This post is a paid collaboration with Johnson & Johnson as a Johnson’s Baby Ambassador. All of the words and opinions contained in this post are my own. #ad
A few weeks ago, it was time for our second quarterly meeting of the Johnson & Johnson Ambassador Academy. Incidentally, our third invitation has just popped into my inbox and, well, WAHHHHHH! So excited. Even though I’m actually on holiday, they’re going to help me get there because, well – wait and see!
Anyhow, for our second meeting we all got so excited because the last time we met, we were all blown away by what we learned about our babies’ skin – and this time, we were all set to learn about their hair. I struck it lucky with our location this time as it was Birmingham and so I could leave the boys with my parents for a fun day too.
Before my babies were born, their hair wasn’t one of the things I was really thinking I’d worry about. I kind of just assumed it was what it was, and it was blond, brown, red, black, curly, straight. How wrong I was.
HAIR AND SELF ESTEEM
My own hair is fine and mousey brown – or it was, until after this meeting. After the meeting, I booked myself into the hairdressers ready for a long-needed cut, and a new hair colour for Disneyland Paris. When I looked in the mirror this year, the grey hairs were starting to show [quite a bit]. To be honest, I was also having a little bit of a breakdown about it emotionally. I never really linked my hair with my self-esteem when I was younger. It was just something that, for my profession, I had to keep conservative and neat. I had so much hair envy of people I saw with adventurous colours and styles, people having fun with their hair.
When I became a mom, my own hair was one of the last things on my priority list. As long as it wasn’t covered with vomit and I could comb it, I was happy enough. Now my boys are all a little bit older and I have time for, you know, daily showers and luxuries like that, the fact that my hair had shades of grey in it made my heart sink a little bit. After a few hours in the salon, I emerged feeling oh-so-much better about myself.
BABY HAIR AND MOM GUILT
What I didn’t realise when I became a mom was that my baby’s hair would ALSO become linked to my own self-esteem.
There was quite a bit I didn’t know when I became a Mom, and quite a bit I ended up panicking about needlessly and feeling very guilty about, and so I’m going to share it with you in the hope that, if it hasn’t affected you yet and does in the future, you won’t feel the way I did and hide away.
THE DREADED CRADLE CAP
This horrified and disgusted me when my boys all had it. Yellowy scales on my baby’s scalp that didn’t look adorable and were solidly stuck to them almost like barnacles. It was so stomach churning that I could barely look at it myself.
My babies’ heads were supposed to be adorable little orbs that I could kiss and coo over – and yet I wanted to hide my boys’ heads away from everyone because I was so sure that people would think I somehow wasn’t taking care of my baby and let this somehow infest him. Eight years on one of the questions I was desperate for answers to from the Johnson and Johnson team was basically everything about cradle cap.
It’s long gone now of course, but I remember being just mortified about it and I would hate for anyone to feel the way I did. If you’re yet to encounter it – and some babies never do – it’s like a thick, waxy, yellowish scaly covering on your baby’s scalp. It’s not pretty and I was so embarrassed when it kind of just appeared on their head.
IT GOT WORSE
So despite my mom telling me how to get rid of it, cradle cap turned my stomach so much that I would try and lift it off with my nails just to get rid of it as soon as I could. And when I did that – disgusting, I know – some of their hairs would come away and I felt even worse as I was convinced that I’d given them a bald patch for life by destroying their baby hair.
THE REAL TRUTH
Thankfully – and as the super thick blond mops on my older boys’ heads can testify, that’s not the case. Here’s the lowdown on cradle cap.
Cradle cap is common. It’s not really clear what causes it, but it’s generally accepted that it’s caused by excessive sebum production in your baby’s skin.
It usually clears up without treatment within a few weeks or months.
To help stop the build-up of the scales [eww], you can wash with a gentle baby shampoo [no awards for guessing what we used] and a soft brush, like the type you get with Christening sets.
The old wives’ remedy of baby oil or vegetable or olive oil, or even petroleum jelly, being massaged into the scalp and left overnight before washing out also really does work!
If it looks like it’s getting so bad that you don’t know what to do and nothing is working, it’s worth a trip to see your GP.
The little hairs that come away with the scales are baby hairs that would come away anyway. They are not hairs which you have destroyed or caused baldness to your children by treating cradle cap.
OUR FAVOURITE JOHNSON & JOHNSON SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONERS
Despite what I was told when my babies were born [shampoos are chemical laden and only water should touch your baby’s hair] it IS important to take care of your babies’ hair.
There are more Johnson & Johnson shampoos and conditioners out there than I thought – I always associated the smell of the classic, yellow, No More Tears shampoo with bathtime growing up. I’ll always love that one, especially because I had Rapunzel-length hair as a child and yet was not fond of having my hair washed at bathtime. I would squirm and end up with suds all over my face – without the No More Tears formula, I’d most probably still have red-rimmed eyes from other shampoo stings.
However, now there are so many more to choose from – and there are conditioner sprays too! I wish I’d had those as a child. You can use them on wet and dry hair, which is amazing. Especially at the moment because I’ve been spraying it on the boys’ hair before bedtime. They’re in the sunshine every day and conditioning it before bedtime has helped keep it soft.
Lyoto also manages to wake up with a birds’ nest at the back of his head from wriggling about all night, and the No More Tangles helps stop him complaining about me pulling the little knots through before school.
So, in the name of ambassadorship [ha ha ha] we’ve tried every single one of the Johnson’s Baby Shampoos and Conditioners, but on a daily basis in our home we use Shiny Drops shampoo and conditioner [that’s me], and both the Shiny Drops AND No More Tangles conditioning spray. The boys don’t wash their hair every day, but they do have the spray in almost every day as it’s great to help style any kinked up hair.
There are no more bad hair days in our home – now I just have to take care of the constantly crumpled shirts, jam covered faces and lost socks.