You can only avoid getting your child’s hair cut for so long. Eventually though, it won’t be pretty! In fact it could become messy, oily, knotty, dry or unhealthy. You might also have a special occasion coming up like a wedding or family photo shoot, and want your child to look neat and tidy.
Having a failed attempt when you take your child to the hairdresser can be quite embarrassing and disheartening. Children who have sensory issues can become quite anxious when they are taken to the hairdressers for a cut. The mere sight of scissors can have them crying, the sound of clippers can be scary, then there’s the feeling of water being sprayed on their head or hair falling around their neck as it is cut. Children who are sensitive to being touched or acutely aware of their senses may lash out. Your child won’t be the first to kick, scream or even bite when feeling threatened during a haircut.
What can you do to make it an enjoyable experience all round? There’s a few things you can try. It’s a matter of trial and error and finding out what works for your child.
<h2> Find a hairdresser for kids </h2>
Find a salon that welcomes children. You’ll be able to spot them because they will have great deals for kid’s trims and/or a play area in the waiting room. They’ll be experienced in dealing with children and won’t shy away from a challenge.
<h2> Read story books about haircuts</h2>
There are some great story books you can read to your child about getting a haircut. Try Freddie has a Haircut by Nicola Smee for younger children, or Need a Trim, Jim by Kaye Umansky for pre-school and beyond. This is a subtle way to let them know that getting a haircut isn’t so bad and opens up a discussion on your child’s anxieties.
<h2>Find out what bothers them the most</h2>
If you know specifically why your child doesn’t like haircuts you may be able to avoid that part completely. For example if he/she doesn’t like their hair getting wet, or they prefer scissors over the sound of clippers then work with your hairdresser to make your child as comfortable as possible.
<h2>Take your child when you get your own hair cut</h2>
Take your child with you when you get your hair cut. Don’t book them into a haircut until they have been into the salon a few times and witnessed you or their siblings get their hair cut. This way they can be familiar with their surroundings and the hairdresser before their own cut.
Most of all, try to relax and don’t be dismayed if you don’t manage a successful haircut this time! Children can sense our frustration and those with sensory issues can have a heightened sense of anxiety coming from others. Take it slow and ease them into it gently. With time and effort, they will get there.
Paula Schaumberg is among Brisbane’s most experienced hairdressers. Her resume includes some of Brisbane’s best salons. Learn more about her mobile hairdressing service at www.psilovehair.com