It’s Baby’s First Haircut! Here’s When and How to Do It Right

baby getting her hair cut

  • You might start thinking about your baby’s first haircut when they’re about a year old.
  • Prepare for your baby’s first haircut with roleplay, books, and plenty of distractions.
  • Take your baby to a salon if you’re not confident enough to do the haircut yourself.

A baby’s first haircut is an exciting milestone that many parents don’t want to miss. It’s the day that your little one loses their fine, wispy baby hair and starts to look like the adorable little guy or girl they’re growing up to be. 

For some kids, it’s no big deal to have their hair cut, and they’ll hardly even notice the scissors as they’re expertly distracted by mom or snacks. For other children, it’s a little trickier. But, with some clever preparation, helpful tips, or a brilliant stylist most difficulties are easily overcome. So, if you’re dealing with mega bed head or a miniature Cousin It, it’s time to start thinking about your baby’s haircut. 

When Should I Get My Baby’s Hair Cut?

While there’s no right or wrong time to treat your baby to their first haircut, it’s usually a good idea to wait until they’re at least 6 months or, ideally, a year old. This is when your baby should be able to sit up and support their own head. Attempting a haircut lying down might be necessary if your child was born with an incredible amount of hair, but it’ll likely lead to a wonky cut.

There’s no age that’s too late for the first haircut. While some babies are blessed with long locks early on, others can remain almost bald until well after their first birthday. Cutting their hair won’t lead to thicker or faster regrowth so there’s no need to go in for the snip unless your child’s hair starts to cause some of the following problems.

  • Hair getting in their eyes – If your child’s bangs get a bit too long they’ll start to get in the way. This can become annoying for your baby, and they may start grabbing at it and trying to pull it aside.
  • Uneven growth – Babies’ hair often grows at different rates and they can lose some due to cradle cap and changing hormones. These can both lead to some interesting styles. Unless mullets or an asymmetric bob is the look you’re going for, you might want to get your baby a quick trim to even it up.
  • Hard to maintain – While long hair on a toddler can be cute, it can also take a lot of time to keep it looking neat. If removing tangles, food, and unidentified sticky substances from your little one’s locks starts to feel like a full-time job, it might be time for their first haircut. 

Getting Baby’s First Haircut at Home or the Salon?

Once you’ve decided that it’s time to get that first haircut you’ve then got to choose whether to attempt it yourself or head to the hair salon for the big day. What’s right for you and your baby will be different from others depending on how confident they are with strangers, how confident you are with doing the cut, and how much hair there is to deal with. 

Here are a few things it’s important to consider before making your choice. 

Head to the Salon if…Stay at Home if…
Your child doesn’t mind strangers.Your child doesn’t have any sensory issues around noisy hairdryers, water spray, or a plastic cape.You don’t feel confident using sharp scissors near your baby.You are worried about giving them a bad haircut.You’ve tried to do it yourself but can’t get your child to sit still.Your child struggles with stranger anxiety and won’t like a stylist touching their hair.Your child has sensory issues that may be triggered by the noises and sensations of a salon.You feel confident that you’ll be able to use the scissors safely.Your little one only needs a quick trim and not a complicated style.You’ve attempted the salon but your little one wasn’t happy.

Don’t worry if neither option is working for your baby and getting that first cut is becoming a struggle. Many areas now have children’s salons to help parents out. They’re experts in keeping kids calm and happy while having their hair cut.

baby brushing her hair

How to Prepare for Baby’s First Haircut

Whether you’re taking your baby to the salon or attempting their first trim yourself, there are lots of helpful tips that’ll make the haircut experience easier. 

Make Your Baby’s Haircut Exciting

Before the big day, talk about it with your child. Let them know how much fun it will be and how nice it’ll be to get the hair out of their eyes or not have to deal with knots and tangles. It might be a good idea to use language like “trim” instead of “cut” as they might associate this with being hurt.

Let Your Child Know What to Expect

Use books, dolls, or roleplay to show your baby what will happen during their first haircut. Let them sit in front of a mirror, have fun with a spray bottle and listen to the hairdryer so they won’t be shocked by any sensations or sounds.

Bring Reinforcements

An extra pair of hands will be incredibly useful for extra distraction at the salon or passing you the comb at home. So, if you have a family member who’s willing to help out, get them involved.

Distraction

Your baby’s age will have a big impact on the most effective distraction. For little ones, just looking at your smiley face in the mirror might be enough. A toddler, however, might like to have their favorite toy or watch videos on a tablet. 

Choose a Good Time

Aim to schedule your baby’s haircut at a time when they won’t be tired or hungry. Don’t schedule it just before nap time or lunch. You or the stylist will have a much easier job if your little one is calm and happy.

baby getting his hair cut

What Style to Choose for Baby’s Hair

Tiny babies often just need their fine hair trimmed and evened out. But, if your child is older and has thicker hair they’ll be able to sport a new haircut that shows off their unique personality. Bangs, bobs, and fades can all look great but require different levels of maintenance.

Try to pick a hairstyle that’ll be most suited to your and your child’s life. Long locks might be great if you have lots of time in the morning and a chilled baby who doesn’t mind having their hair brushed. If you have an energetic toddler who won’t stay still, a short cut that keeps it out of their eyes and food and won’t need detangling would be a good idea.

How to Cut a Baby’s Hair for the First Time

If you’ve decided that you’re going to be the one to give your baby their first haircut, here’s how to do it. 

Before You Start

  • Gather your supplies – At the very least you’ll need hairdressing scissors and a comb. Optional and helpful extras include a high chair or seat that can contain your child, a towel, a cape for them to wear, a spray bottle, and an envelope to keep the first lock of baby hair.
  • Get another pair of hands – Enlist the help of another parent, grandparents, a friend, or another family member. Their job is distraction and keeping your little one still.

The Haircut

  1. Get your baby in their seat or on your helper’s lap with a toy or other distraction.
  2. Cover their clothes with a towel or cape to catch the trimmed hair.
  3. Snip off the first lock to save in your envelope while their hair is still dry. 
  4. Use a spray bottle to wet their hair.
  5. Use the comb to brush a small section of your baby’s hair forward and grip it between two fingers. For short styles hold your fingers vertically and work all around your child’s head. For long styles hold them horizontally at the bottom.
  6. Cut the hair with small, slightly angled snips below your fingers. They are the buffer between the scissors and your baby’s head. 
  7. Move on to the next section cutting a similar length off as the first cut.
  8. Take your time. It’s OK to take a break and come back to it later or the next day.
  9. When trimming around your baby’s ears, protect them with your other hand, or have your helper cover them for you.
  10. Stand back and admire your handiwork. You may need to do a little evening out.
  11. If it’s looking a bit wild, don’t be embarrassed to call the salon. They see DIY baby haircuts all the time. You won’t be the first, or the last.
Baby's First Haircut! When and How to Do it Right


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