Tantrum in the Salon- How to Get Your Toddler’s Hair Cut

We cut our son, Sergio’s, hair for the first time almost two years ago. His father did it with an electric razor and Sergio was perfectly fine. I kept some hair. Some of the baby’s hair went around the base of my favorite garden member, helping the sickly hosta to grow strong and beautiful, with smooth, bright green leaves. That’s a totally different story, though. No, today I’m going to talk about the temper tantrum in the hair salon.

My son is a great kid, and I don’t mean to sound like all the other moms. Really, he’s way smarter than I am, more friendly, and overall more hilarious than I could ever be. However, he’s got some of my faults in him. He’s very cautious about trying things that could result in pain (maybe not a fault), he gets frustrated easily, and he cries or whines all the time, just like I did. He’s a hoot, and a wonder to me.

Like I said, he’s had a haircut before. Several, in fact. His papá is no hairdresser, however, so most recently, we took him to a local hair salon. My mother was referred to this hairdresser and she does a nice job. Referrals, as most of us probably know by now, are a great way to find your car mechanic, hairdresser, or next favorite book.

As a new mom, I think I know what I will need to bring. Half of the time I’ve got the basics. I forget one thing or another every time. So here’s my list of things to do or bring for the next haircut.

  1. Book your appointment. Duh. Call the salon. Make sure they can schedule your appointment for a time that works for you, (the salon might need notice, too) or ask if they accept walk-ins (not all do). Make sure they can cut children’s hair. After the tantrum I witnessed today, I’m surprised our lovely hairdresser didn’t just throw up her hands and kick us out. She had experience cutting children’s hair, but some may not.
  2. Ask a friend or family member to go with you. My grandmother also wanted a haircut, so she came along for the ride. I have two children now, and I think people often underestimate the difficulty of taking them places. If you have someone to go with you, ask ’em. At least you won’t be embarrassed alone.
  3. Charge your phone! It didn’t help this time, but it might have. Nothing is worse than a dying phone in the hands of a thoroughly entertained toddler.
  4. Pack your bag or purse with the stuff you will need: candy (yes, as a bribe), an extra diaper if the toddler is not potty-trained, (If your tot is potty-trained…well, aren’t you special), an extra T-shirt because there will be hair, a favorite snack (don’t rely on the stale stuff they may or may not have at the salon), and some water to cool everyone down after the fight. I also needed to bring the baby’s bottle, her diaper necessities, and an extra muslin blanket. She’s perfect so I didn’t need toys for her (she is interested in everything around her). If you have two (or more) rowdy babies with you, I’m sorry.
  5. Wash your hair. Or the child’s hair. Whoever is getting a haircut should have clean hair. You don’t want to be gossip for the next client.
  6. Prepare for the worst. I thought everything would go smoothly, since Sergio has done this before, but I was so wrong. He screamed and tried to push her hands away as she combed his hair. He almost wriggled out from my arms as she clipped and snipped. Afterward, he continued to scream and beg for candy. As previously stated, I always forget something.
  7. Don’t forget that this is something new for your son or daughter. Try not to get upset, it can only worsen the situation. As my son stood, yelling into my face in front of the surprised hairdresser, (“He’s got some lungs, don’t he?”) I wondered why I had even bothered. His dad could just do it. But I took Sergio outside, knelt and spoke to him at his level, and he calmed somewhat, better able to cope with the unknown situation. I have to remember, before everything else, to bring along my patience and look at things from Sergio’s point of view.
When all was said and done, he took to a hat.