Toddlers are often nervous about getting in the chair and having their hair cut for the first time. Everyone is strange and the experience is new. Toddlers don’t enjoy surprises, at least when it involves someone or something new. Finding the right stylist is key to everyone’s happiness. You’ll need one who is experienced with kids and is patient. A stylist who can handle noise, movement and whatever toddler situation arises. Ask your own stylist for referrals and call around to see who has a great toddler-stylist reputation.
Here are some handy ideas to help prepare you, and your toddler, for the big day at the salon.
Some Helpful Tips
- Use simple terms and explanations when talking about haircuts. Instead of saying the word “cut,” use “trim,” “tidy up” or even “freshen up.” The word “cut” is often used for pain, like a cut finger or paper cut, so for a child the word means something unpleasant.
- A great idea is to bring the child to the salon a few times before it’s time for a haircut. There would be no pressure, and everyone would be relaxed. The child can see what is going on, such as others getting cuts and styles. Introductions can be made to staff and stylists. The salon may have other children in, so the toddler can see others of the same age in the chair. If you are having your hair done, let the toddler watch and ask questions.
- Bring a favourite toy or book. Some salons are set up for the younger clients and have special rooms, seats, TVs, balloons, stickers and treats.
- Comfort is important. If the toddler is more comfortable and willing when sitting on a lap, offer to sit with the child on your lap. The position may be a bit challenging for the stylist to work, but the stylist will be happy to work on a calm, relaxed toddler more than anything else. You can bring bubbles for the toddler to blow, or sing some favourite songs together while in the chair.
- Pair the day with another fun event, like hair and ice-cream day, or salon and swimming day.
- A change of clothes can be helpful too. Anyone can get itchy after a haircut, no matter how well the stylist “dusts” you off. Bring some favourite clothes and offer the child a chance to change.
Things to Remember
- The toddler needs to be well-fed and rested before the appointment. Talk about the haircutting process as well as visits to the salon before you actually go. Keep any promises you have made to the young one, especially if you promised treats or a special outing.
- One of the most important things to remember is to stay positive. Your reaction and attitude are an example and guide to the toddler. This is the day where you need to keep your emotions under control. Make sure you are ready to see your toddler get a haircut. Your tears won’t help a tense situation if there is one, and even happy tears may be confusing for someone so young.
- Consistency is important to toddlers. It gives them a healthy sense of security. Try to stay with the same stylist or salon for a while after the first cut.