Is It Time for My Baby’s First Haircut?

baby's first haircut

How do you know when it’s time for your baby’s first haircut, and how do you make sure the experience isn’t too scary or traumatic? When you think about it, having a stranger put an oversized cape on you, spray warm water all over your head, come at you with a pair of scissors and point a noisy blow dryer at your hair might be more than a little bit terrifying for a baby or toddler who’s never encountered anything like it before.

Don’t worry! We have some helpful tips and tricks to guide you through that milestone and make it fun for both you and your child.

1) If your child’s hair is getting in her eyes or people are mistaking your son for a girl and it bothers you, it’s probably time to take a trip to the hairdresser for a little trim. Every child is different, though, as is every parent – some are okay with their boys having longish hair. And if there’s a way to keep those long, curly locks from covering their faces, like a barrette for a girl, you might want to wait. In short, some babies have so much hair when they’re born that they need their first cut before they even turn a year old. Others born with little to no hair might not need a trim until they’re 2 or even 3.

2) Choose a kid-friendly salon. Many hairdressers catering to small children will have books, videos, and toys to distract them during the process, which will help calm your little sweetie down and make the whole thing less frightening, according to Parents magazine. Some places go so far as to give baby’s first haircut on the house or offer a cute certificate to go along with it when it’s all over. Do some research to find the salons in your area that specialize in cutting little ones’ hair. It could help make the whole thing a breeze.

3) Tell your child about it in advance. Surprises can make new experiences even scarier for babies and toddlers than they already are, so talk to yours about going to get a trim before it happens, Parents magazine suggests. For older children, explain what they can expect and why the hairdresser will need to use scissors. Reassure them that it won’t hurt, be enthusiastic about it (tell them this will be fun and they’ll get a treat afterwards!) and read storybooks to them about other children getting their hair cut for the first time.

4) Go armed with your child’s favorite books, toys, snacks and treats. Whatever your baby or toddler’s “security blanket” is, bring it along to distract him from what’s going on, whether it’s an actual blanket, a doll or stuffed animal, a book or some other toy. Also pack his favorite snacks and a treat for when it’s all over. All that will make the whole thing easier for him to take.

5) Plan the haircut at a good time and consider getting one yourself. Don’t go right before lunch or naptime, since that will just make your baby even more uncomfortable, advises Parents.  Make sure she is well-fed and well-rested before heading to the salon. And consider scheduling a trim for yourself at the same time. When she sees the hairdresser cutting your hair too – and realizes it’s not hurting or scaring you – she will probably relax about having it done to her.