Baby’s first haircut - when, how, why?
We know that little baby hairs are ADORABLE, but they will sooner or later need their first little trim.
Even though the first haircut can be a scary thing for the little ones (and for you!), it doesn't have to be the end of the world. We have chatted with a hair stylist, Jackie Polley, who is specializing in baby and kids' haircuts about the why, when & how to approach this big milestone in order to make it as good of an experience for everyone involved as possible.
Some people believe that shaving your baby's head will give them thicker hair, but that is more of an old wives' tale, rather than a scientifically proven fact. The thickness of hair will depend on your little one's genetics, so unfortunately the shaving won't make much difference. However, you might be looking to cut your baby's hair due to practical, cultural or aesthetic reasons when the time comes.
If you are wondering when to go for your baby's first haircut, there really isn't a firm answer, as it all depends on each individual situation. There is no rush during the first months, as the newborn hair falls out on its own due to post-birth hormones within the first 6 months. The new hair usually takes a while to grow, so that is why babies' first haircuts are typically done sometime between 6 and 24 months. However, the younger your child is when you start visiting the hair stylist, the easier it might be to get them used to the situation, so it often pays off to start with easy trims early on.
Once you decide that it's time to find your baby a hair stylist, Jackie has a few tips for you, based on her years of experience working with children:
- Find a stylist specializing in kids' haircuts who has a lot of patience and understanding for the little ones
- Don’t plan on a haircut right before or right after nap time. Babies are the least tolerant of new experiences at those times, so picking the right time for your visit will be important
- Take it slow. It is totally normal if your child feels uncomfortable with this new situation. Asking the stylist to show your child the tools they will be using can help overcome the fear of foreign objects. If it’s the clippers they're scared of, ask them to turn the clippers on beforehand and touch your hand with them, so your baby can see and hear the noise before it comes anywhere near their head
- Use distractions. If your child is old enough, a lollipop or a movie can go a long way. Otherwise try giving them their favorite snack or a toy to keep them happy and distracted while in the chair
- If your babe feels most comfortable with you, you can ask the stylist to sit with your child. Most stylists are more than willing to allow you to hold your babe during the haircut, because sometimes plopping them in the chair by themselves the first time or two is just too much to ask
- Don't strive for perfection the first few times. If your little one doesn't like the process, it’s better to end up with a C+ haircut and a good experience, rather than push too hard to try to get every little hair and mentally scar them for a long time
- Take photos or videos of this big milestone to look back on in the future! You can also ask for the lock of hair or any other mementos you’d like to have from your baby's first haircut
- Once you find a stylist that you and your child connect well with, keep seeing that person to continue building the trust
- Kids love routines, so make haircuts part of theirs and keep a consistent appointment every 4 to 8 weeks
To learn more about Jackie and schedule an appointment if you're in Reno/ Sparks area in Nevada, check out her profile @Hair.By.Jackie.P on Instagram and get in touch! As she says herself "Working with children gives me so much joy. I get to help kids through a process that isn’t always the happiest, but eventually we create a bond and they begin to trust me. I love watching them grow and become their own person. I love that I get to help them express themselves and feel their very best. For most people it’s just a haircut but for me it means so much more."