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5 Ways to Help Your Toddler Hold Still for a Haircut

5 Ways to Help Your Toddler Hold Still for a Haircut

Taking your toddler to the barber does not have to be shear torture — although it seems that way to several Circle of Moms members. Marti L.’s three-year-old son Cyrus “screams bloody murder” every time she tries to give him a haircut. “If he sees [the] scissors or [I] even mention cutting his hair, he has a complete meltdown,” she says.

When you feel like pulling your hair out because your toddler won’t hold still for a haircut, try these five tips for helping child stay calm.

1. Explain What Will Happen

To a two- or three-year old, getting a trim can be scary. They don't actually understand what happens during a haircut. Consequently, several Circle of Moms members suggest sitting your toddler on your lap (even during the haircut itself), explaining all the barber's tools, and making getting sheared an adventure.

“I make it really interesting by pointing and saying, ‘Wow, look at what the hairdresser is doing. Isn’t it fun?’” says Sue M.

“Get him to play with a comb and let him brush his own hair to get comfortable with things touching his hair,” a member named Amandah recommends, adding that yu can also pretend your fingers are scissors so that your child knows what to expect when he sits in the “special chair.”

Shae O., a Circle of Moms member who is a hairstylist, drums up children’s enthusiasm by telling them to try to spray her in the mirror with the water bottle, or that the clippers are a bee that will “buzz, buzz” and tickle.


2. Let Your Baby Be the Barber

Giving your child some control over the situation — for example allowing her to pick out her own hairstyle — can make her feel comfortable enough to surrender to the stylist.

Jennifer M.’s son chooses his own comb color and holds the safe implements like the spray bottle.

Amber M’s daughter chooses her hairstyle and is reminded that her hair will wind up crooked if she doesn’t remain still. She cooperates because the idea of uneven hair doesn’t sit well with her, Amber reports.

Chantal’s son chooses his own “big boy” hair gel and is allowed to use washable blue hairspray only after his haircut has been completed.

3. Create a Distraction

Several Circle of Moms say you can alleviate the fear factor by offering distractions like a children’s cartoon. Hairstylists that cater to children frequently offer her son a toy, says a member named Dagmara.

Amanda O. occupies her son with a dum dum sucker. “It gets a little hair on it, but he sits still,” she laughs.


4. Cut Covertly

If you can cut quietly, try trimming your child's hair without making a big announcement about it. Members Amy and Gabrielle N. both cut their children’s hair while they are in the bath, and Jessica and Carol cut their sons’ hair while they are sleeping.

(Jessica warns not to try the technique on a light sleeper because waking up to someone cutting your hair is unnerving!)

5. Just Let it Grow

If your toddler still finds getting a trim to be a hair-raising adventure, several moms advise skipping a clipping. Gabrielle N. “gives up on perfection and mostly concentrates on bangs. And Crystal M. suggests a rationale for making peace with your shaggy-haired tot: ”Maybe your child wants to look like someone else with long hair" right now. After all, given toddlers’ fickle nature, "If you let [their hair] grow for a while, [they] may warm up to [their next haircut]."

Image Source: srietzke via Flickr/Creative Commons

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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CoMMember13630947864441 CoMMember13630947864441 4 years
Advice from a 40 year professional: 1. Take them with you for your next cut & explain what is happening so they'll have an idea before it's their turn. 2. Do NOT give a child the water bottle unless you want to end up soaked!. 3. Bring a toy or even better a portable DVD player. 4. Don't force them to submit if they are too scared. 5. Don't wait until they are toddlers. First cuts should involve trimming the ends as an infant (as long as they have hair). They get used to it early and later it's a breeze. 6. NO children's cuts should not be cheaper than yours. We call them "moving targets". They are much harder than someone sitting still. 7. Find a stylist with patience.
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