“I think it’s time for my 18-month-old son to have his first haircut. Do you have any tips for how to prepare him for it?” asks mum Emily Davis, from Nottingham.
Sarah Ellis is the owner of Juniors Hair Salon in Surrey, juniorshair.com - she says:
I run a salon that caters for youngsters, and my first tip would be to find a child-friendly salon.
If there’s not a specialist salon near you, it’s worth asking around for recommendations.
In the lead up to the appointment, brush, stroke and play with your child’s hair as much as possible, to help him get used to the feeling of having his hair touched.
Book the appointment at a time of day when your little boy is happiest. If he’s late for his lunch or overdue a nap, he won’t want to be fussed with by a stranger, which can make it a distressing experience for both of you.
Arrive at the salon five to ten minutes prior to your appointment, so your child can get used to the surroundings and get settled before he has his haircut.
Some salons have special chairs for children, but if your son doesn’t like the chair and gets upset, ask the stylist if he can sit on your lap.
Distraction is the key to success at this age. I couldn’t get through a day at the salon without a pop-up toy. It is so simple, but it is extremely effective at keeping little fingers busy while I’m cutting their hair.
A favourite book will also help hold his attention, or you could surprise your son with a new toy he can play with to keep him busy.
Taking snacks can also be helpful – a custard cream has got me out of a lot of tricky situations in the past!
Finally, always mention to the hairdresser that it’s a first haircut, as they may well give him a certificate and even a photo to mark this important milestone, and remember to take an envelope with you for that all-important first lock of hair!