Trauma-Free Techniques

Trauma Free Techniques By Hot Tot


Select A Place Where Your Child Will Be Happy

Babies are happiest being cradled in your arms. Though this technique can be a bit tricky because it requires you to work with one hand it is the easiest and most soothing way to style your tiny tot. Plan ahead and gather your materials in advance. Set them up so you have easy access to everything you will need.

Children who are big enough to sit up independently will do best in a location that allows them to be distracted. Highchairs are a great option because tots can snack while their hair is styled. When working in the bathroom, consider placing your child on the counter with their bare feet in the sink. The light trickling of water on little toes serves as a great distraction. Make sure to stand directly behind them while working, as safety is important and you should be careful to ensure that they can’t tip or fall. The bathroom mirror provides a secondary distraction (tots love to watch themselves!) and allows you to see the style from a few different angles. This is especially helpful when parting hair.


Have the Right Tools

Baby and children’s hair is different than adult strands. During infancy, hair is fine and downy. Soft brushes made for specifically for infant’s tender scalp are best. Time and trauma can be drastically reduced when working on older kids with specialized detangling brushes. Our favorite is the Knot Genie!

All elastic bands are not created equal. Remember that children’s hair is delicate and can easily break if proper precautious are not taken when removing elastics. Consider using a soft tie that won’t tear the hair or a disposable band that can carefully be cut out and disposed of after a single use. Remember to exercise caution when using scissors near you child’s hair to avoid an accidental haircut!
The right comb can make any style look perfectly polished. We think a tail comb is as good as a magic wand because its square edge and tight teeth make smooth hair a cinch (think perfect parts and ponytails!).

A spray bottled filled with water can be very useful in getting your child’s hair into place. Select a bottle that allows you to control the flow and use a very fine mist. Make sure your child knows that you will be spraying them. This can be made into a fun and silly part of the hair styling process.



Though the amount of hair a baby is born with can vary greatly from child to child, all will eventually grow a full head of hair. A simple curl is perfect for infants and can be worn on boys and girls alike. The addition of a headband or hair accessory can easily distinguish gender and coordinate this classic look to any outfit. Our Sweet Pea Cur Serum is the tool for achieving this look and also enhances your tot’s perfect baby smell.

For little boys, short hair is no longer the only acceptable option. Parents are now opting for longer, shaggy styles that frame the face. Short hair is easy to care for and the styling options are endless! Get creative and find something that suits your child’s lifestyle and personality. Hair always grows back and the perfect haircut enables a child express their personality without words.

Long hair is a common favorite for little girls. Ponytails, piggy-tails, and braids are timeless styles that are always on trend. Accessories are a fun way to enhance any look! Barrettes, bows, ribbons and and headbands can easily be added as an accent to an outfit. When selecting hair accessories, be sure to choose those designed for specifically for children. The size and shape will work better than those created for adults. Avoid anything with sharp metal or teeth. Shorter styles such as a pixie cut or bob are also cute, classic and age appropriate styles for girls.


Styling Aids

Hair styling products made for adults are not recommended for use on children. Most contain ingredients that are too harsh for tots. These products can coat the hair follicle and are difficult to remove, even after multiple baths. Baby wash and children’s shampoos are made for tot’s delicate skin, eyes and hair, and will not remove the residue of styling products that are simply too heavy for kid’s unique strands.

The use of hot tools can be heavily debated when it comes to its suitability for kids. This is a personal choice that each caregiver should make carefully. For those who decide to use a curling iron or hair dryer, we strongly recommend putting safety before style. Make sure that your child is old enough to sit still and explain in advance that a burn could occur if they fidget. Set the iron on the lowest setting possible, as a minimal amount of heat will be effective. Leave the iron in the hair for no longer than 1-2 seconds. Make sure the curling iron is safely put away, as it is the stylist’s job to ensure that the child does not get burned. Foam curlers are a safe alternative to heat styling and can also achieve the same look without any risk.


Words of Advice

Remember that kids are kids. They are perfect as they are and shouldn’t be made to look like tiny adults. The goal in styling tot hair is to help them feel loved, confident and special. It is important that they feel comfortable in their own skin. This means their hairstyle should be comfortable to wear and enhance their self-esteem. The best styles for kids showcase their personality. Whether they are sporty, scholarly, silly or fancy, there are lots of great options that are perfect for little ones!

Tots are busy. While some are certainly more patient than others it is important to work quickly, as it is unrealistic to expect a child to sit still for very long. With consistency, they will learn to give you a few minutes without protest or trauma. Daily styling will help establish good grooming habits that will last a lifetime.

Practice makes perfect. It can be difficult to achieve certain styles (especially with girl’s hair), but practice will surely improve your skills. The few minutes you spend working on your child’s hair is a great time to tell them how special they are. Make sure to focus on who they are and not just how they look. Be specific with your compliments. Remember that true beauty comes from within.

Have fun! Styling your child’s hair is meant to enhance self-esteem, not trauma. If they’re not in the mood, don’t force them. You can always try again later.