Updated: Feb 16, 2020
I often see parents reaching out for help in various Mom Groups, Next Door, & other social media outlets looking for a stylist who is good with "squirmy kids" or that "[their] kid hates haircuts"
I'm going to give you some truths I have learned in the last 15 years of doing hair here, so if you have a tot, or know someone who does...pass it along. These rules generally apply for 2+
1. Your kid is likely going to be squirmy. This lasts for about 10 years. Asking your kid to stop squirming is not going to stop them from doing so. In fact, while you are parenting your child to stop doing what they are doing, you are in fact telling your child that the adult with the sharp scissors in their hand is not whose in charge right now, but that you are, (and they will then push the limits for YOUR attention)
2. Don't make a big deal out of the haircut. The best haircut scenarios are the ones where the parent plops the kid in the seat (or tells them to climb up) and the parents check out. I'm serious. Go on your phone, read a book, do something, anything other than tell them they are doing great, engaging with their behavior, promising suckers, the playground, or any other bribe you have intended. Kids sense this anxiety from the parent and will play on it. Treat it like this is just something we do, because it is!
3. Only have 1 parent present, and preferably the one that the child is least clingy to. I see parents constantly contradict one another while we are attempting a haircut. One says the kid is doing "so good" while they are screaming bloody murder, while the other one is telling them to "calm down". These mixed messages upset & confuse the kid even more.
4. If you are unsure of how your kid will be with a haircut, bring them to yours! The more comfortable your child is with their environment, the more likely they will be to doing something new. Let them watch each parent get their haircut and washed, let them help turn on the trimmers & blow dryer so they can feel in control.
5. Lower your expectations. Your 2 year old may not look exactly like David Beckham when we're done with their first cut. Give it time. With all things with our kids, have patience.
6. Let the hairstylist be in charge. They are the one with the sharp objects. In the cases where a kid sits on a parent's lap, this has become a team effort. You may be asked to help them look down at their shoes, off to the side, at Mommy in the mirror. If you're really interested in having bangs that are straight or those straggly hairs around the ears trimmed, you may have to hold your kid's head in place. This isn't because the hairstylist isn't talented enough, it's because kid's are wiggly worms, and scissors are sharp!
I hope this helps some of you who are considering a cut for your child soon, or if you've been pondering why your kid's cuts aren't going as well as you expected.