Tantrum-Free Hair Styles (+ The 60-Second Do!)


The biggest challenge of our morning is getting four heads of hair to look presentable before lining them up for the bus and finding hairstyles that don’t cause a tantrum. 8-7-7-7. Those are the ages of our four school-aged girls. School mornings are getting better, but they still pose many challenges. With several years of experience and several heads to work on, I’ve got a few go-to tips that save us time, tears, and most importantly, my sanity.

It wasn’t until a recent business trip that I realized I had some pretty great tips that anyone could use. My husband was tasked with taking over those duties while I was away on a work trip and the execution was perfect. That’s when I decided I should share these tips on tantrum free hairstyling, because mom-to-mom, we could all use more time, less tears, and as much sanity as possible.

Organization is clutch.

There is nothing more annoying than trying to hold a ponytail of a little girl at 6 a.m. who wants to do anything but her hair, all while searching for a hair tie.  I bought a three-tiered interlocking clear organizer that has a six compartment tray on the top. We keep the small items on the top, the bows in the middle, and the headbands in the bottom. It’s easy to commute to the kitchen stools or on trips. More importantly, all the essentials are in one place and easy to find. Also easy to spot when we are running low on supplies because hair ties and bobby pins seem to just disappear!


We decide on hairstyles at night. Here’s why: My birth daughters have somewhat curly/unruly hair – perhaps why I’m on this endless quest to always find easy ways to deal with it. My bonus daughter has more sleek/straight hair – which gives me a bit of a break! We decide if they want to wear it down or up and if they want it to be curly or straight. Braided or in a bun, pony – high or low. You get my drift. This discussion helps me decide how I will “style it” before she goes to sleep. If she is doing a bun, we brush and pull it up. Then in the morning, we re-do it…but with little fuss. If she decides she wants it down and curly, we braid or twist it – don’t worry, I give you the details below. If she wants it straight, then we must pull it in a low side pony to prevent frizz and tangles while sleeping.

Use Product.

I hate tangles. Actually, I despise tangles. I can’t count the number of tears or tantrums that these bloody little guys have caused. Accidentally, I learned that the better the shampoo/conditioner the less tangles. My girls love to waste soap, so I used to buy them an inexpensive option in bulk at Sam’s. In my shower, which they use more frequently, I have what I buy for myself. I love my girls, but I am not willing to share my more expensive product with them, so I found something with keratin at Sam’s that works great. 

The second product I use on wet hair for “overnight” styling is mousse. See below for “overnight” styling options. I’m not tied to any one mousse and it doesn’t take much, because we are just aiming for hold, a bit of texture and less frizz. You simply apply this to towel dried hair. If you don’t wash your child’s hair every night (we don’t), I spritz with water and add some mousse. Same results!


The 60 Second Hairdo

This, my friends, is morning’s best friend. Even dad can pull this off! Alternatively, you can braid using the same products with similar results. Either style is kid-friendly and mom approved.

In this scenario we have a clean & wet head:

  • After towel drying, combing, and re-towel drying (to get as much moisture out as possible), we add about a palm full of mousse.
  • Divide hair down the middle and start to put her hair in a side pony as high as possible.
  • Once you have the placement, start twisting the hair inward (toward the part/away from her face) and as you twist the hair will start to form a twisted bun.
  • Once you have a twisted bun, secure with a hair tie. Now do the other side, making sure to twist the opposite direction.
  • Spritz with a bit of hairspray and you are done until morning!
  • When she wakes up, simply take out the buns and lightly tousle the hair with your fingers.
  • You can choose to use a bit of serum if there are any flyaways or spritz with some detangling spray.
  • Wear it as is, add a clip or headband…either way, you will be happy AND it will have taken you about a minute.

Note: If your child has super thick hair and it doesn’t dry overnight, you can allow it to air dry. Simply spritz with hairspray to prevent frizz. The other option is to blowdry each bun for a few seconds prior to releasing, but then it becomes the three Minute Hairdo.

From one mom to another: Cheers to a happier morning!

What tips can you share to reduce the time AND tears spent doing hair!?