FIRST HAIRCUT TIPS
A milestone in your child’s life is usually an exciting event, but it can also be scary both for parents and children. In the case of a first haircut, you might feel nostalgic at how quickly your baby has grown. Or your child might feel scared about the unknown experience. You might wonder about the right time to cut your child’s hair for the first time or how to go about it. So here are so tips about making first haircuts special and fun and how to use them as a bonding and learning experience.
FIRST HAIRCUT AGE
Many cultures have traditions or rituals for first haircuts which are often linked to age. But in general, children start to show interest in their own hair between ages 3 and 5 when they cut their own or their doll’s hair.
In our case, we waited for Adèle to show interest as we wanted it to be her decision. Allowing your child to to decide on her own hair style is an empowering experience. It also shows that you trust her and allow her to experiment and discover who she is as an individual.
PREPARE FOR YOUR CHILD’S FIRST HAIRCUT
Do not push or pressure your child into getting a haircut. The main thing to consider as you prepare your child for their first haircut is that she really understand what is going to happen.
Ascertain that your child understands that once her hair is cut, it will take a along time to grow. You can do this by:
- Talking about it and being excited about it
- Playing pretend games
- Allowing your child to cut their doll’s hair
- Taking your child to a hair salon so that they can see how hair is cut
- Reading picture books about first haircuts (see my list of recommendations below)
It is also important to understand why your child wants her hair cut as it will allow you to help her figure out the hairstyle she want. Some questions to consider are:
- Is it because she want to look like someone you know?
- Like a character in a book?
- Because she feels hot or uncomfortable?
- Does she want to show their individuality by looking different?
Finally, plan a memorable experience/day around your child’s first hair cut. Below is an example of how we went about it.
TIPS TO FOLLOW DURING YOUR CHILD’S FIRST HAIR CUT
- Wash your child’s hair yourself before the appointment so that you won’t have to waste time at the salon. Doing this will make the appointment quicker for your child.
- Brush your child’s hair yourself first so that the hairdresser doesn’t hurt your child’s hair while combing it. This way the appointment will start on a positive note.
- If you don’t want to use any chemicals, find an eco-friendly salon or let your hairdresser know not to use any products on your child’s hair.
- If your child needs regular brakes to stretch, make sure your hairdresser is aware beforehand.
- Make the appointment for a time that best suits your child’s schedule and needs. Pick a time of day where your child is usually not hungry and feels more relaxed.
- Allow your child to pick her own hair style! You can do this both at home and at the salon just before the first haircut.
- You can ask the hairdresser to cut the hair only a little bit and have your child look to see if she likes it before proceeding further. This way the change will be less dramatic and easier to process.
- Some children might be scared of the word “cut” as they might associated it with their body being hurt, so find another word or way of talking about the event.
- Make it a family event to provide support and be a part of this fun experience! It’s also an excellent way to connect with your child as they learn something new.
- Ask your child if they prefer to face you or the mirror.
- Explain to your child how the hair dryer works beforehand and remind them to cover their ears and close their eyes if then need to.
- Check in with your child to make sure they are satisfied with the experience and address any feelings that arise.
- Bring a small cloth bag or box if you want to preserve your child’s locks as a keepsake.
BOOKS ABOUT FIRST HAIRCUTS
***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, and if you decide to purchase anything from suggested links or companies, I may receive a commission. Recommended products are either things I love using or think would be helpful for you. Making your purchase using these affiliate links helps keep this site running, so thank you kindly!
- Austin’s First Haircut: First Haircut Book (Children’s Firsts 1) by G. A. Wadley – This book is designed by a hairstylist and the story takes places at a hair salon.
- Hair by Leslie Patricelli – A very simple, warm book for toddlers that talks about the first haircut.
- Wally Does Not Want a Haircut by Amanda Driscoll – A humorous picture book about a sheep. I like this one for it’s antropomorphic qualities which helps children relate easier.
ADELE’S FIRST HAIRCUT EXPERIENCE
Around the age of 3.5, Adèle started noticing her friends’ new haircuts and talking about her favorite book character’s hair. And then, one day, she asked us to cut her hair short. We were not sure if she knew how short she really wanted it as the haircuts she described would change every month or so. But I noticed that she never liked long hair – neither in person nor in books; so that’s how we knew that she was getting ready for her first haircut. We did not cut her hair right away, however. In fact, we waited for 6 months to make sure she really understood what it all meant. This also gave us enough time to prepare her for the actual day.
To make the experience special, we decided to do it while on a trip to Montpellier, France. I found a hair salon on Google that had the best reviews. It’s called L’esprit libre (free spirit) ) and that seemed like a very appropriate sign to follow. Hidden in a 13th century building, the salon’s atmosphere was relaxed, friendly and stylish in a laid-back fashion. I am not affiliated with this salon in any way, but recommend it highly as we had such an amazing experience!
The hairdresser was very attentive to Adèle’s wishes and extremely respectful of her hair. You could sense that he loves his work and making his clients feel beautiful. He followed her instructions exactly and as you can see in all the photos above, she couldn’t be happier with her first haircut!
Do you have any tips for a first haircut that I should add to this post? If so, please let me know below.