Becky the Baby Barber
One of the most frequent questions that I’m asked as a hairstylist specializing in children’s hair care is “At what age should I get my baby’s first haircut?” or “Do you cut babies’ hair?”
There is no specific age at which a child will require a haircut because when and how each individual baby’s hair comes in will vary. Some babies are born bald and others are born with full heads of hair. On average it will take up to five years from the time the child first gets hair to the time when it is fully grown in. Getting that first haircut is a very subjective decision to make, and here are some guidelines to help parents decide when the time is right.
- Cultural factors – are there any beliefs, superstitions or traditions that need to be considered? I’ve done head shaves on newborns, a cultural tradition for some, as well as others which require the child to be at least one year of age.
- The comfort of the child – Is his/her hair getting in their eyes? Are you having trouble combing/brushing?
- Appearance/Fashion preference – Is there no discernable style? Does it look messy/unkempt all the time? Some people like ultra short hair on boys and ultra long hair on girls. The hair might just be in need of a shaping if mom and dad (and grandma!) want to hang on to curls.
So you’ve decided that it’s time for that first haircut!
- Go to a salon that specializes in children and babies – we know our stuff and have all the trappings that will make your child more at ease.
- Call ahead and make an appointment. If that’s not possible, give yourself plenty of time to accommodate waiting time and the actual cut itself.
- Take your child when they are at their happiest – preferably after their nap, and after breakfast/lunch when they have better coping skills, but be prepared for tears.
- Definitely bring a change of clothes in case they want nothing to do with a cape.
- Do not bring an entourage! I had one couple bring their little boy with both sets of grandparents who proceeded to fuss over him, and get in my way, making it quite difficult for me to finish the cut – I had to tell them to back off. Tell grandparents that you will take pictures and/or film it to share with them after. Leave older children at home if possible unless they are having their hair cut as well – sometimes they can go first to let little brother/sister know that it’s fun and easy.
With a little forethought a first haircut experience doesn’t need to be a stressful event. But just so you know, the first one is not necessarily a harbinger of what’s to come. As we say in the salon – “If the first is the worst, the rest will be best and if the first is the best, then the worse are for the rest!!!” Just kidding!!!
Becky is a mother of three mostly grown kids (2 down and 1 to go) with extensive hair cutting experience in a family atmosphere and has always been especially great with the very young and the very old.