Getting your child's hair cut can be intimidating for both the child and the parent. But it doesn't have to be! A local Jersey City mom shares her experience and we gather tips for a great experience from our neighbors at The Hair Room JC.
About the author: Lindsay Donnelly is a first-time-mom and new resident of Jersey City experiencing life with her toddler, Lolli. She’s a former NYC fashion stylist and graduate of Univ. of Florida Journalism school. Follow them around town on Instagram: @Lawadelton and #Lolligramz
Recently, I noticed that my beautiful toddler's hair was looking more like a helmet, or a mullet, than any sort of desirable hairstyle. It had grown beyond the messy sweet baby hair, and become an actual statement reminiscent of Joe Dirt. Since putting a pony tail on a squirming 2-year-old is more difficult than solving a Rubik's cube, I knew it was time to consider getting her a trim.
I turned to my usual resources, Facebook and Instagram - but still had many questions on the topic. When was the appropriate age for a hair cut? Did I need to find a special child-trained hairdresser? Am I supposed to save a lock of her baby hair with a pink ribbon tied around it in my jewelry box for the rest of time?! (Pretty sure my mom did that for my sister, the firstborn.)
One afternoon I decided to just pull the trigger and stopped into the salon I frequent and love, The Hair Room. I was greeted by Sibel and Maria. They both took a look at the situation happening on my daughter's head, and diagnosed very quickly that they could help. I was nervous about putting her in the chair, not sure if she would scream and cry, but I knelt down to her and tried to get her excited about getting her 'fancy haircut.'
Maria suggested she sit on my lap for the haircut which put my daughter right at ease. (I was a little nervous, thinking, well how can I get all my pictures to document this if she's on my lap?! But alas, where there's a will to 'gram it, there's a way. My pics are at the end.) I also think it helped that my daughter has been to this salon with me before, so it wasn't a completely new or intimidating space to her.
Maria put a cloak around us and presented her with a Minnie Mouse toy. "Oh yes Maria, way to save the day," I thought. My daughter happily went through all of the details on that Minnie doll and Maria engaged her frequently counting the buttons on her dress, or the flowers in the vase on the vanity. Another amazing thing is the Hair Room has cute pink bags of popcorn that we snacked on after Minnie conversations had worn out.
Because my daughter's hair is new and not too long, the haircut took less than ten minutes. I honestly had a harder time getting her to leave than to stay! The Hair Room has a very cute little vintage vending machine for kids with toys/candy that is a fun reward once completed.
All in all, I was so happy with the experience and shared the pictures and videos with all of our friends and family to document the day. The first hair cut can definitely be a special, happy memory for your child with a little focus on making it fun, and a hair stylist that is confident with children. Maria is a mother herself and knew exactly when to chime in and when to take advantage of a rare still moment.
For anyone wondering about when to get their child's first hair cut, I asked the team at The Hair Room to put together their best tips and speak from the many experiences they have had. Read below for their responses!
1) What are your best general tips for your child's first hair cut?
"Getting haircuts, together! Especially the parent going first, just so your child can see that it’s not scary and will be much more calm about their first cut. Any T.V. show or movie to watch while getting a haircut helps, too." - Colie"Bring a bribe, a favorite toy, favorite snack, something to reward the with, if the child seems uncomfortable sitting by themselves be prepared to let them sit on your lap." - Sibel"Bring something to distract child, like small toy/favorite snack. Depending on the age of the child, you should prep them a couple days before their appointment (talk to them, explain what might happen)" - Maria
2) When is the right age to bring a child in for a hair cut?
"There is really no age limit. There are different hair textures and different ways lengths grows out." - Colie"It depends on how much hair they have in their first year brand new hair always grows out longer in the back first, once it starts to look like a mullet it’s time to get it evened out, whenever it goes in their eyes." - Sibel"At 2/3years of age, its ok to begin thinking of a child first hair cut because they understand what's happening around them." - Maria
3) Any no-no's for bringing a baby/kid to the salon?
"Scheduling an appointment before nap or bed time can be challenging." - Colie"Recognize when your child is uncomfortable and end the moment, don’t create an unnecessary fear of the hair salon by forcing them to get it cut even when they are screaming." - Sibel"Try to brush out any knots the child might have before coming to their appointment; we want them to enjoy their first haircut experience. Also, we want to give the child all the attention. Please try to leave any other children at home if possible." - Maria
4) Any personal stories or experiences that were fun when you cut a young child's hair?
"Putting on Finding Nemo for this little boy’s first haircut, he was 3 years old. He was very nervous about cutting all of his long, thick hair off. I saw that he had a lot of Finding Nemo toys with him and we talked about the movie and how much I love it. He totally felt at ease and was much more comfortable with letting me cut his hair after I told him that was one of my favorite movies." - Colie"I love babies, getting a child to laugh and be comfortable is always a great memory for me." - Sibel
For more information on The Hair Room JC check out their website here!