When the time comes to organize your child’s very first haircut it can be extremely emotional. This is the hair that your baby was born with after all!
I personally remember feeling a little bit guilty, almost. It was as though I were introducing my baby to the shallow world of all things materialistic and vain.
Of course, that was not the case at all. His fringe was just obstructing his vision and that was our guiding force in making the decision to take him for that very first haircut.
Regardless of your child’s age, their very first haircut is bound to feel like a huge milestone. For this reason, you will want it to be a roaring success so that it can be looked back on fondly.
It is also important to try to make the haircut a positive fun experience rather than something your child grows to fear because these haircuts will be happening repeatedly throughout their childhood.
Here are ten ways to help make your child’s first haircut a great success.
Timing is everything.
When making the appointment (or planning the time you will visit) try choosing a time where the salon will be quiet. If it is very busy it may feel a lot more stressful for you, as well as overwhelming for your child. You’ll want to avoid your child’s nap/lunch/cranky time too.
Look for salon/barber recommendations.
Some specialise in cutting children’s hair and others have a great track record at being good with kids. A recommendation from another parent is better than anything you will read online.
Call in advance.
Call in advance or pop in for a quick chat so that you can prepare yourself for what to expect. This is the best way for you to prepare your child. You could ask about the chair they will be sitting in, how long it will take, prices and style ideas so that the groundwork is done before you arrive.
Show your child photographs.
Show your child photographs of a hair salon/barber so they know what to expect. You could highlight the really cool chair they can sit on because they are so grown up. You might describe the cape they will be wearing and the funny machine that blows air on their hair to make it dry.
Try to make it a special experience in any way you can.
You might consider taking the child without their siblings so you can give them your full attention and keep the spotlight on their exciting experience.
Promise a treat of some kind afterwards.
The salon may have lollipops but take something with you as a back-up for when they’re done.
I personally gave my son my phone so he could watch Kids YouTube during the haircut as it helped him stay still and prevented him from getting bored. However, it was a bit of a disaster when my battery went ten minutes in. I was more prepared next time.
Try to steer clear of the word “brave”.
Telling them they must be brave or implying that they were brave might just paint it as an experience worthy of fear.
Show them someone else having a haircut.
If your child is showing signs of being nervous, it might be a good idea to take them to see someone else having a haircut. A parent or sibling for example.
Try saying "hairstyle" instead of "haircut".
Some parents prefer to avoid the word “haircut” as the word cut can be a little bit scary for younger children. Referring to it as a new “hairstyle” might be more effective and positive.