Haircuts may not thrill every kid, but eventually your little darling will need one. When and how often they visit their stylist is really up to you, but here’s some trUe advice on kid haircuts. Every child is different, so there’s no set age for a haircut, but as they get older and during warmer months, their hair will grow quicker. If it gets in their eyes, bothers them around their neck, or their sides start to look like wings, it’s probably time for a cut. “Starting at age 10 kids should visit a stylist about every five to six weeks, but not wait any longer than ten weeks” says Kevin Townsend, owner of trUe salon and color café. “The trick to making their visit a memorable and positive experience is working together on what they want and the style that makes them look best. It’s amazing how those who have in-style kid haircuts get a confidence boost. The styles are so diverse too; longer swept bangs (the moppy look on young boys), and short faded sides to long tops give kids the idea they have style.” Townsend, who’s been training stylists in cutting and styling hair for more than 40 years, suggests starting with simple kid haircuts and discussing with the stylist the type of hair your child has (i.e. thin, thick) any style challenges they might face (like a cowlick in the front or on top of the head) and any cuts you’d prefer to avoid (no bowl cuts for you!) Also, make sure your child is in on the conversation. They may not be able to make style decisions just yet but asking them simple questions about what they like (short or long?) will make them feel included in the process and more comfortable in the chair. Explain what’s going to happen and be clear that the process won’t hurt. Ask the stylist to show the tools they’ll use, such as the scissors, blow dryer, cape, comb, etc. You may even want to stand next to your child or within view of them for the first few cuts. After the cut, be sure to praise them for their good behavior (assuming they were good) and how good they look. "The positive experiences they have with the first few cuts will go a long way for future cuts,” Townsend says. “Soon enough they’ll be confident enough to tell the stylists their preferences, and more importantly they’ll feel good about the way they look.”
Other tips for kid haircuts
- Bring them to your hair appointment or to their salon before their cut so they can see what will happen when it’s their turn.
- Avoid using the word “cut,” (say “style” or “trim” instead) so they don’t think they’re going to get hurt.
- Bring a favorite blanket or an extra shirt in case they don’t want to wear the cape.
- Bring a toy or book to keep them busy during their cut.
- Choose an appointment that works for your child – avoid mealtime or naptime.
- Make sure the salon is kid friendly. Call the salon ahead of time to make sure their stylists work with kids.
Finally, make sure you’re getting what you pay for. There are salons tricked out just for kids or have added features to make kid haircuts fun, but they can be expensive. Are you paying for the gizmos and gadgets or the professional stylist? That decision is certainly up to you, but Townsend says that while the experience should be positive, it’s best to find a stylist who really understands how complicated cutting a child’s hair can be and is willing to work with you and your child. trUe’s team goes beyond just a wet cut for kids. They discuss what you and your child want and make sure they get the kind of cut they need now, and then as they form their own opinions, they type of style they want later. Right now for just $24, kids age 14 and younger can get a consult, shampoo/condition, cut, and professional style in one easy visit. It’s a great price for a positive experience that will make them look and feel great.