My two girls are now 5 and 8 and it’s always been my job to take them to the hairdressers for a trim and tidy up. The eldest had her first hair cut when she was about 18 months. She is so like me with very thick dark hair. My youngest though didn’t have her first cut until she was nearly 2. She had very blonde fine hair when she was a baby, in fact she looked bald until she was nearly 1!
These days my two love going and can’t wait to get out the door to their appointment. I think this is because I let them have the full experience of having their hair washed, cut and dried. Unfortunately for my wallet I think they will be expecting this treatment for a very long time!!
As I have had years of experience I thought I would share with you some tips and strategys. I hope these help make your trip to the hairdressers as easy for everyone as possible.
Tip 1 – Find a child friendly hairdresser.
For me I found this by word of mouth. Just a quick post on Facebook and I started to get a nice list of highly recommended local hairdressers. You can also visit the hairdressers Facebook page (if they have one) and check out their reviews. You could also pay them a visit to check you feel comfortable about bringing your little ones there.
Also try and book your first appointment around a time when your little one isn’t too tired or getting too hungry. Having a hungry and tired little one is hard enough at home let alone in a hair salon!
Our hairdressers are great. They have even let my two help sweep up their hair after they have cut it off, which they loved. They won’t do that at home though! Our hairdresser also has a patience of a saint and the best customer service ever. Especially when the girls were going through that 4 year old ask a question every 30 second stage!
Tip 2 – Start talking about what will happen before your first visit.
If you drive past on a regular basis point out the hairdressers and start talking about what will happen. We also ‘play’ hairdressers at home. The girls like it when it’s bath time, they wash each other’s hair and then pretend to give it a ‘snip snip’.
If you get the feeling your little one won’t like going to a salon then you could try a haircut at home. Another alternative is to find someone that can come into your house. You could also go somewhere where your little one feels comfortable. I do know of some soft play areas that have kids hairdressers there as well.
Tip 3 – Take your lead from them.
If they are more comfortable sat on your lap let them. Or they may like to be a big girl/boy and sit on the special cushion that makes them taller. My two also love the rides up and down in the chairs. Also talk them through what’s happening. Keep them updated saying things like they are half way through and they are doing so well.
Tip 4 – Take snacks.
This works for me as my two are very food orientated! I’ve used those snack pots before which have a a plastic lid and little ones can get their hand in but the food doesn’t come out. I’ve put in Cheerios, raisins or small pieces of fruit. Because they have to put their hands in, and sometimes it’s a bit tricky to get it out again, it means they eat slower and the snack lasts longer
Tip 5 – Technology
This has worked really well for my youngest, who has needed more reassurance about being sat in the chair. I have used her love of the CBeebies app in the past and it has kept her distracted long enough for the hairdresser to at least get an even trim all round.
Now my last tip might not be for everyone. If it look like it’s going to fail and you can see that little cheeky ‘I’m going to cause mischief’ look start to rise then good old bribery works. I find the promise of smarties or a kinder egg very helpful!!
If you are about to step into this new part of growing up good luck. If you have already had a few visits what do you do to help the visits go as smoothly as possible?