Tips for a Trauma-free Kids Haircut

Today I took all 3 kiddos to get their haircut for back to school (Let me just preface this post by stating that I was not blessed with the haircutting gene so for my children’s sake I take them to someone who was) They were so well-behaved that the hairstylist jokingly asked, “Did you drug them or something, ha-ha….these kids are acting perfect, even our first timer”.  Yep, you read correctly, I took our youngest to get her first haircut!!!  It was my last first haircut…between that and all 3 of them acting so well-behaved I almost started crying.

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It should be noted that this type of behavior didn’t just happen overnight. All 3 of our kiddos were born with hair and it never fell out. In fact, our son received his first haircut when he was only 8 weeks old. I had grown sick of all the people commenting on how precious my baby girl was.  I even dressed him in all blue, with a blue blanket but those thick eyelashes and long hair said otherwise, ha-ha. So he is an old pro when it comes to haircuts.

Our oldest on the other hand didn’t receive her first haircut until she was 3.  She was unsure of the entire process. She had a difficult time understanding that getting her hair cut would not hurt, that her hair would grow back, and that she needed to sit still. Back then I was a new mommy and I was still very much concerned about what others thought. I was afraid of her throwing a temper-tantrum and then me being judged by others and I think she could sense my tension. She was scared the first time she had her hair cut. Back then we went to one of those ‘fancy’ places to get her haircut. You know the ones where the children sit in airplanes and cars and get to pick a movie to watch while they get their haircut. Funny, even with all the bells and whistles, so to speak, to distract her she was still nervous.

Fast forward 4 years and I have a few haircuts under my belt. Through experience and learning from my mistakes and other moms I can now say that I have successfully mastered the first haircut reservations and taking all 3 kiddos to get their haircuts…want to know the secret?

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Tips for a Trauma-free Kids Haircut

  1. Have a conversation with your child before you go to get their haircut. Explain what will happen in a positive and uplifting way…watch tone and terminology, you might want to refrain from calling it a haircut but rather a new hairstyle…the word cut can be very scary for young ones. Little boys maybe scared of the sounds….try to correlate the experience with their favorite action hero/character…this is what Spiderman does, you are brave like him.  If at all possible take your child with you when you get a haircut.
  2. Schedule their haircut on a day that mom has patience. Do not try to squeeze it in-between doctors’ appointments and daily errands.
  3. Allow child to bring a comforting/security small toy…I allowed our daughter to bring her Pocahontas doll that sat and watched.
  4. Take kiddos to a playground to play before their haircut…totally did this today…they played for a couple of hours and we had a picnic lunch then headed to get haircuts. Getting out all that nervous energy and just energy in general really helped…but make certain they are not too tired.
  5. Make an appointment or go when there is not a crowd. Little ones will only have so much patience…they can wait or get a haircut but there more than likely isn’t enough for both.
  6. Explain that good behavior will be rewarded.  I expressed that if they sat still, listened to the hair stylist, and had overall good behavior that they would receive a treat (a Dum Dum sucker).

Have any great tips to add to the list?  Perhaps a crazy haircut story? Please share