Who’s fooling who, if someone, especially someone you felt safe with, decided that they would take away the glorious hair that sprouts from your head, you’d have a meltdown. Disagree?? Flip over to any random make-over show and there is someone well over the age of 12 having an inappropriate (and possibly, completely ridiculous) PUBLIC meltdown about not wanting to do something that they haven’t done since around 1999 (and that’s being modest). Most adults are leery about getting a hair cut, how could it be expected that the little ones should be more tamed? Let’s be honest, the idea of someone taking a pair of (buzzing clippers or sharp scissors) near your head can be quite the traumatic experience, mainly for young ones.
So yes, let’s start by saying that you could always take the rock star parent route and let your kid rock their coif untamed and free and let those locks grow out; unfortunately we all can’t have KISS worthy flowing rock locks. However, most of us must tackle haircut hatred, so here are 5 tips for helping your kid (& you) learn to cope with getting their hair cut.
Believe it or not, getting your haircut is a delicate situation, think about it; we’ve all had a haircut go the way of Alfalfa, a trim turns into a pixie cut… Yea think back to that time in the 5th grade… Sheesh! Either way, never forget the fact that haircuts can and do go wrong and it shouldn’t be hard to conceive why a little kiddie would be intimidated and uninterested in going under the knife, ahem, the blade… See what I mean? So first thing first, remember to always be patient and to remember some empathy; and as always, remember your mood will set the tone, so make it a good one. Now let’s snip on over to the tips (pun-intended):
1. Use Your Words Wisely
It is easy to forget that words can work in several ways, make sure that the terms you use with your little one doesn’t have too many meanings. Children are highly vocabulary sensitive, more than everyone else. Try using words like “trim, clip,” or “snip,” as opposed to “cut.” Remember; a cut is also what happens when they get a scratch (ahem, a boo-boo) out on the playground.
2. Show You Better Than I Can Tell You
Find a way to show them that they will not be harmed during the process. You could, perhaps, get your hair trimmed first. This will ensure that they know this is not something that they should be fearful of. If a personal haircut is not in the forecast, find a nice doll to be made an example of, or even the family dog, if the pup can go for a grooming. It is the most ideal to put your hesitant child at ease by using positive examples.
Note: This absolutely does not apply to older children who may have had a bad previous experience. Ice cream bribe, anyone?
3. Find Your Local Specialty Shop
Be an active part of your survival! Find a shop in your area that specializes in child hair care and then surf the World Wide Web for reviews. Unfortunately (and, fortunately), if a shop is doing bad work people will almost certainly take their complaints to the customer review sections so that others can be forewarned. On the other hand, luckily for us all, exceptional service is also something that happens and the people leaving those reviews are regular people with regular opinions as well. Listening to your peers is always an option.
4. Whose Line is It Anyway?
Who is this haircut really for? Probably you, that’s okay . Just try to make sure that everyone feels like they are taking part in the process. Allow your “one-day-I’ll-wear-my-hair-
5. Undercover Cutter…
If you are the one in charge of cutting those tresses, you may want to take your mission in a more covert route. Depending on the age, and how light of a sleeper your child is, a Snip n’ Nap could work. There is also the TV Trim; hey, a little compromise and distraction never hurt anyone. Use the least evasive form as possible. Kids tend to tense up around the ears and neck. Do your best to make you child feel at ease, pay attention to the things that trigger those nervous habits and try to avoid them.
We would all love to allow our children to run wild in the sunshine of childhood, with tresses wild, free and wavy with the spirits of Diana Ross and Bret Michaels’ hair in its prime… We can dream… Sometimes, trims and tapers are necessary. Just be mindful that everyone who is involved should be allowed to be involved. Be empathic and remember your first homemade haircut from mom or dad.
Andrea Culpepper is the owner and operator of The Kids Salon Atlanta at Ansley Mall Atlanta.
A Member of the Piedmont Heights Business Alliance