Toddler scalp buildup

Hi all,
So I know that I am doing this wrong and I need some advice. I have been trying to do the water only method with my 2 year old daughter because I read that baking soda and acv can be really drying and irritating, so I would rinse her hair every week or two in a water-only bath. So my daughter now has an itchy buildup on her scalp that sometimes she scratches till it bleeds. The worst is that it is recurring. I spent about 2 hours getting it off with coconut oil and a toothbrush a few months ago, but it’s back and her hair is too long now to do that again, plus the oil was horrible to get out. She has super fine straight hair. I have really started to question if I’m doing the right thing. I decided to wash it twice this week with shampoo and conditioner and it has actually made it look worse, and I’m sure anyone who looks at her thinks I neglect her. I guess I have been lazy about it because I thought that her hair would just self regulate and I would be giving her this lifelong gift of no fuss hair. But now I just need to fix her scalp because I’m afraid she is going to develop dermatitis or maybe that she already has it. Please let me know what you think the best course of action is. I am really glad to have found this group to be able to ask my question. My hair is also pretty greasy and a little itchy, but nothing like hers. I don’t have the build up like she does, but I washed mine this week too. I’m sorry if I’m doing it wrong and giving the no poo movement a bad name. I just need some advice on how to move forward. Thank you.

Hi! Absolutely do not be so hard on yourself! Figuring out your and your child’s specific hair needs is a journey. One of the things that many people recommend (even those who use shampoo) is a scalp brush. It has silicon bristles that you can use to massage your scalp in the shower and it helps to remove build up. I think this could be supersuper helpful for your daughter! I added a link to one from amazon below just for reference; I’m definitely not sure if this is the best one! I also have really fine, long hair and I have found that brushing my hair thoroughly each day is essential. I have bristle brush, one side is more coarse and the other is softer, that I use every day. I start with the coarse side and then switch to soft. This really helps to redistribute the oil so that it doesn’t build up at the root. The only other thing I have from what you mentioned is that baking soda can be super rough on your hair, but it can also be a saving grace. I would say definitely DO NOT put the baking soda on the ends of your hair because it will make it too dry. I mix baking soda with a little water so it’s like a paste. Then I layer my hair and apply it right to the root. Then I massage and rinse thoroughly. I only do this when the oil and build up becomes way too much.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck with your little girl!

Scalp brush

Bristle brush

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My sister uses Seventh Generation baby shampoo and body wash on her baby (almost 2). Because there are more testimonies on adult scalps and not so many on babies, I do not think there is anything wrong with a mild shampoo/wash free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates and formaldehyde (the top ingredients we are trying to avoid going no poo) for babies if water only is not working.

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