There are lots of exciting "firsts" in your child’s life; from the first time they talk, to the first time they walk. But knowing that they need their first haircut can be nerve-wracking!
While you might be keen to capture as many of their milestones as possible on camera, this will probably be the last thing on your mind when you bring them for their first haircut.
The age they need to visit the hairdressers for the first time can vary enormously. It all comes down to how much hair they have. My eldest was born virtually bald and didn’t make the trip until he was over a year. On the other hand, we needed to bring my youngest before his Christening!
Here are some tips to help get you (and them) as prepared as possible.
Something to know - a regular salon won’t necessarily be insured to cut a baby’s hair. Fortunately, there are hairdressers that cater specifically for children, so this is the first thing to check. If the person that looks after them can do a good job while they’re wriggling around, this is a big plus.
As with any of your baby’s appointments, it’s important to schedule it at a time when they’re not tired or hungry. The last thing you want is them trying to nod off or looking for a bottle or snack while they’re only half-way through. Often mid-morning will work well.
If your child owns anything that helps to keep them calm or distracted when they’re upset, then make sure you bring it with you. Ideally, it would be something that you can easily wipe the hair off afterwards, like a book. Some child-friendly salons may even have a TV which shows cartoons. If so, this is a huge help.
Kid-friendly salons will also often have cute cars that little clients can sit in instead of regular chairs. These are perfect for toddlers, but if your child’s only 1 (or younger) they’ll be happier perched on your knee. Just prepare to get covered in hair! Don’t forget to ask them for a few strands to keep safe in a first curl box!
Something to take into account is that hairdressers currently have to wear PPE and this can make the appointment even more unsettling for your child. I’m convinced that one of the reasons my son was so upset when we first arrived at the salon was because he was worried that he was going to get another immunisation; the hairdresser's mask and apron looked like what a nurse would wear.
The hairdresser might not be the only one wearing protective clothing; children will be asked to put on a cape to protect their clothes from falling hair. Although this sounds straightforward, your child might not be keen. It could be the last straw when they’re already stressed. Let the hairdresser know that you’re happy to brush the hair off afterwards and stick them in the bath when they get home. Best to save putting a cape on for when they’re playing superheroes!