Helping Your Child Have A Happy Haircut: Four Helpful Techniques

Getting a haircut can be a scary experience for some children. They may be afraid of being cut by the scissors, or they may simply be afraid that getting a haircut may hurt. If this sounds like your child, here are a few things you can do to make hair cutting a happy time, even if it's not your child's first time getting their hair cut.

Select a Hairstyle Together

One way to get your child to look forward to getting a haircut is to let him or her have a say in the style. Look at pictures of different children's haircuts together online, and let your child pick the one he or she loves best. You can even print out the pictures of hairstyles your child likes the best so he or she can give the decision some serious thought. Be sure to bring the picture to the hair salon so the stylist knows exactly what your child wants.

Bring a Stress Reliever

If your child is anxious about sitting in the stylist's chair, consider bringing a stress-relief toy along. This might be a soft bouncy ball or a stuffed animal. The toy should be squeezable so your little one can hold it tight during the haircut. This source of comfort can help your child get through an otherwise stressful activity. If your child has autism or is on the autism spectrum, chewy toys or other sensory stimulation items can also provide this type of stress relief.

Set Up a Tablet

Keeping your child's mind off of the haircut can be as simple as bringing along a tablet computer. Place it in a carrying case with a kickstand, and position the tablet on the shelf in front of the stylist's mirror. Play a favorite television show or cartoon to distract your child, and ask your little one to describe what's awesome about the program to your stylist. Your child may be so excited to share his or her love for a particular program that stress and fear get forgotten. Be sure to either have the program downloaded to the tablet or ensure you have access to the internet at the salon so the program will play.

Offer a Reward

When your child faces his or her own fears and puts on a brave face, it's an accomplishment worthy of a reward. Let your child know in advance that you'll be stopping for ice cream or a meal at a favorite fast food restaurant after the haircut. This gives your child a goal and a reason to sit still during the haircut. If you are going to a kid-oriented salon, there may be toys available for purchase that can serve as the reward.