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It takes two to tame the tangles

May 18, 2000

"Weeeeeee," my daughter, Chloe, squealed as she toddled into the room almost faster than her chubby legs could carry her.

My husband was close behind, brush in one hand, barrette in the other.

"This is a two-person job," he said.

It certainly is. Sometimes I think it would help to have three or four people - or perhaps an entire surgical team - to help us prevent those little wisps of baby-fine hair from falling into my 16-month-old daughter's face.

While our main goal is help her see without obstruction, I admit it's fun to make her look cute.

It was only seconds after I heard the words, "It's a girl!" that visions of ribbons and bows filled my head. Won't it be fun to play dress-up? Ha.

But other moms make it look so easy.

I asked Lori Gaylor, a Hagerstown resident, how she manages to have her little girls, Brooke, 2, and Nicole, 4, always look so nice at church.


Gaylor, a former day-care provider, says she tries to do their hair when they're distracted, watching a video or coloring.

"Sometimes I give them a book or a toy," Gaylor says.

At times she lets them watch in a mirror so they can see what she's doing.

"You have to be fast," she says.

If a child doesn't want to cooperate, make a game out of fixing her hair, suggests Joyce Quinn, director of the clinic at Award Beauty School in Hagerstown.

Quinn suggests giving the child barrettes and letting her put them in your hair.

This technique is helpful for preparing them for haircuts as well, Quinn says. Pretend your fingers are scissors and that you're trimming their hair. Then let them do the same with you.

"A child doesn't like anything thrown at them real quick. It startles them," Quinn says.

We've been trying Quinn's and Gaylor's suggestions. And, at times, barrettes have actually stayed in Chloe's hair for an hour or two.

Our solution? Bangs. Now her hair doesn't get in her eyes.

She's too busy exploring her world to deal with ribbons and bows.

Perhaps we'll just put those frills away until next year.

Then she'll probably want a baseball cap.

And that will be just fine.

Tell us what you're trying to teach your child. We'll ask an expert for advice. Call Lifestyle Editor Lisa Tedrick Prejean at 301-733-5131, ext. 2340, write her at P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, Md. 21741, send a fax to 301-714-0245 or e-mail her at

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