There are lots of “firsts” you’ll get to experience with your child in their lifetime but one of our personal favorites is baby’s first haircut.
Some babies are born with full heads of wild hair and never lose it, therefore forcing their parents to give them a trim within the first 6 months of life.
For others, baby’s first haircut can feel like the moment when they transition from “baby” to “toddler”.
Haircuts can even have a religious and cultural significance. In Jewish families, they see little boy’s hair as “the tree of life”. And since according to Leviticus 19:23 one is not permitted to eat fruit that grows on a tree for the first three years, a boy’s first haircut will be after they turn 3 years of age.
So let’s talk more today about baby’s first haircut. When is the right time for your child and what’s the best way to go about it.
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When Should I Cut My Baby’s Hair for the First Time?
Ultimately, the best time to get baby’s first haircut is whenever you want.
There is no right answer for all of us though there are a few things to consider like cultural traditions, personal preferences, and practical concerns.
Here’s what the Moms At Odds did for their babes:
Jo – I cut my first baby’s hair when he was about 1 1/2 because it was starting to look messy.
Mind you, Ry was born with very little hair and remained mostly bald until his 1st birthday – so cutting it prior wasn’t really an option. When it did start to grow it started off cute but eventually came in unevenly. So we took him to get it cut and to straighten it up.
Rachel – I am one to wait to cut baby’s hair.
I can’t help it, I have boys and their curls are just so sweet and baby-ish. I know they will look older after that first cut. It’s a milestone that breaks my heart a little bit so I put it off as long as possible.
My first got his first haircut at 2.5 years old. My second is 18 months and still rocking the baby curls.
Yes, everyone thinks he’s a girl, but oh well.
Where to get Baby’s First Haircut?
Babies and toddlers aren’t exactly known for their ability to sit still. This fact alone can make baby’s first haircut a bit tricky.
Some brave parents decide to cut their baby’s hair themselves. While admirable, remember that this isn’t the same as cutting your husband’s hair. Babies have extremely fine locks and tend to wiggle or turn their heads unpredictably. Many parents report an uneven or unsatisfactory final product or even chickening out halfway through.
If you are determined to attempt your baby’s first haircut at home, I highly recommend checking out this video for some great tips. Have all the right tools at your disposal such as child-friendly clippers, scissors, a spray bottle, a comb, bibs, and plenty of toys. Using clippers with a guard ensures you’re not cutting baby’s hair too short. And remember when using scissors to not cut directly against baby’s skin, always pull it away with your fingers first.
All of that being said, neither of us were brave enough to attempt baby’s first haircut on our own. Both Jo and Rachel chose to take their babies to a salon.
If you’re taking baby to a pro, you definitely want someone who has experience with little ones.
Jo – We went (and still go to!) a hair salon dedicated to kids. They have colorful decor, an “elephant” that washes hair, and Paw Patrol/Sofia the First on repeat.
The stylists are amazing with children and extremely efficient. But I think the biggest benefit is seeing the other children in the salon makes my kids feel calm and relaxed.
Rachel – We took my first son to my husband’s barber for his first haircut.
If you want to go this route, be sure to ask ahead of time if they cut young children’s hair. It helps if you’ve seen other little kids there before too.
Anyway, his barber shop ended up being great with kids. The best part of this option is that now they can go get their haircuts together instead of having to make separate trips.
Tips For Baby’s First Haircut
No matter where you decide to get your baby’s first haircut, here are some tips to make the process go as smoothly as possible!
Let Them Watch First
Salons and barbershops are full of strange sounds and smells that could be overwhelming and scary to your baby. Consider bringing them along for your haircut or an older sibling’s so they can get used to the surroundings without any pressure.
Prepare with a Book
For toddlers, you can introduce the idea of a haircut in a fun way with a book.
I really like this one because it goes through the whole process of getting a haircut. It can help your child know what to expect and hopefully feel more comfortable at the salon.
Schedule Around Nap/Meal Times
Be sure to schedule baby’s first haircut at an agreeable time for them. Avoid nap and meal times to reduce the chance of them becoming cranky.
Toys, books, or even your phone are great tools to both entertain and distract your baby during the haircut. If you bring toys, be sure to bring multiple so you can change them out when they get bored.
Sit on Your Lap
If your baby is upset or too wiggly, ask if they can sit on your lap for the trim. Hopefully having you near will soothe their nerves and calm them. Also it allows you to help keep them still and provide distractions.
Bring a Change of Clothes
A children’s salon might have capes with fun designs, but your little one may still refuse to wear one. Don’t worry about it, hair on clothes is not worth a tantrum. Simply bring an extra set of clothes to change them into afterwards to avoid itchiness.
Save a Lock
Lots of moms opt to save a lock of baby’s hair from their first haircut to remember those precious little curls.
You can save it in an envelope, put it in the baby book, or even get a special baby’s first haircut keepsake box this one.
Another cute idea is getting a baby’s first haircut certificate. Many salons have these available so be sure to inquire about them.
Myths About Baby’s First Haircut
We’ve seen these questions asked countless times on mom boards, so we thought it would be a good idea to address them here.
Does Cutting a Baby’s Hair Make it Grow Faster?
Unfortunately, no. Although when the ends are the same length baby’s hair will appear thicker as it grows back in.
Should Baby Hair be Shaved?
Again, this question centers around the myth that shaving baby’s head will make the hair grow back thicker.
Yes, baby’s head can absolutely be shaved (and many parents prefer this method because the guard makes it easier to cut baby hair safely). However, shaving doesn’t change the scalp’s hair follicles so it won’t make the hair grow back thicker.
Can You Give a Newborn a Haircut?
While the timing of baby’s first haircut is a personal decision, it’s best to wait until baby has some head support (around 3-4 months) before attempting a trim.
Will Cutting Curls Make Hair Grow Straight?
Babies and toddlers can get the cutest curls. Many moms are afraid to touch them for fear of cursing their children to a life of straight hair.
Hair stylists agree that it’s normal for baby hair to change from curly to straight (or even vice versa) and cutting it won’t affect or speed up that transition.