Tips for a Tear-Free Haircut


“Click.” Mechanical buzzing, instant tears. That is the sound of a haircut for many families. It can be a traumatic experience for parents and kids alike. I have been a hairdresser for six years and have witnessed countless haircuts that have ended in tear-streaked faces.

The loud buzz of the clippers and the sensory overload of a salon can be too much for many children. Here are my tips for managing those haircut days.

Start as soon as possible

The younger you start taking your child to haircuts, the better. If they get haircuts before they learn to be afraid of things, it will be much easier in the long run. If you want to wait to cut their hair, get them into the salon or barbershop anyway. Send them with a family member to sit in their car seat while the adult gets a haircut. Watching the lack of fear in the adult’s face will help make a haircut a normal and safe activity.

Hold them close

Young kids usually prefer for a parent or other adult sit in the chair and hold them during the haircutting process. This is especially helpful if you have a child that is fearful of the process. Ask your hairdresser if they will cover you and let you hold your child.

Involve them in the process

If you have a wiggle worm that won’t sit still for a haircut, that is ok! One trick I use is to have the child hold their ears out of the way. This only works for a little while but they hold very still while doing it. The next step is to give them a little handheld mirror so they can “help.” The more the child is involved in the process, the better they will behave.

Accommodate your sensory sensitive children

If you have a child that can get overstimulated, you may need to take a different approach. You need to find and make an appointment with a hairdresser that is in a quiet or in-home salon. Talk with this hairdresser before your appointment time about your child’s needs to make sure they are willing to work with you and block out enough time to walk your child through the process.

Cut their hair at home

Another option is to learn to cut hair yourself. A kid’s basic haircut is not incredibly complicated and many parents can do it at home. If you already have clippers and haircutting scissors, just Youtube some tutorials. If you need the stuff to get started, order a kit online. One of the best kits you can buy for at-home haircuts is The Haircut Box. They will send you everything you need, including step-by-step tutorials, for your kids’ haircuts.

Haircuts shouldn’t be a traumatic experience. I know so many moms feel embarrassed by their child’s outbursts and stress about going to a salon. A good hairdresser will not be bothered by your child’s fear and will take their time to help them feel comfortable. You are one of the millions of moms that struggle with this and it is ok.