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Preparing Your Baby For His Or Her First Haircut

The first haircut can be hard on your baby: it’s a new place with new rules and unfamiliar faces. Here’s how to make it an easy, pleasant experience:

Teach Your Baby

Start by helping your baby learn about haircuts. Find a children’s book about it, and talk about cutting hair together. Tell your baby about what it’s like when you get your hair cut. Have this kind of conversation a few times over the course of a week, until it’s no longer new information for your baby.

Do A Demonstration

The next time you get your hair cut, set up an appointment with a stylist who is willing to work with children, and explain you’re showing your child, who’s a first-timer, how it’s done and help them understand firsthand that it doesn’t hurt. Bring the baby to the salon and show him or her the waiting area and the styling area. Start by introducing your baby to the stylist and telling him or her what is going on. Allow your baby to cut a lock of your own hair, with assistance. When the cut is finished, clearly praise the new style and tell your baby how happy you are about it. Make it clear that you enjoy having your hair cut. Now depending on your schedule, you should either encourage your baby to thank your stylist and say goodbye to them, or offer the opportunity to get their hair cut too. If you are coming back later, be sure to conclude the visit with some kind of treat - a snack, a new book, or whatever item you can hand over while you’re still inside the salon. This creates a positive association with the salon.

Be There

Hopefully all this preparation means that your child will sit down happily in the stylist’s seat. When it’s time, make sure that you’re there for the length of the cut, and stay in your child’s field of vision. You can carry on a conversation with your child and the stylist, or go about your own business, depending on the degree of attention your child needs to feel comfortable, but all children will need a certain amount of parental hand holding the first time they get a hair cut, and will appreciate the sense of security from seeing you there. If you plan to get your child’s hair cut on a regular basis, try to keep going to the same salon to minimize the discomfort of unfamiliar locations.

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