Cutting your child’s hair is easier than you might think! Theresa Wiemer, a 50 year veteran hairstylist, offers tips on how to get them to sit still, the proper way to hold haircutting scissors, and basic beginner techniques for a great home haircut.
Tips on cutting your child’s hair
The most important things to consider before starting a haircut on a child, is their mood. They need to sit still for the cut, so make sure they’re in the right frame of mind. Pick a moment when they’re especially calm.
Theresa's tips! Even if your kids are calm, they can still be squirmy, especially when you’re fussing with their hair. A lollipop or a package of gummies is a great way to keep kids distracted. If you allow screen time, letting them watch their favorite show while they sit is another good strategy.
When cutting hair, it’s EASY to get carried away and cut too much. Always start by cutting less. You can always cut more, but you can’t put it back on, so don't get carried away! If you DO find that you’ve cut too much, don’t worry. A botched haircut only lasts a couple weeks. ;-)
Safety First! Always use caution when cutting a child’s hair. Go slowly, and cut away from the child. If your child isn’t able to sit still, stop and try again later.
Tools for a good cut
The next important part, is having the right tools on hand. Here’s what you need…
· Haircutting scissors (we also recommend thinning shears for beginners)
· Hairdressers cape or towel
· High chair - to save your back
· Blanket for catching cut hair
· Small rubber bands (for a girls cut)
· Lollipop or gummy bears (optional, but recommended)
· Clippers (optional)
· Squirt bottle of water (optional)
How to hold haircutting scissors
Holding haircutting scissors correctly is the key to maintaining control of the scissors and the comb. Hold them in your dominant hand, with your thumb and ring finger.
How to cut a girl’s hair
A simple girl’s haircut is made easier by using rubber bands to section off the hair. Here’s what you do…
1. Wet the hair and comb it straight down, parting the hair down the middle.
2. Part the hair again across the top of the head, ending at the back of the ear. You should end up with four equal quadrants of hair.
3. Working with one section at a time, brush the hair straight down and attach a small rubber band at the bottom of the hair. You will end up with four rubber bands for each quadrant. Make sure the bands are all placed the same distance from the bottom, so the hair is cut at the same length.
4. Cut the hair below the band, then move to the other three bands and cut the rest.
5. If your child has bangs, start at the front. Brush the bangs straight down and hold a small section of the hair between your pointer and middle finger. You can cut straight across for a blunt cut, or at a 45-degree angle (recommended), depending on your preference.
NOTE: Always cut less than you think you need, bangs are easy to over cut!
How to cut a boy’s hair with clippers
The easiest ways to cut a boys hair is with clippers. Simply choose the guard that matches the length of hair you want (Tip: Start longer, then go shorter), and you’re ready to go. Here’s how to do it.
1. Starting in the back of the head at the bottom, hold the clippers at a 90-degree angle and rotate your wrist upward, cutting straight up from the base of the neck.
2. Move around the head in the same fashion, then move to the top by running the clippers front to back.
3. After you’re finished, (if your child is still in good spirits), then you can attempt to clean up the cut. Remove the guard and carefully shape the edges around the neck and ears. Important: Don't cut beyond the hairline!
Theresa's tips! If the buzzing sound from the clippers is scaring your child, let him hold them and explain how they work. For added fun, why not let him cut his own hair? Always supervise for safety, but if the child is old enough, they might find it funny to buzz off their own hair.
For extra brave mammas who prefer cutting a boys hair with scissors, stay tuned for our next (more in depth) blog... "How to give a basic boys haircut with scissors". We'll guide you step-by-step on how to accomplish a more complicated haircut.