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10 Creative Toddler Hairstyles (and How to Get Them to Stay Still!)

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If you’re the mother to a sassy little toddler, then I’m sure you know how crazy their hair can get and how impossible it can be for you to tame it. My little girl is named Savannah; we call her Savy, and it fits her perfectly. She is now 20 months old and can be such a diva when I’m trying to do her hair. Over the past few months, we’ve really gotten into a great routine and she happily runs to the bathroom when I tell her it’s her turn to get her hair done.

How did I do it? To be honest, I was consistent. It helps that she’s pretty tough, but keeping her occupied and giving her things she loves playing with has helped immensely. Let’s get right to it, shall we? Here are my favorite styles for my little one and ways I keep her entertained so she’ll let me tame those tiny locks!

  • Tools you’ll need 1 of 26
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    It's important that you have all your hair tools at your fingertips. You only have a couple of minutes to get it done, so before you make your toddler sit in front of the mirror and behave, you better be ready for her!

    You MUST have a rat tail comb, super stretch elastics, and a water bottle. Make sure to get stretchy elastics, ones that are soft and gentle on the hair. I get mine from Sally's, and I've also found some great ones at Walmart.

    $2.95 Comb, Bone/Black | $2.19 Clear Elastics | $4.28 Spray Bottle 8 oz.

  • To Keep the Muffin Entertained 2 of 26
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    Once you get your little diva set up in front of the mirror (I sit her with her legs in the sink), you've gotta be prepared with things for her to do. Savy absolutely loves playing with toothbrushes and water. I have a little cup full of toothbrushes for her to play with, and I make sure she's in just her diaper ... or else her clothes are soaking wet when we're through!

     

    Savy also loves taking off and putting on lids. Lids of any kind. I have a couple small ziplock containers, empty and cleaned medicine bottles, water bottles, etc. They keep her happy and entertained for a long while!

     

    Another random thing I've found helpful is having a bag of cotton balls. Savy loves taking all the cotton balls out and putting them in the sink. When she's done taking them all out, I ask her to put them back and she gets all excited to clean them up. Weird? Probably. But it works!

     

    Once they get old enough, let them play with your phone or iPad! Savy won't watch TV or really play with apps yet, but she loves deleting them and calling people ... so that works, too!

     

    It's all about having things to entertain your toddler at your fingertips. You'll be in the middle of doing her hair when you find she needs something new. So have a little basket full of random toddler distractions and be quick. Know exactly what style you're going to give the little muffin before you make her sit on the counter. Find toys that work for her and know that you'll be doing her hair as she moves all around. So just be patient and try not to get upset if she keeps moving.  

     

    Let's get to the styles, shall we?!

  • Style #1 3 of 26
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  • Up Close 4 of 26
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  • From the front 5 of 26
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    I really love this style. I've divided her hair into two sections. From the back of her part down to her ear, I've put up in a little bun. And then I've taken the back and put it in another bun. Make sure to wet her hair down before you begin.

  • Style #2 6 of 26
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    Part your little girl's hair down the middle and section off one side. I like to quickly tie it back using a bobby pin. Then angling down, section off the top and put it in a topsy tail. I have found that if you tie the elastic off half an inch or so off her scalp, it takes less time to make the topsy tail because you don't have to loosen the elastic. Make sense? Continue sectioning off and finish by spraying with hairspray.

  • Four Topsy Tails 7 of 26
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  • Looking Down 8 of 26
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  • Style #3 9 of 26
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    This one is super simple. Pull all the hair that will fit back into a little messy bun. And then pull all the hair that won't fit in the bun into a little clip. These are my favorite clips and one of the only ones Savy doesn't mind in her hair. They are small and simple, yet so cute! I found these at Target.

  • Messy Bun 10 of 26
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  • Style #4 11 of 26
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    There is a topsytail on the left, on the right, and on the bottom, all with their tails going towards the center. Then I've pulled all the hair into a ponytail. I've put the top layers in a side bun. This is a great style for those little girls who have super short layers. The topsy tails work wonders because they really hold those short, super fine hairs in place.

  • Three Topsytails with a Pony in the Center 12 of 26
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  • Side Bun up Front 13 of 26
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    Oh hi Savy :)

  • From the Back 14 of 26
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  • Style #5 15 of 26
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    Again, topsy tails. I'm sorry for all of them, but they're really the only thing that work to keep my little girl's baby fine hairs in place. I made two topsytails, and then I've just tied the third into a bun.

  • 2 Topsytails and one Bun 16 of 26
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  • Style #6 17 of 26
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    This is one of my favorite styles for Savy. I've started on her thinner side and just wrapped topsytails all the way around her head and secured the last one in a bun.

  • Back View 18 of 26
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  • 3 Topsytails into a Bun 19 of 26
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  • Bun on Top 20 of 26
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    I really love putting the top into a bun of some sort. Her hair is too long to just leave it waterfalling out, but I love the extra height. I feel like it's feminine and super cute!

  • Style #7 21 of 26
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    I'm in love with these clips. You can buy them at Target, and they're my favorite. They're really small and stay put all day! If you don't have clips, go for a topsytail in place of the clips.

  • Standard Piggies 22 of 26
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  • Style #8 23 of 26
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    This is a simple French braid. Go ahead and put some gel in your hands before you begin, and that'll hold the layers in place. Plan on all the front pieces falling out and just clip the bangs back with a bow. If you'd like, you can topsytail those side pieces by the ears back so that it's more slick.

  • Style #9 24 of 26
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    This is a little bohemian twist. I absolutely loved this hairstyle. It fell out after nap time, but it was so cute while it lasted. You can check out the tutorial here. I've twisted the bangs back and then wrapped the hair around her head. Then I combined both tails into a messy bun. You can also just leave out the bangs and pull those back using a bow.  

  • Style #10 25 of 26
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  • Tight Leia Buns 26 of 26
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    For this style, I put her hair into tight piggies. Then I twisted the ends and wrapped them around the elastic. To hold the buns in place, I used those little heart clippies you can find at Target. This style stayed in all day — those clippies did good!

Remember: wet the hair before you begin, then section off your pieces using the end of the comb. Get the right elastics, and when making a topsy tail, don’t secure the hair too close to the scalp. You want to be able to just make the hole and flip the hair through it without having to loosen the ponytail. To brush up on your topsytail skills, review with this video here.

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