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It probably feels like only yesterday that you welcomed your little bundle of joy into the world, and now all of a sudden they have a whole head of hair that needs a trim.
Your baby's first haircut can be both an exciting milestone and a daunting prospect for parents. Will your baby sit in the hairdresser's or barber's chair like an angel and let them chop their tresses into a cute toddler style or will they scream the salon down and make you feel terrible for days?
We've put together a list of top tips and advice to help you decide when and where to get your baby's hair cut, as well as great ideas for toys and books to take with you and how to make it a really special occasion that you'll remember fondly for years to come.
There's no rule that says you have to cut baby's hair at all. It all depends on your personal preference and what sort of style you'd like your baby or toddler to have. Most parents do decide to cut their baby's hair, however, in order to help keep things clean (long hair and baby-led weaning are not always a good combination) and during warm summer months it can be a lot more comfortable for babies if they have shorter hair.
There's no right answer to this as every baby is unique, especially when it comes to the amount of hair they have. Some babies are born with thick, luscious locks and these babies often need their first haircut as early as eight months old! Other kids only have very thin and short hair well past their first birthday, so these children will be much older when you need to take them to the hair salon for their first haircut.
If your baby or toddler is naturally shy and gets stressed out in new places, then you might want to think about alternatives to a traditional salon or kids hairdressers for their first cut. To keep them as relaxed as possible, you might want to consider looking into an at-home hairdresser or asking a friend or family member who is good with hair to come and do it at your house. Being surrounded by familiar toys and faces will help make the situation a lot less stressful for your child. You might feel confident enough to cut your own child's hair too, especially if you're just doing a straight line cut for a little girl. However take into account that your child might get distressed and need their mummy or daddy to hug and reassure them during their first cut, rather than being the ones wielding the scissors.
Cutting a baby boy's hair yourself is more difficult (if you're trying to do a classic men's style) but is doable. YouTube has lots of helpful and easy-to-follow videos. Just make sure to have the right equipment like proper hairdressers' scissors.
The most traditional route for your baby's first haircut is to find a local salon to take your child to. It's really important to do your research before you just turn up at a salon though. You need to make sure that the place you've chosen is experienced in baby and toddler haircuts. It's also a good idea to find somewhere that has a separate area for kids hair appointments with toys, books and even special little chairs like a racing car or aeroplane, which will help distract your child when the stylist approaches with the scissors for the first time. Ask other parents with older children in your area for recommendations, as they will know the friendliest and most accommodating hairdressers for kids.
1) Let them see you have a hair cut first: We know your trips to the salon or the barbers are important 'me' time away from parenting for an hour or two, but before you take your baby for a first haircut it's a really good idea to let them see you having your locks styled first. If they see you happily sitting there with a stranger cutting your hair it will be less scary when it happens to them.
2) Get the timing right: Every parent knows that if you try and do anything new or different when a baby or toddler is tired and hungry, the chances of an epic meltdown are much higher! So, take your child's schedule into consideration when you phone up to book for an appointment. Appointments during their usual nap time, around lunchtime or too late in the day will more often than not result in an unsuccessful first trip to the hairdressers.
3) Be prepared: Not many babies and toddlers are happy to sit still and just look at themselves in a mirror, so you'll want to ensure you've got a bag of tricks packed ready to reveal as soon as your child starts to look stressed or bored. Favourite toys, their comforter or the cuddly toy they sleep with, a dummy, if they have one, and books they love should come along with you. Encourage your baby or toddler to show the hairdresser their favourite toy and engage with them, so that they aren't just a stranger trying to touch their head. If your child associates the hairdressers with toys and books, they will be happy to come back next time too.
5) Don't be too ambitious: This first haircut is all about normalising the experience and getting your baby used to the idea that hair needs to be trimmed. Don't turn up with pictures of fashionable and intricate styles that'll take ages. This first experience should be a simple trim.
4) Remember to ask for a keepsake: For a parent, one of the best things about your baby's first haircut is being able to keep a little lock of your baby's hair for your baby book or memory box. Be sure to mention to the hairdresser that you want a lock of baby hair kept before the appointment starts. You can buy lovely boxes to store the hair in too, so you might want to purchase one of these in advance too.
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