As adults that have gotten their hair cut dozens of times, visiting the barber or salon is part of our routine. We know the drill, so we seat ourselves, welcome the thin nylon cape around our neck, and participate in typical hairdresser/client conversation. It is one of the easiest things in the world to sit and do nothing while someone makes you look your best.
For toddlers heading into a salon or barber shop for the first time, however, this process is anything but routine. Being asked to sit still while some stranger with pointy sheers makes their way toward their face can be overwhelming for some kids. Here at the Cutting Lounge, we want your child’s first haircut to be an easy, memorable one, so to ensure that happens, please consider the following tips for your own kid’s haircut debut:
#1 Get Them Familiar with the Hairdresser
One thing you can do to help settle your child ahead of their first haircut is to get them familiar with the building and the person who will be doing the cutting. If there’s an older sibling, take the toddler along for a few haircuts in a row to watch their big brother or sister and get used to the routine. If there is no older sibling, take them with you when you get your haircut. Familiarity can take a lot of anxiety out of the situation.
#2 Choose the Right Time
Most toddlers have times of day when they are in great moods and other times of day when they don’t perform quite so well. It’s better to get them in for a haircut first thing in the morning or right after naptime so they aren’t hungry, tired, and crabby when it comes time to sit in the chair.
#3 Distract and Occupy
The more distracted a kid is, the less likely it is that they will melt down during their haircut. Toys, books, and pacifiers are great distractors, and some families even bring in little snacks because they know their kid will sit still as long as they’ve got food in their mouth. Even if you have a “no screens” policy at home, a smartphone or tablet can help distract them, too. A first haircut may be a lone exception to that policy.
#4 Bring a Change of Clothes
Not every kid wants to wear the cape, so letting them wear their normal clothes for the cut and just changing them into different clothes after the cut is fairly common for parents.
#5 Offer a Treat
Let your child know that if they are well-behaved through the entire haircut, they can receive some sort of treat at the end of it. This won’t be something you want to do every time so that they expect treats after every haircut, but for the first one there is nothing wrong with dangling a sucker or cookie in front of them for good behavior.
Here at the Cutting Lounge, we will do everything in our power to make sure your child’s first haircut experience is a positive one. If we can do anything to help or be accommodating, call ahead and let us know. Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you and your toddler sometime soon!