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.
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]."
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.