For help for hair tangles and the sensitive heads of the adults and kids who hate to comb them out, consider the Knot Genie. Read a review of the hair detangler and leave a comment to win one for yourself or your loved one!
by Kay Marner
Getting my daughter, Natalie (who has sensory processing issues along with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD)), to brush her hair has always been a battle, one that has led us to keep Natalie’s haircut short to avoid messy, painful hair tangles. But now she wants to grow it out again. Though I’d like to see it long too, I keep reminding her that as it gets longer, she’ll have to: 1) be willing to brush it thoroughly, and 2) let me pull the bangs back off of her face.
Over the years, I’ve built up a small collection of the softest brushes I could find, and it’s clear that Natalie tolerates using those brushes much more successfully than regular hairbrushes. But even with a soft brush and with her hair short, brushing is still a teeth-clenching, growl-emitting, dreaded daily challenge.
Thanks to reader Christena Holden, who left a helpful comment on my recent post about how sensory processing issues can impact our kids with ADD/ADHD, specifically in the area of personal hygiene. Holden wrote that she’d ordered a special detangling hairbrush, a Knot Genie, from the website LUVmum.com.
“It arrived today and it works!!!!” Holden wrote, and I agree completely that this statement deserves four exclamation marks!
Upon request, LUVmum.com was generous enough to send Natalie a Knot Genie to test. When it arrived, I was first stuck by the clever design. It looks a little bit like a large ladybug. The rounded grip fit just right in the palm of a hand. I immediately touched the bristles to test them for softness and thought, Hmmm. These aren’t very soft. They’re actually pretty pointy. I tried it on my own hair. Yeah, I thought. They feel pointy. I wasn’t sure this was going to work.
After school, I showed it Natalie. “Awesome!” she said, attracted to the brush’s clever appearance. Then she tried it. She brushed. She kept brushing and brushing. She took it outside with her and intermittently brushed some more. It wasn’t too pointy for her after all. She really liked the sensation.
The real test came the next morning when she woke up with severe bed head and had to tame her hair before leaving for school. Usually, this involves me chasing her around, trying to spray her hair with detangling spray, as she runs away and tries to cover her head with her hands. That day, I just handed her the Knot Genie. It was like magic. It went right through the tangles without getting stuck, removing them as it went. No teeth clenching. No growling or frustrated grunting. The final texture was not quite as smooth as a regular comb or brush would achieve, and it was more like hair that has been brushed out after being braided. But it smoothed the hair to my satisfaction without requiring the use of detangling spray. Natalie has used her Knot Genie willingly every day since.
Like Christena, I highly recommend the Knot Genie, available from LUVmum.com. (Check out their seamless clothing, too!) Thanks for the tip, Christena!
Knot Genie Giveaway: To enter to win a free Knot Genie, leave a comment on this post sharing your -- or your loved one's -- greatest sensory processing issue or hair challenge. All comments must be posted before midnight (EST) on July 15, 2011. Good luck!