The time for Baby’s first haircut will vary from child to child. Some children are ready at just a few months of age, others not until 24 months.
Your child may be ready for his/her first haircut if:
• The bangs are in her eyes or bothers the back of her neck
• People keep saying, “Aw, what a cute little girl” to your son
• Long or thick hair becomes cumbersome and difficult to manage
To parents, Baby’s first haircut can be a fun, cute rite of passage. But to a child, “being wrapped in a plastic cape, squirted with water, and attacked with sharp scissors by a stranger is just plain scary.” (2)
First Haircut Tips for Toddlers
Tip #1 – Visit salons, both adult- and child-centered, to pick the one that you and your child feel comfortable with. Many hairstylists in adult salons also have experience with children, but may dote on your child in a way that both you and your child like.
Child-oriented salons have chairs shaped like rockets and trucks and things and may have a play area. It’s a bonus if the hairstylist is a person your child already knows and trusts.
Tip #2 – Let your child watch as you or one of her siblings get a hair cut so she can see that there’s no pain involved.
Tip #3 – Use words that are not frightening. Avoid using the word “cut”. Children associate the word with pain or with scissors that you’ve told them they’re not supposed to use because they could hurt themselves. Use “trim” or “snip”.
Tip #4 – Bring a change of clothes in case your child won’t wear the cape. The only thing worse than a cranky toddler in a hair salon is a toddler who is cranky because there is hair down his back.
Tip #5 – If your toddler is wiggling or fussing, don’t try to restrict her movement. That may make her wriggle more, not less.
Tip #6 – If your toddler still uses a pacifier, bring it along. Bring a stuffed toy and finger food (avoid sticky foods). You can download a movie or game/activity onto your smartphone or tablet to entertain, and fend off boredom and fear with a little bit of distraction.