How to prepare your child for their first haircut

Tips to prepare your child for their first haircut

If you have young children, you know that taking your child for their first haircut can be a daunting task (and can often be emotional not just for the children, but the parents/carers too). Children often have a fear of haircuts, and feel overwhelmed at the idea of having one, which can lead to a negative emotional response. In saying that, with the right preparation and tools, you can make the experience less scary and create a positive experience for your child. In this blog post, we will provide tips on how to help your child ace their first haircut at Dream Cuts.

Understanding the fear of haircuts in children
It’s normal for children to feel scared or anxious when it comes to getting haircuts. The fear usually stems from the unfamiliarity of the situation and the loud buzzing sound of the salon and/or clippers (fair enough too, imagine if a person double your size who you didn’t know approached you with a pair of scissors and/or a loud vibrating weird looking tool you had never seen before!). Some children may have had a bad previous experience in the past or may be sensitive to touch or sound, making haircuts even more stressful.

Sensory Processing Difficulties and haircuts
Sensory processing is the way our brain receives and responds to sensory information. Some children may have a sensory processing difficulty, which can make haircuts even more overwhelming and stressful. They may be sensitive to touch, sound, or the feeling of hair falling on their skin. If your child has sensory processing difficulties, it’s essential to prepare them for the haircut and make necessary accommodations to minimize their discomfort.

Tips to prepare your child for their first haircut
Before bringing your child into the salon – and if they are old enough to understand, talk to them about the process and what to expect. Show them pictures or videos of other kids getting haircuts and even the tools used if you like, so they have a better understanding of what to expect. You can also practice with them by using pretend scissors and combs and pretending to cut their hair (who doesn’t love playing hairdressers with their kids?! Cue the hair pulling for poor Mum/Dad…). Additionally, let them choose a special toy or comfort item to bring with them to their haircut appointment. At Dream Cuts, we also have fun car and plane chairs that they can sit in and explore, as well as iPads where we can play their favourite shows for them, and sensory toys. Your child has a wonderful opportunity to feel safe, comfortable, and settled in our salon.

How we will approach a nervous child about their haircut
Our team will always use a gentle and reassuring approach, and we are guided by them. Sometimes it helps when we introduce our tools, such as our scissors and clippers. We allow your child to touch and explore them, and will often turn the clippers before we use them on the hair, so they aren’t startled by the sound. Praising children for their bravery in tackling something that is scary to them, such as a haircut, goes a long way – we see this in our own children, and daily in the salon. It’s also very helpful to distract them with a favourite toy or show while you’re cutting their hair (which again, we provide to them during their appointment).

Tools to make haircuts less scary
There are several tools that you can use to make haircuts less scary for your child. Believe it or not, even just the weight of the iPad on their lap can provide a calming sensation. Additionally, the mirror in front of your child allows your child to see what’s happening during the haircut, which can reduce their anxiety.

Creating a positive experience for your child during haircuts
Creating a positive experience for your child during haircuts is essential to help them overcome their fear. Praise and positive reinforcement can go a long way in making them feel more comfortable. Additionally, having a stylist who is patient and experienced with cutting children’s hair is important. A stylist who is willing to take breaks and go at your child’s pace can make all the difference. This is a huge part of why Dream Cuts came about, and why we do what we do. One child at a time, we are removing the fear of haircuts and turning it into a fun, happy experience.

Dealing with meltdowns during haircuts
It’s not uncommon for kids to have (epic) meltdowns during haircuts, especially if they are scared or overwhelmed. If your child does get emotional, we will acknowledge this and either slow down or pause the haircut service. It’s important your child knows they are safe, so feel free to have a chat with them, try to distract them with their favourite song or counting – or even give them a cuddle mid-cut. The priority at Dream Cuts, is always your child. Don’t panic if they cry, don’t panic if they scream… Dream Cuts is a child friendly, all inclusive salon, and we deal with meltdowns, tantrums and emotional breakdowns daily. We are not in a hurry, and we will not be startled – this is what we do. Rest easy knowing that there is no rush, and this is a safe place.

Rewarding your child after a successful haircut

After a successful haircut, it can be nice to reward your child for their bravery. We have small treats in the salon including stickers which they can choose from and even lollipops (we always ask parents/carers permission before offering lollipops). Positive reinforcement can help to create a positive association with haircuts and make future haircuts less scary.

Conclusion – Helping your child overcome their fear of haircuts
In conclusion, kids getting haircuts can be a stressful experience, but with the right preparation and tools, you can make it a positive experience for your child. Understanding the fear of haircuts in kids and how sensory processing can impact their experience is essential in providing the right support. By creating a positive experience, finding the right stylist, and rewarding your child for their bravery, you can help your child overcome their fear of haircuts and make future haircuts less scary.

Now that you know how to help prepare your child for their first haircut, it’s time to make the booking! If you’d like to visit Dream Cuts, you can make a booking here. Remember to be patient, calm and supportive, and we promise to be the same. Together, we will see your child overcome that fear in no time.