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scissors and style: how do you prepare for baby's first haircut?

The logistics involved in getting your baby’s hair cut for the first time can take many parents by surprise. If your baby is frightened by the new experience, will it put them off haircuts for life, making every quick trim a battle? And what if they cut too much of your baby’s precious curls off?

While having some of these concerns can make you feel a bit silly, we can assure you you’re not alone. Taking your baby along for their first haircut – like their first ‘anything’ – is a big deal for both of you.

How to help the first haircut go smoothly

‘My son was cautious of anything “new” so for his first haircut I took him to a special children’s salon where he got to sit in a racing car and watch Peppa Pig on the screen in front of him,’ says mom, Cheryl. ‘He didn’t love it but there was enough distraction to keep him sitting there for just long enough, plus we got a photo and certificate, which was a nice keepsake.’

Children’s salons are great at making a scary or boring task into a treat, but if you don’t have one near you, try to make the event into something special yourself. Maybe promise them a special treat afterwards, or give them a new book to look at while they’re getting their trim.

How to alleviate haircut fears

‘I always had a mobile hairdresser come to the house to cut mine and my husband’s hair, and I think that’s one reason I never had a problem getting Bella’s hair cut,’ says mom, Terri. ‘She was used to the hairdresser, plus things like the noise of the hairdryer, and it was actually her that asked to get her haircut!’

Familiarity can help with a baby’s first haircut; consider having a mobile hairdresser come to do your hair a few times before they cut your child’s, or maybe take your little one to the salon - ideally at a quiet time - so it’s a place they know and are used to.

'Playing’ hairdressers with your baby could also help, as it introduces them to the idea and feel of someone touching their hair.

You hate their haircut? Don’t worry

Babies can look surprisingly different post-haircut, so to minimize any surprises – for parent or baby – be very clear with the hairdresser if you only want a tiny trim. And of course, if they do get a little scissor-happy, try not to panic and remind yourself it will grow back in no time!

'I’ll never forget my son’s first haircut because I cried when he came home,’ says Iyesha. ‘His curls were gone and he looked so different. I was so annoyed with my husband for letting them take so much off, but in hindsight, I think I just wanted him to stay a “baby” for it a bit longer.’

Ultimately haircuts can be a bit daunting for little ones so practice lots of patience and know that, even if it takes time, you will get there eventually. Good luck!

For more advice on toddler milestones, read our range of articles with tips on everything from leaving your baby for the first time, to how to encourage your baby to walk.

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