A Cut Above: Back to School Hair Tips


I work in a hair salon and through the years, I’ve met many parents who ask questions about their kids’ hair, and teenagers who ask questions because they’re just learning how to take care of their hair. Let’s face it, some people don’t realize that their hair is begging for guidance. Many preteens and teens go through a stage of oily hair and skin and don’t know how to take care of it. Let’s troubleshoot together – here are a few common conditions and kids hair tips!

A Cut Above: Back to School Hair Tips | Duluth Moms Blog

Oily Hair

Wash and condition every day with products specifically designed for regular use, like a daily shampoo and a light conditioner. Tea tree shampoo is also great for balancing too oily or too dry of hair. Rinse very well. A spray or powder dry shampoo can help soak up some excess oils in between washes.

Dry Hair/Scalp

Have your child scrub his or her scalp real well when washing, and massage the conditioner into the scalp, too. Use high-pressure water to rinse the scalp well. Again, you can’t go wrong with tea tree based products because they are great at restoring balance to the scalp and hair. An anti-dandruff shampoo may also work, however, if your kiddo doesn’t see change within a few weeks of using it, it is time to consult a dermatologist.


Chlorine in hair feels waxy, looks shiny, and makes hair difficult to brush. Using a clarifying shampoo once or twice a week will help remove some of the chlorine. A deep condition every so often will help replenish the hair’s moisture as will a daily leave-in conditioner. To help prevent the most difficult chlorine-infused hair, wet it down before getting into the pool and wash right away afterward. Sometimes using a little leave-in conditioner before pool time helps too!

Keep the Bugs Away

Back-to-school time can be worrisome for most parents because it means a resurgence of lice. Just remember: lice are not picky, they will bug anyone. It happens.

Remind kids to not share brushes, helmets, headphones, combs, or hair accessories with friends, and try not to layer jackets in the coatroom.  Ponytails, buns and braids are always easy to do and it keeps the hair from coming into contact with others’ hair as much. Have your kids limit selfies together as that is a common way to touch heads and share bugs.

In most states, salons are not allowed to service any client with parasites, this includes lice. There are many over-the-counter and sold-in-salon lice removal kits. There are even places that specialize in the removal of head lice. I have taken my daughter to one and it was great — worth every penny to have a professional at the helm.

hair fixing tools and accessoriesPopular Fall Styles

Finally, the start of the school year means back-to-school haircuts! For girls, the long bob will most likely be the look of fall along with shag layers. Bardot bangs and curtain bangs are in (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, chances are your daughter does!). Buzz cuts, low, pushed-to-the-side pompadours and John Snow length styles are popular for the guys. Some go-to looks for longer lengths are finger waves, crimped waves, statement braids and low ponytails. Popular fall colors are dark browns and deep reds. Retro hair accessories like headbands, scrunchies, and barrettes are making a comeback!

Do you have any great kids’ hair tips to share? Leave them in the comments below!

*This post was originally published in August 2019, so some trends may have changed.