9 Tips To Make Your Kid’s First Haircut Less Traumatic

You too can prevent a hair bawl

Originally Published: 

Baby’s first haircut can be pretty frightening for a child. That’s because babies do not understand that their hair is actually a part of them that can be removed. For all intents hair is as critical a body part as a finger or a leg. What parents see at baby’s first haircut is a trim. What the child sees at their first haircut is dismemberment.

You’ve got to admit that removing a part of your body is pretty freaky. Especially if your brain is still trying to figure out what the hell a body even is. So how do you get your kid to deal with their first haircut? Basically, by any means necessary.

What Age Should a Baby Get the First Haircut?

A lot of cultures have ritualized haircutting around the first birthday. Of course, the thing about hair is that it grows. So your timing might be completely based on necessity. Of course, waiting doesn’t necessarily mean your kid’s hair has to be crazy and unkempt. Depending on what type hair they have there are numerous non-cutting ways to manage a mane. That could include cornrows, braids, ponytails or any other number of styles that probably won’t work on many a blond haired boy. Sorry.

If you have the ability to wait, your kid may get less frightened as they understand more about the procedure (particularly if you don’t call it a procedure). Even if you aren’t waiting, it’s important to communicate with them about what a haircut is. Explain how things are going to go down. Roleplay haircutting at home. And maybe call it a “trim” instead of a cut to keep the kid far from thoughts of blood.

Prepare a Baby for Their First Haircut

  • Give Them Agency: Let them pick out the hairstyle, or a streak of washable color, or hold the comb or spray bottle.
  • Keep The Hair Out Of Sight: It’ll freak them out. It used to be part of them.
  • Distract Them: Any arguments about screen time are moot at this point.
  • Go Early: Let them hang out at the joint for a little bit to get acclimated to the place.
  • Offer Comfort Objects: Do they want to hold a stuffy? Suck a pacifier? Hold a blanket? Let it happen.
  • Forgo The Cape: Sometimes the whole plastic cape thing can be frightening. Just bring a change of clothes.
  • Reward Bravery: A first haircut certificate never hurt anyone.

Where Should My Baby Get the First Haircut

A first haircut can really happen anywhere there are scissors, clippers and a spray bottle. Which, interestingly, does not rule out the dog groomers (though there are probably laws. Pesky stupid laws). That said, it’ll probably come down to two options:


Pros: There is a ton of comfort in cutting hair at home. It’s a safe space, there are things to distract and if you need to take a break because of screaming, that can happen super easily. Also, the only cost is to your soul.

Cons: You have to know at least something about making a kid’s head look decent. Otherwise, you’ll be left with a kid that looks jacked up, or you’ll have to head out to a salon anyway. Or a saloon. Whichever is more helpful.


Pros: Salons that cater to kids have just about everything that would make a kid chillax and enjoy the first cut. But you don’t have to go that big. Your regular joint may just be the place, particularly if your kid gets to watch them have a go at your noggin first. Just try not to cry like you usually do.

Cons: There is a price to pay for a pro. And a premium to pay for the kid-centric joints. Even then, you’ll be SOL if your kid is freaking out and refuses halfway through. Also, strangers can be a bit tough for toddlers, particularly if you have a freaky stylist.

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