I can’t stop my 2 and a half year old from twirling her hair – any suggestions? I have tried soft toys like to cuddle and even to the point in putting her hair up in a ponytail but she won’t stop. Need some helpful advice has we are struggling everyday in combing out the knots and one side of the hair is shorter from this forever twirling.


Posted by mom75388, 29th April 2015


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  • She does this for comfort, like finger sucking it is difficult to change such a behaviour. To stop a behaviour, it needs to be replaced with something more appropriate. You could have her hair cut into a short style and at the same time present her with something that she can always have to touch, such as a bracelet. Anything tactile that she likes and can be taken anywhere. My granddaughter loved her sheepskin and could not be separated from it, when it was washed she cried until it was dry. As it grew old and worn she ended up with a tiny bit of fluff and zi don’t know how, but she has that tiny bit of fluff tucked in her little hand all the time p. She always managed to play on playground equipment and occasionally she would lose it but never for long. When she started school, she voluntarily gave it up. She is in her 20’s now and we still have a laugh about her “bit of fluff”



  • If she is still doing it when the warm weather comes I would have it cut short, tapered that it won’t twirl and she find something else to amuse herself with hopefully something to play with or just cuddle. Her hair will be a lot easier for you to manage too.



  • You say a pony tail doesn’t work, how about plaiting it? Or maybe plait it and put it up in a bun, that would make hair twirling harder



  • glad she is stopping. habits are hard to break.



  • Plait it. It’s all tied away then



  • That’s great to hear you are making progress. Hopefully she would stop completely soon!



  • Thanks everybody and now my daughter is finally not twirling has much now has she is starting to realize the pain of brushing her hair is painful when it’s all knotted.Am so happy that she is realizing this battle we go through each morning.



  • I know this may not help but I picked my thumb nail as a little girl (a comfort thing) and when stressed I still do it.



  • Put it up in a bun or cut it. I still twirl my hair and so does out daughter.



  • You could cut it short… Or just use a leave in conditioner to help tame the knots.



  • Thankyou for that and am starting to understand it now has am reading more article on it.



  • Hair twirling is actually a self soothing thing. People (young and old) twirls their hair to calm themselves. Like a mechanism to cope with anger or any feelings really or for relaxation. Hopefully that makes sense?


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