felt secure on the counter and I’d use my sprayer to wash their hair. We never had a problem with this method.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *