Baby’s first hair cut – its a big step and even more so in the Indian cultural landscape where most communities have some religious or ritual significance attached to it. Almost every new parent dreads that first hair cut session for their little babies, yet come armed to the event with mobile phone cameras on full enthu mode. And what do the babies do – cry, bawl, howl and generally get all traumatized with their first experience . So too with us!
BabyT has had 2 hair cuts now. He was born with lots of lovely hair, and we waited it out to trim those luscious curls that our little rock-star had. If we had had our way we would probably have let them grow out much longer but the hot Indian weather meant he had a tough time with his lush mane and was constantly sweaty and irritated. So we decided to chop it off. The first hair cut babyT got was in MommyT and Daddah’s favourite salon chain near home. Its a pretty well established salon and we have always been very satisfied with our experiences but we realized that baby hair cuts were not their expertise. BabyT was not too happy and we were equally disappointed with the hair cut. So the second time around, we did manage to hunt for and take an appointment at a salon meant for kids. We loved the experience and the hair cut. Yet babyT cried his eyes out. We have now realized that there were some things we did right and some we could do better and so here’s my list:
- Kids Salon > Adults Salon – I would highly recommend you take your child to a salon that specializes in hair cuts for chidlren. Besides the general decor, ambience and the toys and books stocked up in the salon, the hair stylists have training and expertise in cutting hair on a wriggly, squirmy baby. The stylist we had at the Kid’s special salon was so good.. he had super concentration and went about the hair cut so quickly, it helped minimized the trauma for babyT. (see pic from point no.4) If you cannot find a salon specializing in kids’ hair cuts, talk to your regular salon and don’t feel ashamed to ask them pertinent questions about which stylist usually does hair cuts for kids.
- Prepare your child before going to his hair cut – In general I feel this is very downplayed by most adults. The general feeling is what will a small baby or child understand. Oh, but they do. So explain what is going to happen (don’t paint a scary picture), take them through the steps. Play pretend by sitting them on a chair at home placed in front of a mirror and go snip snip with your fingers. Let them pretend to cut your hair. If its possible take them to watch you get a hair cut and let them see its a simple process and no boo-boos happen due to a hair cut. Most importantly relax yourself, children have a funny way of picking up your vibe.
- Make sure baby is content at the fixed appointment hour – This is a no-brainer for all things baby. Make sure the child is fed, has napped, has a fresh and dry diaper on. We made the mistake of taking an appointment smack in the middle of babyT’s evening snack hour and well, it all went down hill from there. :/
- Take comfort along – Sure the salon will be stocked up with colourful and noisy toys and perhaps, books. But the smell and touch of a familiar object can provide that extra security to the child who is going to be put under the spotlight. We forgot to pack these along and had to resort to playing babyT’s favourite songs from YouTube. This is his fav song BTW.
- Give the cape a miss – BabyT for one hates anything alien on his body. The fact that he wears Tshirts or other regular clothes is a blessing for us. He would rather live naked I think. I don’t blame him really, its way too hot and sticky this year. Add to that a cheery, animal print but weird piece of clothing that is a cape and you have an upset baby even before the scissors come out. Instead let them have the cut in their regular clothes. Take along an extra T shirt and change them once the hair cut is done. Also, excuse the blow dry and water spray, most babies get terrified of the loud noise and sudden bursts of water seeming to appear out of nowhere.
- Praise, Praise and Reward – be vocal about how well they sat on the chair, held their head right when the hair cut was on and of course how good they look with the new hair style. I am not one to proclaim to a child “if you do this, you will be rewarded with that” But a big hug and a treat at the end of the hair cut would make all boo-boos disappear. 🙂
How did your first hair cuts go? What helped you get through them?