I very vividly remember the early morning battles my mom and I had every day before school. I had--and still have--very long, very curly hair, which means running a brush through it before I set off for the day was not an option. Hair was a sit down in the kitchen for 15 to 20 minutes every single day while my mom brushed, combed, oiled, braided, tugged and smoothed the curls growing from my tender little scalp. There was yelling and there were tears.

Now, I'm sure many of you have already been through such scenarios with your little girls or boys with long hair, but I'm willing to bet you'd do just about anything to make it a bit easier, especially with the stress of school starting up again soon, so I've come up with a few tips to help you make those school mornings go just a little more smoothly with their hair, most of which I've learned from doing my own hair and that of my 2-year-old who has a head full of curls I can't bear to part with.

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1. Wash at night. If your kids are in the habit of bathing and washing hair in the morning, switch that up, at least on weekdays. Washing and detangling at night will save tons of time the next morning.

2. Use protective styles. Okay, I'm not saying you need to go so far as to make your little one sleep in rolos (yes, I had to do this occasionally as a child), but braids and buns are a quick, easy option for keeping your kid's hair relatively tangle free overnight. You can even tie on a scarf to protect the hair near the scalp as well. If your child has curly hair a very loose high ponytail will also help keep the curls in tact between washes.

3. Limit "out" days. Whether your child has curly, straight or wavy hair, wearing it loose is going to cause knots and tangles that you will later have to remove, which will likely be painful for your child and annoying for you. So set a limit of once or twice a week for wearing hair out. Let your daughter pick out a bunch of really fun hair accessories and use them for creating cute up and back styles the rest of the week. (YouTube is a great place to get hairstyle ideas and tutorials.)

4. Keep hair healthy. Healthy hair is infinitely more manageable than unhealthy hair. Make sure you treat your child's hair in a way that encourages it to behave well. Eliminate or limit heat styling and chemical processes, brush and comb gently, don't use accessories that tear or rip hair and try to use natural products (including shampoo and conditioner).

 Image via Thinkstock

Topics: back to school  beauty tips  hair tips  parenting