The Morning Stroll

So Your Baby Has Knots in Her Hair? Use Oil (Just Not Baby Oil)

November 28, 2015

So your baby has knots in her hair. Clearly, you must not be washing or brushing it because YOU'RE A BAD MOTHER.

Just kidding. You're definitely not a bad mother.

Baby on bed

Just like her dad and I were both born with full heads of black hair, so was Mila. Everyone who sees her has always been amazed by her hair. As she has grown in the last few months, it has lightened to a dark brown, and has started curling. It makes me feel a sort of unexplainable pride, this beautiful hair of hers.

But lately, she's started getting these tiny, little, devilish knots in the back of it. I lay down a baby with clean, dry hair at the beginning of the night, and by the next morning, there's a knot that's near impossible to get out. My husband and I resorted to cutting them out twice. But after they kept reappearing, I realized we can't just keep snipping ends of her hair. What would it look like by the 50th time? All of the hair on the back of her head would be gone.

I decided to try something, using a little coconut oil and a little patience. I put a tiny bit of the oil on my fingertips and applied it to the knot and surrounding strands of hair. Then, I just tried my best, as gently as I could, to loosen the knot. It worked! And there were no tears. Off to the bath we went.

I didn't test it out, but I would bet that you could probably use any other type of oil, like olive oil, avocado oil, or anything you have on hand.

Note that I didn't immediately say, "Use baby oil!" because baby oil is pretty controversial. What is regularly labeled as "baby oil" is actually mineral oil and it isn't very eco-friendly, as it's a synthetic byproduct made from distilling gasoline (the same as petroleum jelly). It's also both a xenoestrogen and potentially carcinogenic. Further, there is evidence that, when using petroleum products on your skin, it is absorbed but not metabolized, so it just kind of hangs out in your body indefinitely.

Other oils can do anything that baby oil does, and it might be better to use those to be on the safe side.