Getting your child’s first haircut can be an exciting and emotional experience for you and your little one. However, it can also be stressful if your child is unsure about the process or scared by the unfamiliar environment. To help make this milestone as smooth and enjoyable as possible, follow these tips for preparing your child for their first haircut by a professional.
- Talk about the haircut beforehand
Discuss the haircut with your child a few days or weeks before the planned date. Explain the purpose of a haircut and how it will help keep their hair healthy and neat. Share positive experiences with haircuts and even show them pictures of people with freshly-trimmed hairstyles they might like.
- Choose the right salon
Look for a kid-friendly salon that caters to children and has experience working with young clients. These salons often have fun, engaging décor and child-sized chairs, which can make the experience less intimidating for your child. Some even offer entertainment options like cartoons or video games to keep your little one occupied during the cut.
- Schedule the appointment at the right time
Pick a time for the appointment when your child is well-rested and not hungry. Avoid scheduling during their usual nap time or close to bedtime, as this can make them more irritable and less cooperative. Choose a time when the salon is less busy so the environment is calmer and less overwhelming for your child.
- Bring a comfort item
Allow your child to bring a favorite stuffed toy, blanket, or other comfort items to the salon. This can help them feel more secure and provide a sense of familiarity in the new environment.
- Show your child what to expect
Before the appointment, show your child videos or pictures of other children getting haircuts. This can help them understand what will happen during the process and make it less intimidating. You can also role-play the haircut experience with a doll or stuffed animal, allowing your child to practice sitting still and following the hairdresser’s instructions.
- Keep the conversation positive
When talking about the haircut, keep the conversation upbeat. Avoid using words like “pain” or “hurt,” as this can create unnecessary anxiety. Instead, focus on the benefits of the haircut, like how it will make them look and feel.
Example: “You’ll look so handsome/beautiful with your new haircut! And it will feel so much lighter and cooler on your head.”
- Prepare them for the sensations
Explain the sensations your child might experience during the haircut, such as the feeling of the scissors on their hair or the sound of the clippers. You can also practice gentle touch or the use of a comb on their head at home to help them get used to the sensations they’ll experience at the salon.
- Be patient and supportive
Your child may feel anxious or scared during their first haircut, and that’s okay. Be patient, offer reassurance, and tell them you’re there for them. If your child becomes upset, stopping the haircut and trying another day is okay.
- Offer a reward
Offer your child a small reward or treat after the haircut, such as a trip to the park, a favorite snack, or a small toy. This can create positive associations with the haircut experience and make future trips to the salon more enjoyable.