The hair is one of the most maintained parts of the human body. Men and women who want to look good treat themselves by pampering their “crowning glories” with shampoo, conditioner, hair softening creams, hair spa, hair dyes and other hair treatment-related products. Adults as well as children should take care of their tresses . According to research, school children are often “the victims” of hair problems such as lice and nits, dandruff, dry hair, oily hair, and split ends because of their frequent exposure to other children and environment. Thus, moms should give proper attention and guidance to their children with regard to hair care.
Let me discuss the five common hair problems of school children; its symptoms and how to cure them:
1. Lice and Nits
Head lice is the most notorious hair problem among school children. Lice and nits thrive on hair quickly if this will not be treated immediately.
Lice nourish themselves by sucking blood from the scalp. The sign of having this is a very itchy scalp. Head lice is characterized by a small particles that are firmly attached to hair strands. This small particles is called the lice eggs or nits. However, the live lice will not be easily seen as they immediately hide into other areas of the head and hair when they detect an activity.
• Buy anti-lice shampoo. Make sure to read the instructions carefully. Some anti-lice shampoos need to be applied once a day for a definite period of time, while others only need to be used once a week.
• Use a fine-toothed comb after shampooing. This could either be done after using ordinary shampoo or ?anti-lice shampoo. Comb your child’s hair section by section and make sure to cover the ears and the nape areas. Repeat this process every three to four days for best results.
• While under lice treatment, avoid using hair conditioner for it may coat or cover the lice.
• Discourage your child to share combs, hair brushes, towels, hats, caps, and hair accessories with others. Remember: lice and nits can be transferred through close contact with hair or by simply sharing personal things.
Dandruff is the excessive shedding of skin from the scalp, which has become an embarrassing condition for a lot of people, even kids. Like the rest of the human body, the scalp is made up of skin cells which must renew itself from time to time. There are times if the skin renewal process causes an overproduction of cells, the dead skin cells bulk up on the scalp which becomes the dandruff or white flakes.
The signs of having dandruff is a very itchy scalp and white flakes of dead skin could be seen in child’s hair, shoulders and/or clothes.
• Use anti-dandruff or anti-fungal shampoos for kids.
• When using shampoo make sure to rinse your hair and scalp well. This will help remove the build-up of dirt, oil and dead skin cells on the scalp.
• Brush hair regularly. It aids the shedding of skin from the scalp.
• Maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Some experts believe that proper intake of foods rich in zinc and B vitamins will help minimize dandruff. Also try to monitor your child’s intake of fried foods, chocolate, nuts, sugar and dairy products.
3. Dry Hair
Dry hair is a condition where the scalp produces low amount of oil that aids in moisturizing the hair shaft. Since, school children are very active with outdoor activities such as basketball, swimming, or other outdoor games, it exposes them frequently to sun, wind, chlorinated water and other elements that contributes to having dry hair.
This type of hair problem makes the hair look dull and lifeless.
• Use an herbal shampoo, if possible or shampoo for kids with low chemical content. Shampoos with strong chemicals might strip the hair nutrients.
• Apply conditioners suitable for kids and leave-on moisturizers, to make your child’s hair soft and manageable.
• For styling products, look for alcohol-free ones.
4. Oily Hair
Oily hair appears to be strong and healthy. It is easily styled but eventually becomes stringy and limp.
The hair is lifeless, limpy and stringy. If your child has an oily hair, chances are he/she is prone to dandruff.
• Brush your child’s hair regularly. This massages the scalp and promotes proper hair nutrients circulation.
• Use a cleansing shampoo for kids. Check the shampoo with natural citric juice extracts for it will help in removing excess hair oils.
• Avoid the use of baby shampoos and conditioning shampoos. Baby shampoos are far too gentle and do not cleanse the hair properly. Conditioning shampoos, on the other hand, contain properties such as oils and waxes which might only add weight to your child’s hair.
5. Split Ends
“Split ends”, or trichoptilosis, is the longitudinal splitting of hair fiber, which is usually caused by any chemical or physical trauma such as hair styling products or vigorous hair brushing.
The damaged hair fiber is normally split into two or three strands. Affected hair strands also possess a light brown color at the tip of it.
• Try to comb your child’s hair when it dries after rinsing it. Do not brush the hair when it’s still wet, for this is the most vulnerable state of the hair.
• Use a natural-bristle brush to prevent hair breakage.
• Use a conditioner after shampooing the hair. Conditioners supply the hair with nutrients. It also promotes a tangle-free hair that will help you comb your child’s hair easily.
• Have your child’s hair trimmed occasionally.