Why Do Young Kids Hate Getting Haircuts? (The Truth Behind the Fear)

  • By: Sandra
  • Date: March 18, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

It’s a question that has puzzled parents for generations – why do kids hate getting haircuts so much?

Many little ones scream and cry when it’s time for a trim, even if they like their hairstyle.

It seems like such a small thing, but it can be really tough to get your child to sit still through a haircut.

We explore the reasons behind this fear and offer some tips on how to make the experience easier for both you and your child.

There are many reasons your child may have a fear of haircuts

Some kids may feel overwhelmed by the sound or sensation of clippers or scissors snipping. A sensory sensitive child may find the noise of the blow dryer of electric clippers or the whole environment just too much.

Others may be afraid of being hurt, having their hair cut too short, or feeling cold when the cape is put on. When it comes to haircuts, we now understand why babies hated their hats!

Others may hate wet hair being touched by hairdressers or just really want long hair. They might not like their ears or skin being touched, or the feel of anything on their neck.

Many children also associate haircuts with going to the dentist or doctor – activities that are typically associated with pain and discomfort. Or they might just have anxiety of the the room full of adults they don’t know. My own son hated haircuts until I got a friend to do them in our house, and then haircut day became fun!

Whatever the reason, it’s important to address your child’s fear and help them feel comfortable with getting haircuts.

Ideas To Help if Your Child Hates Haircuts

Here are a few tips to help make the experience less traumatic:

  • Talk to your child about why they’re scared and what you’ll be doing during the haircut. Explain that it won’t hurt when you cut hair and that you’ll be there to help them.
  • Let your kid choose their own hairstyle, within reason. This will help them feel more in control and may make the experience less scary. They might not want short hair and that’s fine.
  • Choose a calm and relaxed environment for haircuts. If possible, try to avoid busy salons or barbershops.
  • Make sure the stylist in the hair salon is understanding and patient with your boy and takes the time to talk to your child. Using a familiar person for the first haircut might really help.
  • Bring along a favourite toy or book to help keep them occupied. A comfort object can be anything as long as it helps get their hair cut.
  • Reward them with a special treat after the haircut is done.
  • Maybe do pretend haircuts at home on dolls or stuffed animals etc so they can work through the process. Role-playing is generally great to help children work through issues that they may be facing.
  • If your child is finding it all too much sensory input then explain to the hair salon that the sound of the clippers bothers your child. They might be able to ensure all external noise is kept to a minimum whilst your child is in the salon.
  • Occupational therapy on a child who has a sensory anxiety can really help. Speak to your medical practitioner about this.

By following these tips, you can help make haircuts less scary for your little one.

We asked our parents for more help and this was their top tips:

Be patient – eventually they will be more comfortable getting their hair cut.

Scalp Massage

Have the hair dresser or stylist massage your child’s head. This can really soothe them and help them relax.

Love:

Tell your child how much you love them, and give them a big hug when it’s all over. This will make them feel loved and supported.

Positive Associations:

Help your child form positive associations with haircuts by taking them to get their hair cut at special occasions like birthdays or holidays. This will make the experience feel more special and exciting.

Bring your own supplies

If your child is really scared, you can bring your own supplies and have the haircut done at home. This way, they’ll be more comfortable and you’ll have more control over the situation. Maybe the familiar smell of your own shampoo will help relax them. The hairdresser is normally perfectly happy to be accommodating like this.

Sensory kids

If your child is particularly sensory, you may want to try a sensory friendly haircut. This type of haircut takes into account the child’s sensitivities and offers a more calming experience. More and more hairdresser salons are now experienced in dealing with girls and boys with sensory issues. Its not unusual for your child’s baby growth therapist to be able to recommend a salon that can help.

For sensory kids you can also ditch the buzz cut and ensure something soft is on their neck.

Go during off-hours

If the amount of people in the salon are upsetting your child, then if you can, try to go during off-hours when the salon is less busy. This will help reduce the stress and anxiety for both you and your child.

Whatever you do, don’t force them:

Above all, remember that it’s important not to force your child into getting haircuts if they’re really scared. This will only make them more resistant and may cause long-term problems with hair care. Try using some of the tips we’ve suggested and be patient – eventually, your child will be more comfortable getting haircuts.

Just like the battle with babies hating shoes, over time it will just become normal for most kids to embrace the haircut!

Is it normal for kids to not like haircuts?

Most kids don’t enjoy getting their haircut, but it’s usually because they’re scared or unfamiliar with the experience. It’s important to address your child’s fear and help them feel comfortable with getting haircuts.

You can do this by talking to them about why they’re scared, choosing a hairstyle they like, and taking them to a calm environment. You can also massage their scalp to help them relax, and give them a hug and some positive words when it’s all over. By following these tips, you can make haircuts less scary for your child.

Why do kids cry when getting a hair cut?

It’s common for kids to cry when getting their haircut, especially if it’s their first time. This is because they’re scared or uncomfortable with the experience. Try to help them feel more in control by letting them choose their hairstyle and going during off-hours. You can also massage their scalp to help them relax, and give them a hug and some positive words when it’s all over.

What do you do when your child hates a haircut?

If your child hates their haircut, the best thing to do is be patient and understanding. Try using some of the tips we’ve suggested, like letting them choose their hairstyle or going during off-hours. You can also massage their scalp to help them relax, and give them a hug and some positive words when it’s all over.

Conclusion

It’s common for kids to hate getting their haircut, but with a little patience and understanding, you can make the experience less scary. By talking to them about why they’re scared, letting them choose their hairstyle, and going during off-hours, you can help reduce their anxiety.

You can also massage their scalp to help them relax, and give them a hug and some positive words when it’s all over. With a little effort, you can make haircuts less stressful for your child.

Remember as parents, children will pick up on our stress so set a good example for your toddler. If they are crying or scared, keep calm and don’t make a big deal out of getting a haircut.

Does it really matter? Nobody will judge you as a bad mother because rather than listen to their screaming and make them continue in their struggle, you let them win the fight and have long hair!

And, remember, those photos of their ever so wild hair will look fabulous at their wedding!

Good job mom!