How often do you wash your child's hair? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 42 Old 10-16-2013, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 4-year-old who hates having her hair washed. She loves playing in the bath, but doesn't like the hair thing. I'm trying to decide how much I can let that go.

What are your hair standards?
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#2 of 42 Old 10-16-2013, 04:45 PM
 
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My boy's almost two. I wash his hair every week or so, maybe a little less. We bath other times, I just don't touch his hair.

 

People say it's different with girls who have long hair, but it really isn't. I've had long hair my whole life. My mother would wash our hair once a week, and then braid it up in tight french braids and leave it for days. We were perfectly clean.

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#3 of 42 Old 10-16-2013, 08:33 PM
 
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As a preschool teacher, I see everything the kids actually get into at school/daycare.  You'd be surprised what some kids will do- lay on the (public) bathroom floor next to the toilet, use their hair for paintbrush, lay all over the ground outside with their hair in the mud/dirt/ whatever, smear food in it, etc.  I've always bathed my kids every other day, or every day, if needed, and washed their hair just about every time I bathed them (unless it was a potty training accident or something like that).  My 2 year old has hair just past his shoulders, wants to grow it longer, but when we're outside, he just can't seem to NOT lay all over the ground and then there's so much dirt, etc, in his hair, and he's growing his bangs out ( they're to the bottom of his nose), so he gets a lot of food in his hair, so lately, I find myself bathing my son and washing his hair every night.  I think for my three oldest, it was every 2-3 nights they'd be bathed and hair older two are teenagers now, so they're every night) and for the sedond youngest, the 6 year old, she's the kind of kid where she walks into a room, mess flies at her, so she really needs to be bathed and hair washed every 1-2 days, or she looks like a sticky mess.


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#4 of 42 Old 10-16-2013, 09:52 PM
 
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Daily baths and hair washing is the general rule around here.  I sometimes go longer with my hair bc it is very dry from being colored, but my kids have been taught proper hygiene from the start...kids play hard and get dirty and therefore must be bathed daily.

 

That said, if it's a lazy indoor day or maybe a rare cold day in the winter, we might skip one day.  But only one, never two.


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#5 of 42 Old 10-16-2013, 10:08 PM
 
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My DD is only 11 months old but I only wash her hair maybe every 2 weeks. Generally if it stinks and only then.

 

I don't think a lot of hair washing is healthy, though. I wash my hair FAR less often than most people do.


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#6 of 42 Old 10-16-2013, 10:16 PM
 
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We have baths here about 2 times a week (maybe a quick rinse if they are muddy).  Hair washing happens rarely, maybe 2 times a month. 

Almost every bath though they do rinse their hair. I have super dry skin and hair and don't use soap on myself very often and only wash my hair a few times a week.  

 

I wouldn't stress if he doesn't like his hair washed.  


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#7 of 42 Old 10-17-2013, 06:31 AM
 
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Once in two days or if it's sweaty and needs it then as soon as it's required.


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#8 of 42 Old 10-17-2013, 04:25 PM
 
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My daughter has always been the same way.  She is 5 now.  Before we started kindergarten I would let her go a week between hair washing.  Yes by the end of the week it was a bit ratty and hard to get a hair brush through.  Now that she is in school I make her wash it on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights.  It seems to work fine and just starts to get hard to brush on the last morning.  I will also put a bit of leave in conditioner in her hair before brushing it.

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#9 of 42 Old 10-17-2013, 04:28 PM
 
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I've always only washed my daughters hair about once a week. Which sounds bad, I guess. But she doesn't go to daycare and is a very neat child on her own. Plus we use natural shampoo that doesn't have phthalates in it, which I am convinced is what causes your hair to get greasy. Her hair always looks great. Of course if she gets hot and sweaty or does something messy I will wash it. Just as a general rule though not often. I definitely don't think it's something to stress about. If your kid stinks, wash em. If not no need for unnecessary fighting and/or crying about something that can be avoided.

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#10 of 42 Old 10-17-2013, 04:32 PM
 
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We have our 5-year-old rinse his head every time he bathes, but he hates having his hair actually washed do that only happens once a week or so. He has downy, soft hair, clean hair I never have to brush (he also hates combs and brushes). Within an hour of waking up, his hair is always back to its normal state. It's so stubbornly straight I can't even put gel in it and style it.
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#11 of 42 Old 10-17-2013, 04:33 PM
 
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My 22 month old isn't super fond of hair washing, but we've been battling really bad cradle cap since birth and the only thing I haven't tried is washing her hair more often than every 7-10 days. So I'm aiming for every other day now. It'll be some time before I see if it's working but it's hard because she really isn't into it. I can't wash her hair if she is tired so I have been doing bath time a little earlier, and that helps some. We had a rinse cup for a while, and that helped sometimes as well. Something like this (though I have seen them much cheaper). http://www.amazon.com/Kids-Shampoo-Rinse-Cup-SRC44/dp/B001GI4FXI We lost it though and I was super bummed! Maybe something like that would help? Or what about washing hair in a shower with mom instead of in the tub? I think hair washing goes along with bathing -- you don't necessarily need to do it every day but the head, like the rest of the body, does get dirty and needs to be washed periodically.  Hair smells and gets ratty otherwise. So I try not to push it if she is in a bad mood, tired, had a rough day, etc., but if she is doing well then we do wash it. I liked that cup cause it was super fast. I just keep telling her how much I appreciate it and I know she doesn't really like it. When it's done then I quickly change the subject to another toy or tell her to splash or something like that to distract her. 

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#12 of 42 Old 10-17-2013, 04:56 PM
 
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My 3yo doesn't like getting her hair washed either, but I make sure to wash it at least twice a week. Her hair naturally falls to one side, and underneath that swoop of hair, every once in a while she gets a rash-type-cradle cap-type something. I still haven't figured out exactly what it is, but I make sure to scrub her hair GOOD during those times. The twice a week thing seems to work for us. during the rest of her (daily) baths, I will often just rinse her hair with plain water. If the rash thing gets bad enough, I will rinse her hair in diluted apple cider vinegar, and that helps a lot.

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#13 of 42 Old 10-17-2013, 04:59 PM
 
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It depends. My youngest is 4 and I wash her hair daily in the warmer months because it's really thin like my own and gets oily fast. But in the cooler months I wash it about every other day and sometimes I will go two days without washing it. None of my kids liked getting their hair washed and I had to use games and tricks to get around that because I wanted them to be clean. But it's up to each parent how they want to do it.


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#14 of 42 Old 10-17-2013, 05:32 PM
 
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Hair washing more often than once a week is not a necessary part of good hygiene, unless there are extreme contributing factors such as dragging it through the muck as a previous poster suggested, or perhaps smearing it with food.  Private parts are the most important parts to clean more regularly.  Four-year-olds don't tend to be the best wipers when it comes to potty time, so mine gets a daily dip in the bath to take care of anything missed in that department.  Hairwashing:  once a week at MOST in this house, for all 4 of my daughters who range in age from 22 months to (almost)10 years.  My hair is washed twice a week. 

 

From what I understand after much reading on the subject, frequent hair washing strips the scalp's natural oils and leads to additional oil production and a more oily scalp, needing more frequent washing... it's a cycle.  Best to break it if you're in it.


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#15 of 42 Old 10-17-2013, 05:40 PM
 
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Hair washing more often than once a week is not a necessary part of good hygiene, unless there are extreme contributing factors such as dragging it through the muck as a previous poster suggested, or perhaps smearing it with food.  Private parts are the most important parts to clean more regularly.  Four-year-olds don't tend to be the best wipers when it comes to potty time, so mine gets a daily dip in the bath to take care of anything missed in that department.  Hairwashing:  once a week at MOST in this house, for all 4 of my daughters who range in age from 22 months to (almost)10 years.  My hair is washed twice a week. 

 

From what I understand after much reading on the subject, frequent hair washing strips the scalp's natural oils and leads to additional oil production and a more oily scalp, needing more frequent washing... it's a cycle.  Best to break it if you're in it.

 

 

I think it's personal preference. I don't believe much of what I read on the internet. Everyone has their own opinion on some of those sites that talk about this type of stuff. But I do know that I hate, hate, hate feeling dirty and I've met others that are the same way. They have to have at least one shower per day (usually two) and have to wash their hair daily. I have to do it too. I wouldn't have made it back in the day when I couldn't shower daily. I usually do a shower and a bath daily if I can. I work a very hard job and the bath feels good at the end of the day but I don't go out until I've showered so I end up doing both.

 

I've seen lots of children over the years through work, school, church, home school, my kids in school and a child with dirty hair sticks out really bad! It just looks bad on the parent. And usually the parent doesn't notice it because they don't keep their hair clean either. Like I said before, personal preference mostly. It is a known fact though that different textures of hair and thickness will contribute to drying it out, making it oily, etc. ;-) 


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#16 of 42 Old 10-17-2013, 06:09 PM
 
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At the risk of incurring condescension, I'll admit that I almost never wash my 5-y-o's hair.

 

He has sensitive skin and hates shampoo and even bubble bath.  IMO, he looks and smells terrific, with daily (or nearly daily) showers or long soaks in a tub filled with nothing but water and toys.

 

His grooming habits are excellent, for his age.  He prides himself on careful tooth brushing AND flossing.  He washes his hands before he eats, without complaint.  If he's particularly dirty, he'll use a soapy washcloth in the shower (although if he does this too often, he gets dry skin).  Until he gets closer to puberty and starts NEEDING more soap and shampoo, I hate the thought of turning his bathtime into a struggle, by insisting on routine shampoos just because that's what I consider normal.


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#17 of 42 Old 10-17-2013, 06:54 PM
 
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I have all girls. They wash their hair once a week. More often if food or snot is in it. My question is what about their vulva? Do you wipe it with a cloth or just soak in tub and dab?

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#18 of 42 Old 10-17-2013, 07:14 PM
 
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At the risk of incurring condescension, I'll admit that I almost never wash my 5-y-o's hair.

 

He has sensitive skin and hates shampoo and even bubble bath.  IMO, he looks and smells terrific, with daily (or nearly daily) showers or long soaks in a tub filled with nothing but water and toys.

 

His grooming habits are excellent, for his age.  He prides himself on careful tooth brushing AND flossing.  He washes his hands before he eats, without complaint.  If he's particularly dirty, he'll use a soapy washcloth in the shower (although if he does this too often, he gets dry skin).  Until he gets closer to puberty and starts NEEDING more soap and shampoo, I hate the thought of turning his bathtime into a struggle, by insisting on routine shampoos just because that's what I consider normal.

I rarely wash my 3 1/2yo's hair either, maybe twice a month.  He does baths, showers, or soapy washcloths on the rest of his body.  He has the most beautiful hair and keeps it brushed.  I think that , like someone else stated, the more we wash our hair the more it seems to need it.  I wash mine way less frequently than most and my DH even less than me and both of us have very healthy hair.  I also think that  when kids hit puberty (or are rolling around on public restroom floors) washing habits need to be re-evaluated.  Until then, I am sticking with less is more.

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#19 of 42 Old 10-17-2013, 07:49 PM
 
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This is the first time I hear that you can wash hair once a month... I'll have to read more on that.

 

My 3-year old daughter has really curly hair so if I don't wash it every 2-3 days, it starts getting really tangled and dry at the ends and it's very hard and painful to untangle. Maybe I need to brush it every day but she HATES the dry brushing more than the bath, so I do it in the bath with detangler to help her. 

As for myself, I can't go more than 3 days or my hair also gets dry and very frizzy. I would love to only wash it once a week...

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#20 of 42 Old 10-17-2013, 09:18 PM
 
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In my house we take showers everyday, sometimes even twice a day. That includes hair washing as well, I can't stand not taking a shower I immediately feel dirty. I think my 2 year old daughter feels the same cause she sweats a lot at night then at day time she plays a lot too. If I don't wash my hair everyday it gets really oily which I absolutely hate.
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#21 of 42 Old 10-17-2013, 09:31 PM
 
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As a preschool teacher, I see everything the kids actually get into at school/daycare.  You'd be surprised what some kids will do- lay on the (public) bathroom floor next to the toilet, use their hair for paintbrush, lay all over the ground outside with their hair in the mud/dirt/ whatever, smear food in it, etc.  I've always bathed my kids every other day, or every day, if needed, and washed their hair just about every time I bathed them (unless it was a potty training accident or something like that).  My 2 year old has hair just past his shoulders, wants to grow it longer, but when we're outside, he just can't seem to NOT lay all over the ground and then there's so much dirt, etc, in his hair, and he's growing his bangs out ( they're to the bottom of his nose), so he gets a lot of food in his hair, so lately, I find myself bathing my son and washing his hair every night.  I think for my three oldest, it was every 2-3 nights they'd be bathed and hair older two are teenagers now, so they're every night) and for the sedond youngest, the 6 year old, she's the kind of kid where she walks into a room, mess flies at her, so she really needs to be bathed and hair washed every 1-2 days, or she looks like a sticky mess.

Yeah, we wash every single day, pretty much for this reason right here!  Laying on the floor next to the toilet- gross!!  

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#22 of 42 Old 10-17-2013, 10:04 PM
 
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Once a week at  most for the 7.5 year old. Possibly once a month for the 3 year old. I don't think my kids' hair stands out as being dirty, so I really think it depends on the hair, etc. But it is true that I'm not as clean as I could be myself at this stage in my life so my lens may be cloudy. We do baths probably every other day or so, depending on the season, how much time we have, and my girls' preference, and they usually get their hair wet (especially in summer) so it gets rinsed but not soaped more often. I do like them to wash their bottoms and vulvas with gentle soap (we can only use CA baby or we get a rash) every day or every other day. If we haven't had a bath in a day or two, I will do a warm wet washcloth or diaper wipe.

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#23 of 42 Old 10-17-2013, 11:56 PM
 
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My 5 year old DD hates having her hair washed, like panic attack type of fear. So we do it as little as possible, and give her lots of warning, and choices. We actually try to encourage her to do it herself, so she can control the water, since she doesn't mind getting her head wet herself as much. In the summer, when she gets hot and sweaty and gets sand in her hair, we try to wash it once a week, once every 10 days or so at the least. When it gets colder, (like now), it's more like once every 2 weeks. And its the same with our DS who's 16 months. 

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#24 of 42 Old 10-18-2013, 01:22 AM
 
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I'll be honest here:  We hardly ever wash the the kids' hair.  My daughter is 5-and-a-half and has long hair.  I wash it every two or three months or so.  If we go for a haircut, I have them wash it too.  She enjoys that.  Then periodically she will wet/wash it herself.  I brush it daily and can monitor if there is a problem.  The brushing removes dirt, etc.  I also put in coconut oil to detangle and condition it.  

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#25 of 42 Old 10-18-2013, 02:46 AM
 
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My nearly-4-yo dd also doesn't like hair washing. Personally, I think less frequent is more healthy anyway so she probably gets it washed roughly once/week. Over the summer though, my mom suggested that she (dd) do it herself & that worked really well - we assist but as she thinks she is in control it goes much more smoothly, usually without tears. She also prefers tilting/lying back to dip her hair rather than sitting up having water poured over - of course we have to do a bit of that to get all the shampoo out, but again, these small measures seem to make it better.

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#26 of 42 Old 10-18-2013, 05:31 AM
 
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My 6.5 yo has sensory issues, especially about her face and hair.  When she was one, she started expressing fears about being sucked down the drain in the bath.  She went almost a year without a bath, instead coming into the shower with me. But I would at most rinse her hair to minimize the possibility of water getting in her eyes.  If she had food in her hair, we would use a washcloth.  Now that she is older, she handles hair washing.  At most, I wash her hair once a week.  Usually it is every two weeks with a rinse when needed. 

 

My son is three.  He hates having his hair washed.  So I use a washcloth or gently rinse his hair.  He has crazy thick hair and unless I spend fifteen minutes rinsing, he gets shampoo residue on his scalp.  Thirty seconds of rinsing and he is annoyed, so no shampoo for him.  And my son has a bath when he is dirty.  This is usually every other day or twice a week.


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#27 of 42 Old 10-18-2013, 07:05 AM
 
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yes

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#28 of 42 Old 10-18-2013, 07:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kblackstone444 View Post
 

As a preschool teacher, I see everything the kids actually get into at school/daycare.  You'd be surprised what some kids will do- lay on the (public) bathroom floor next to the toilet, use their hair for paintbrush, lay all over the ground outside with their hair in the mud/dirt/ whatever, smear food in it, etc.  I've always bathed my kids every other day, or every day, if needed, and washed their hair just about every time I bathed them (unless it was a potty training accident or something like that).  My 2 year old has hair just past his shoulders, wants to grow it longer, but when we're outside, he just can't seem to NOT lay all over the ground and then there's so much dirt, etc, in his hair, and he's growing his bangs out ( they're to the bottom of his nose), so he gets a lot of food in his hair, so lately, I find myself bathing my son and washing his hair every night.  I think for my three oldest, it was every 2-3 nights they'd be bathed and hair older two are teenagers now, so they're every night) and for the sedond youngest, the 6 year old, she's the kind of kid where she walks into a room, mess flies at her, so she really needs to be bathed and hair washed every 1-2 days, or she looks like a sticky mess.

This cracked me up reading this!  I can totally relate, i am sure my 5 year old daughter would totally do these things at school!  I try to wash her hair everyday, unless on a weekend and we just hang out at home most of the day. 

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#29 of 42 Old 10-18-2013, 05:17 PM
 
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As a hairstylist at a children's salon I've seen it all! When we talk about hair washing we can't all be given the same advice because we all have different hair types, skin types, what kinds of products we have access to and how much time we have in our schedules, etc, etc. My professional advice is this: Hair products contain a lot of potentially harmful substances for our children, ironically baby shampoo is one of the worst! Cradle cap is thought to be caused by shampoos (containing sodium laureate sulphate) stripping the hair and scalp of natural oils and the reaction of the body is the over production of oil to compensate. Then because you've just mushed around the suds instead of really scrubbing, the dead skin cells are held in place by all that oil that was just produced. It's a vicious cycle. Use olive oil or some other organic oil (not baby oil) to massage into the scalp to loosen up flakes and then scrub hard with a sulphate free shampoo.

 For those of you that like to make bath time part of your bedtime routine do not shampoo the hair every time, maybe once a week, less if the hair is curly. You can wet and rinse any food or sand or dirt out with just water. Concentrate on the scrub, not the product. If your child has curly hair, wet, add conditioner, comb or brush out knots, then rinse. Towel dry any child's hair by blotting, not rubbing, combing out will be easier. If you can afford to buy a sulphate free shampoo and you absolutely feel you have to - then go ahead and wash more frequently. Another added bonus of not washing your child's hair too often is that it's a lice repellent. Lice love squeaky clean hair and hate dirty, oily hair. If your child has swim lessons it's important to wash out the chlorine/salt residue after and condition well. Lemon juice in the conditioner is good if you don't want to shampoo it.

Personally, I wash my hair once a week with a natural, sulphate free shampoo, condition well and shower every other day with a shower cap. I never wash my face with soap, just use a washcloth to slough off dead skin cells. The beauty industry is a trillion dollar business and most information is from marketers, not professionals. I wouldn't trust most of mainstream info.

We as a society today are too clean about ourselves. As my midwife told me "Babies aren't dirty." Wash only the important bits - hands and bums - everyday and leave the rest to once a week. You can't go wrong. 

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#30 of 42 Old 10-18-2013, 06:52 PM
 
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My dd and I both wash our hair and bodies daily. I can't imagine washing my curly hair only once a week, it gets clumpy and gross if I don't at least toss conditioner on daily. The thought of being that unhygienic is repulsive to me. I never wanted my DD to be the stinky kid because it affects how.children interact with them so I have always required good hygiene.
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