I have been in this business for almost 16 years and kids cuts have been apart of it from the beginning. Let’s face it our little people need a haircut too ( they just don’t like it.) The thing about kids haircuts is you never know what’s going to happen when they sit down in your chair. I’ve had kids that cyed and screamed through th ed whole hair cut ( oh wait that was my son) and other kids that couldn’t wait to see me, because they love the salon. I have learned a few things over the years and I thought I would share a few with you to make both of our experiences a bit better. Keep in mind every kid is different and each experience is unique.
Tip#1 Don’t call it a haircut! Most kids associate the word cut with hurt or pain. So our little humans hear us say we’re going to cut your hair and all they can think of is last Friday when they cut their knee, and it hurt! I encourage you to call it a hair trim. Now as their vocabulary grows this idea will eventually fade away, but for the littles still new to the salon this will decrease their anxiety.
Tip#2 Practice at home. If I had a dollar for everytime a mom told me, ” She won’t let me comb her hair. So I just gave up.” Sorry, you’re not allowed to give up. This little person is under your care and supervision. You need to teach them proper grooming and that includes combing their hair. Ignoring the hair issue only makes it harder on your stylist. I suggest getting a tall chair or stool and everyday practice beauty shop. Kids love to roll play, so make it fun. You can use a towel as a cape and pretend to be the hairstylist. I always use a detangling spray, It’s a 10 works great for kids. Pretending at home gets them use to sitting in the chair while someone combs or brushes their hair. Your next haircut experience will go so much smoother.
Tip#3 Save the treat for the end! Kids love to get a treat when they get their haircut, but when you start dishing out M&Ms before he even sits in the chair, you’ve lost your bargaining power. Little man is less likely to sit still, because he’s busy grabbing for his next handful of M&Ms. This also increases the amount of hair that gets on their body and in their mouth. Save the treat for the end, and praise them for sitting so nice for the hairstylist.
Tip#4 Have your stylist introduce her equipment. Kids are often nervous about things that they are uneducated about. As parents we tell them not to play with sissies or they will poke their eye out. Then at the hair salon some stranger starts welding these dangerous eye pokers around their head. I always like to turn my clippers on with a gard and ask the kids to touch it to feel the vibration and notice it doesn’t hurt. I like to use my edger on my for arm and demonstrate how it works ( I’m always lacking arm hair in patches because of this) and I always let the kids know that I went to a special school to learn how to cut with shears safely. Everyone feels much more comfortable by this point and it’s normally safe to ask about their favorite cartoon and start cutting.
Tip#5 Try to let them sit alone. The more you practice tip #2 the easier this will be. A child who sits in the chair alone is more likely to be better behaved and recieve a better haircut, plus it teaches independence. I’m not against giving kids cuts in Moms lap. Sometimes it’s the best choice, but then you have created a salon norm. If you are going to hold your little one while we cut let’s get a cape on you and them. Please hold them sideways, I’m going to cut half their head and have you flip them and then cut the other side. Please help keep their hands down and head still ( holding it close to your chest if needed). My main concern with lap haircuts and kids is doing a good job on their haircut and keeping everyone safe.
Don’t worry your little human will get better at this. Stay calm and patient. Praise them for being such a big kid when they do well and refrain from getting upset with them when they don’t. We want the kids to love the salon and look forward to their next cut!