What is it about visiting a barbershop that brings out the most primal fears in a child? Maybe it feels similar to visiting a doctor’s office, where a stranger in a sterile environment invades your space? Or perhaps like the biblical hero Samson, getting your hair cut is a spiritual loss of sorts?
Whatever the reason, kids can simply loathe getting their haircut, often resorting to full-blown meltdowns in the barber chair. Not. Fun.
So what can be done? What can parents do to make a haircut less traumatic (for all parties)?
How to make your child’s haircut enjoyable.
Timing is everything. Children are often the most temperamental when they’re hungry or tired. So visiting a barbershop in the morning or post-nap is a good idea. Going to the barber’s in the morning also ensures a calmer environment, where there’s less hustle and bustle to overstimulate your little one.
Hair-friendly starts early. Many children simply don’t like their heads touched. You can soften this response by touching your child’s hair in a warm, respectful manner early on. Teach your child how comfortable it can be to have his or her hair combed or washed. And remember: compliment how great your child looks after grooming. This instills “hair respect” early on.
Take a moment with your barber. One of the reasons a child can fear a barber? He or she is a stranger with a sharp object! Before the haircut, introduce your child to the stylist so they can make some small talk and eye contact. Often, this is enough for a child to trust the barber and relax into the experience.
Take a haircut break. Kids get bored during a haircut. Its a tedious process after all. It’s perfectly fine to tell your stylist in advance that you’d like to take a midway break so the child can play or interact with others before taking a seat again.
Rewards work, bribes don’t. You shouldn’t have to bribe your child to get a haircut. (“If you’re good during your haircut, I’ll buy you a toy.”) With that said, its okay to reward a child afterward, with something as simple as a compliment, a hug or a small sweet.
Hopefully these little steps make a big difference during your next visit to the barbershop. Ideally, your child will learn that getting his or her haircut improves self-confidence…and isn’t really that scary after all.
If you’re in the Montreal area, Deauville au Masculin provides specialty cut just for kids…and for a great price. 💈 Call us to book an appointment today! 514-735-4432.