For some children, hair cuts can be a stressful experience, whether it’s the first time or the twentieth. The North Shore Pediatric Therapy team of occupational therapists has developed a list of ideas to help make those hair cut times easier for you and your child.
How To Help Your Child Get A Haircut
- Heavy work (proprioceptive input) before the hair cut appointment to help organize your child’s body for sitting in the salon chair and tolerating the feel of the hair being moved around on the head. This can include frog jumps, bear crawls, wheel barrow walks, climbing, lifting heavy objects or crawling over large pillows for an hour or so before the hair cut appointment.
- Increase tactile play: Draw in shaving cream or take a shaving cream bath, have a treasure hunt in rice or beans, finger paint or use play dough.
- Facilitate pretend play about hair cuts: Have your child glue yarn (hair) on a Styrofoam ball (head) and have him/her cut the hair on the head.
- Social Stories: Read a story about a child having his/her hair cut so your child knows what to expect.
- Online videos or DVDs: Have your child watch videos of kids and adults getting hair cuts.
- Listen to music during the hair cut: Have your child listen to calming music on headphones during the hair cut.
- No looking!: Have your child’s back towards the mirror during the hair cut. Turn him around when the hair cut is completed.
- Allow your child to stand: If your child prefers to stand, have him/her wear a weighted vest (proprioceptive input) while standing during the hair cut.
- Hair cuts in the shower or bath: A shower or bath may provide a calming environment for your child and he/she may prefer to have his hair cut while in the water.