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How to Make Your Child’s First Haircut an Enjoyable Experience

By Jessa McClure
By Jessa McClure

First HaircutAs tears rolled down my son's face and his scream echoed through the room, I knew that surprising him with a trip to the hair salon for his first haircut was not the best idea I'd ever had. While we got through the tear-filled ordeal and he was soon smiling at the lollipop they'd given him, I couldn't help but think that there was probably a better way to go about this milestone.

Here are few better ideas to make that first clip and snip a more enjoyable experience for you and your little one.

Know When It's Time for a Haircut
Erika Ashley, a stylist at Sharkey's Cuts for Kids, said that the average age for a first haircut is around the child's first birthday, but it is ultimately up to the parent. Some kids are born with more hair than others, and if your baby has a head full of unruly hair, it might be time to get it cut.

Prepare Your Child Ahead of Time
Around age one is when children begin to fear strangers. This can be especially frightening if that stranger is wielding a pair of scissors. But this anxiety can be lessened if you talk to the child ahead of time.

"It's really good to prepare them the day before the haircut, pump them up and get them excited about getting a haircut," Ashley said.

If your child is a little older when they get their first haircut, reading a book about what happens in a hair salon might also help to create a more stress-free experience. Books like This Monster Needs a Haircut by Bethany Barton, or No Way to Haricut Day! by Flo Barnett, are great choices for giving your child the reassurance they crave.

Pick a Kid-Friendly Hair Salon
For some kids, the atmosphere of the salon is a big factor to their level of apprehension. Salons like Sharkey's Cuts for Kids in Waco cater to children, and offer some fun distractions.

"We have a lot of things in here that keep their attention," Ashley said. "We have movies, games and special cars for the children to sit in. We also provide parents with pictures of the child and a certificate."

Taking your son or daughter to your salon can also be a great option. Click here for a list of more great salons that are kid-friendly.

Bring Your Own Distractions
If your child has a favorite blanket, stuffed animal or a favorite snack, it might be helpful to bring these comforting items to their first haircut. Handheld gaming systems and cell phones can also be great distractions if the child is old enough to maneuver these devices.

But be careful not to let these items become too much of a distraction. If the child has their face buried in a video game or is clutching their blanket to their ear, it may be difficult for the stylist to do their job. Try to find a balance between comfort and chaos.

Plan Your Child's Haircut Around Nap Time
Ashley said it is a good idea to bring your child for their first haircut well before their nap or when they are well-rested. No one has fun when a child is tired, grumpy, and doing something they've never done before. Back To Top

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