My toddler’s head was covered with wavy locks, so that for the longest time we got away without cutting his hair at all. His hair would simply curl in neat waves across his head, and any that would fall over his eyes could easily be brushed to the side. Even when his hair grew longer, we snipped the hair off ourselves, figuring that any uneven cuts could be disguised with his wild, curly hair.
After a while though, his hair continued to grow, so much so that even our at-home haircuts were showing considerable unevenness (in all fairness, we’re the least-talented people when it comes to hair cutting). It was time to visit the salon.
As with any new experience, especially one that can feel invasive, we did our best to prepare him for his first salon haircut:
1. Explain what he can expect.
We knew where and how the salon looked, so we described what he could expect when he walks in. We talked about the chairs, how the stylist will likely cover him with a cape and how they’ll snip his hair to keep it out of his face.
2. Pick a good time of the day.
With a kid that loves to eat, we made plenty sure that his tummy stayed full. We wanted to eliminate as many obstacles that might make him cranky.
3. Have mom or dad get a haircut at the same time.
My husband got a haircut simultaneously so that our toddler could go through the same experience and not feel completely alone.
4. Pick a salon with plenty of distractions.
With most young kids, anything new is a distraction, but it still helped to pick a salon where my toddler was able to see a ton of posters on the walls and was even able to swing some of the empty chairs around and around.
5. Plan to bathe the little one after.
Nothing worse than having snippets of hair hanging around the neck, face and ears, so to keep him comfortable, we went home right after and gave him a mid-day bath.
6. Ask for someone with experience with kids.
We lucked out because the lady who cut his hair was a natural around kids, in a not-so-contrived way. She seemed to have a knack with making my toddler feel comfortable and even mentioned that she cuts her toddler-nephew’s hair, giving her some tricks to ease the process.
7. Have him sit on your lap.
The little guy wanted nothing to do with the booster chair, but when we told him he could sit on my lap, he obliged. I wore my own cape, and he sat on me wearing his own cape. I ended up with some bits of hair on me, but sometimes that extra comfort is all that it takes.
8. Focus on a positive experience instead of a neat hair cut.
While the stylist could have busted out her clippers, we opted to save that for another time since they can potentially scare young kids. Even though my toddler had a clean haircut, she could have cleaned it up a bit more but we wanted to keep the experience a positive one, aka no scary buzzing!
After the kiddo was done with his haircut, he entertained himself swiveling around the empty chairs and waiting for his dad to finish his own cut. We praised him for having sat through his first haircut and spent the remainder of the day in a fun atmosphere.
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