Child’s first haircut: How to tackle this milestone moment

Why a visit to the hairdresser will leave your child looking and feeling trim - and ways to survive that first haircut with tips from stylist John Frieda

How to tackle your child's first haircut

Ah, your child’s first soft silken locks are a joy to behold and a delight to touch. Cutting off such precious tresses may seem almost criminal and any proud parent is sure to feel, at best, a little wistful about kissing them goodbye. But when that handsome crop of hair becomes so luxuriant it dangles over your child’s eyes, drags into the mashed potato and gets tangled into impossible knots that take hours to comb out, the time has surely come to go under the chop.

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When should you get your babies first haircut

There’s no specific age recommended for a first haircut – between 6 months and 2 years is the average. As some babies born with lots of hair may be ready for a trim much sooner than others – and, then there are some parents that choose to prolong that first haircut well into toddlerhood.

Never mind this reluctance on behalf of the parent. Children may also have an aversion to the thought of anyone tampering with their crowning glory. Then there’s all that business of having to sit still, swathed in a movement-restricting gown, while prickly little hairs are showered down into their collar making them itch.

There's no specific age recommended for a first haircut - between 6 months and 2 years is the average.

As a child, celebrity stylist John Frieda well remembers battles with his father over having his hair cut. “I always wanted to grow my hair longer and my father always wanted to cut it short,” he says. “It was a constant battle between us and inevitably he always won.” Now it’s his turn to assume the fatherly role. “I’ve found that girls are more able to see the fun side of it,” he says. “My daughter certainly likes it when her hair looks pretty and styled. Boys find it more difficult to sit still for too long. A distraction can work miracles in the chair. I find the best thing is to sit them in front of their favourite DVD, or bribe them with a little treat afterwards.”

Getting into the swing of going to the hairdresser is also an important part of your child’s development. “It’s all part of learning to be neat and tidy, an important discipline for life,” says John

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How to tackle your child's first haircut

6 ways to get babies and toddlers through their first hair cut or trim by John Frieda

  • WATCH WITH MOTHER  Take you child along to a hair appointment or let a sibling go first so they can see what happens at the hairdressers and take away some of the mystery or nerves. This may help prepare them for what actually happens and the noises (hairdryers) and  rather than saying hair ‘cut’  – which they may see as ‘hurting them’ say, ‘trim’, ‘tidy’ or ‘snip’.
  • TIMIMG Schedule a trim during a time that works best for your child. Try to avoid during nap time, snack time or whenever your kid is typically fussy as this won’t be fun for anyone. Also try to avoid ‘peak-times’ and weekends, as will be significantly noisier. Also, arrive early for you appointment so you can get yourself and you child ready without rushing.
  • DISTRACTION  Let your child bring his favourite toy, pacifier or book to keep little hands occupied – as well as comforting him, too. This is also a great time to bring out the virtual babysitter if need be a video or cartoon on your smartphone can help keep them in their set or on you lap.
  • KIDS VIEW  Try to select a kid friendly salon that may have fun chairs, entertainment or toys to help distract them. Also, your child may. to like staring into a big mirror (does anyone?) so maybe they can face you or face any TV screens in salon while hair is being trimmed.
  • CLOTHES  You may want to bring a change of clothes/babygrow as little strands of hair may irate them afterwards.
  • TREAT TIME  A small sweet treat or sticker afterwards is always a good idea to show them how brave or good they have been. Some salons offers certificates to help you mark this milestone hair cut.