Wanted: A Professional Stylist for My Toddler.

I have never been particularly good at doing hair. I first discovered my lack while attempting to roll my mall bangs upwards in high school. The grunge period of the early 90s was a relief—all I had to do was let it lie limp—but when I later cut it into a pixie, I realized I wasn’t even particularly good at the art of purposeful mussing.

Then I discovered the bob and my life in the hairstyling lane became smooth sailing. Wash it, blow dry with a round brush, flat iron the heck out of it and you’re done. Even I can manage that.

But now I’ve got a daughter. A daughter whose hair is at a length where it needs actual styling. And my skills with a brush? Have not improved with time.

Nevertheless, I have begun to inflict my styling  skills on her, trapping her squirming body between my knees as I wrestle her hair into pig tails ( lordy how I love me a little girl in pig tails).

Have you ever noticed how awkward looping a hair band around somebody else’s head is?  My hands, which knot mine back without thinking, suddenly become thick and clumsy—seeming too big to handle the tiny little circle. I almost never manage it without tangling some strands between the loops, eliciting an “owww, mommy!” from her in the process.

Generally speaking, it takes two or three (or ten) tries to get it somewhat presentable. And even so, the pigtails are usually crooked, with one ending up somewhere near the top  of her head and the other hanging limply at the side. Even her part zigzags.

This was taken on a fairly good day (and I’d still get laughed off Toddlers and Tiaras):

Her gorgeous pigtails

I’ve been cutting myself a lot of slack, though. I mean, after all, she’s a toddler. Which means she refuses to sit still for longer than five seconds. Of course her hair is messy—it’s practically the law.


Until she came home from daycare with perfect hair. Bangs neatly brushed. Hair parted down the middle. Pigtails even and smooth—with nary a lump or bump in sight. I’d like to believe that a professional hair stylist came and gave the kids makeovers today (which would explain her green-speckled face), but I think her teacher took pity on her.

It appears that her chronically messy hair is not actually the result of her squirming, but only my lack of coordination.

So I have two choices. Get rich enough to hire her her own personal stylist before elementary school rolls around or somehow acquire some hairstyling skills.

Does anybody have a winning lottery ticket they’d like to give away?

23 Comments on Wanted: A Professional Stylist for My Toddler.

  1. Elona
    August 18, 2010 at 10:33 pm (5 years ago)

    Seriously, pig tails suck. I can’t get them straight on my OWN head and I imagine doing it on a toddler would be akin to me putting Zuckuss in pigtails. Cut yourself some slack, the daycare chick has had tons of kids to hone her pigtail skills.

    • Amber
      August 19, 2010 at 8:46 am (5 years ago)

      I didn’t even try today…in fact, she decided she was afraid of the bath last night, so I sent her with straggly, dirty hair. But her clothes matched so whatevs.

  2. Allison @ Alli n Son
    August 18, 2010 at 10:43 pm (5 years ago)

    I think messy hair is a right of passage for little girls. It gives them character, ya know?

    • Amber
      August 19, 2010 at 8:45 am (5 years ago)

      I like the way you think.

  3. wendy
    August 19, 2010 at 2:06 am (5 years ago)

    Good for you even trying! My toddler won’t even let me put her hair in pig tails, let alone brush it. Serious bed head…all day. But whatever!

    • Amber
      August 19, 2010 at 8:44 am (5 years ago)

      They have enough years to worry about their hair, I guess it doesn’t have to start already, right?

  4. Jen
    August 19, 2010 at 8:20 am (5 years ago)

    This is what I do with Claire, I sit her in front of a mirror like on the bathroom counter and give her a tooth brush or something else for her to play with. She just loves to watch herself in the mirror and will in turn sit still enough so that I can make her hair look good.

    Its all about distractions, not wrestling. :)

    • Amber
      August 19, 2010 at 8:43 am (5 years ago)

      That is a fabulous idea. I’ll definitely have to try it.

  5. erica
    August 19, 2010 at 8:54 am (5 years ago)

    I feel you on this one. Wow. My babe doesn’t have enough hair to play with, but let’s just say I am dreading the day she asks for a french braid.

    • Amber
      August 19, 2010 at 11:55 am (5 years ago)

      that will be a painful day indeed…for both of us.

  6. AmyBlam
    August 19, 2010 at 10:35 am (5 years ago)

    I feel your pain. I can do all sorts of things to my own hair but doing brat child’s? Terrible.

    • Amber
      August 19, 2010 at 11:55 am (5 years ago)

      Good thing they won’t remember, right?

  7. Pollyanna
    August 19, 2010 at 11:23 am (5 years ago)

    Couple of tips.
    1. The mirror thing works. Get a stool and put her up on it while you’re doing her hair. She’s more likely to stand still. Also, you’re used to doing your own hair from this perspective so it makes it a little easier to do hers.
    2. Get a rat tailed comb. This will help you get the part straight because you use the tip of the comb. And now that she’s in front of the mirror, you can see from the front whether or not is is going straight back or off to one side.
    3. Pigtails are great, but that little firecracker pony on the top of little girls’ heads is pretty stinkin’ cute too. Use the cloth pony tail holders to give it a little more height if necessary.
    4. Goody clear hair bands! They are awesome, don’t easily break, and I don’t have a problem with them falling out. I don’t wash my girls’ hair everyday. With these I get a couple days out of the “do”.
    5. Teach her the phrase, “It hurts to be pretty.” Very sad, and perhaps not my best parenting move, but my girls now believe that getting your hair done is not always pleasant but the end result is worth it because they feel pretty.
    6. Once her hair gets a little longer, you may want to check out http://www.babesinhairland.com. It’s a blog dedicated to little girl hair styles with step by step instructions and sometimes video!

    • Amber
      August 19, 2010 at 11:56 am (5 years ago)

      Oooh, a ponytail. Good thinking. Thanks for all the awesome tips!

  8. Pollyanna
    August 19, 2010 at 11:28 am (5 years ago)

    Sorry, I forgot a couple of things.
    7. Get a spray bottle. Brush her hair first to remove any snarls, then spritz her hair. Damp or wet hair is easier to comb smooth.
    8. I use those clips like they use at the hair salon to hold back the hair I’m not working with. This way loose strands don’t get into my pigtails or braids or what ever it is that I’m doing.

    I guess this was more than a couple of tips. I’m sure you’ll get over it though :)

  9. Doing the Mom Thing
    August 19, 2010 at 1:36 pm (5 years ago)

    Can I just say that I’m totally jealous of your style and the fact that your toddler has bangs? My munchkin was born with a head full of hair and we started pigtails back when she was 5 months old. But it’s not that theres’s just a lot of hair. She was cursed with my half curly half straight thing and the front is way longer than the back. Bangs would be so cute and more manageable, but what do you do with curly bangs?

    Eh, who cares! Toddlers are meant to be messy I say. And who needs a stylist when you’ve got bangs? :)

    • Amber
      August 20, 2010 at 8:49 am (5 years ago)

      Messy heads are best, because then you don’t feel bad when you tousle them. I’ve always wanted curls…I’m secretly jealous of you and your daughter!

  10. Coma Girl
    August 19, 2010 at 3:35 pm (5 years ago)

    Actually you have three choices, you can hand her the brush and rubber bands and tell her it’s time to start taking care of herself. Then tell her to make her own lunch. Too harsh?

    But I am with you. Either my daughter’s hair line is off, or I don’t know how to part her hair into pigtails to save my life.

    If you find a good toddler stylist, send her my way!

    • Amber
      August 20, 2010 at 8:50 am (5 years ago)

      I like the way you think. She prob’ly would try to make her own lunch…and end up strewing all the food in our fridge across the house.

  11. Jessica - This is Worthwhile
    August 19, 2010 at 6:04 pm (5 years ago)

    I dunno – I think the pigtails are fetching. You could just give HER a bob, too. Then you’d be matching!

    • Amber
      August 20, 2010 at 8:51 am (5 years ago)

      Hmmmm…food for thought. I don’t think I will, though. Tangles or no, I like little girls with long hair.

  12. Michelle
    August 23, 2010 at 4:20 pm (5 years ago)

    We have two tickets we are waiting for the draw on Wed. If we win, I will send you to hairstyling classes! But, don’t feel bad, my girls always have messy hair. I comb it, but within 5 minutes, it is a mess again.

    • Amber
      August 24, 2010 at 9:07 am (5 years ago)

      I’ll hold you to that promise. But I’ve decided that crooked pigtails add character…right?


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