Baby’s First Haircut

So for the past few months, Joe’s been saying, “Lillian needs her hair trimmed. At least the bangs. Look, it’s in her eyes.” And I’ve been saying, “Naww! It’s fine.” And to everyone else, it’s been obvious for quite a while now that Joe was 100% right:

Toddler Needs Haircut

I’m not sure what it was — maybe I’d developed some kind of emotional over-attachment to that adorable wispy baby hair that had never been cut since she was born, to the point of being in denial. It was fine, I reasoned. We’ll just transition straight to pigtails… or something. But at 19 months, pigtails have a tendency to not stay in for more than five minutes when you have a curious toddler who likes to pull them out and play with the rubber bands. The same held true for barrettes, headbands, and anything else we might’ve used to keep the hair out of her eyes.

So this past weekend, Joe finally convinced me to trim Lillian’s hair. I was kind of childish and pouty about it, and insisted we take her to an experienced professional rather than having us or a family member try to DIY it. It probably comes back down to that whole emotional thing, but I was really nervous about chopping off even a snip of that pretty red hair.

We came to this decision at around 3:00 pm on a Sunday, and managed to make a same-day appointment at a local place called KidSnips, which specializes in kids’ haircuts. Due to the hasty nature of all of this, we didn’t really do any research beforehand — just a quick phone call to confirm that they’d cut a 19-month-old’s hair, inquire about the price of that (it was $20 for a first haircut), and make an appointment. So we ended up being a little surprised to walk into a place that looked more like a toy store than a hair salon:

KidSnips (Chicago) - Toddler Friendly Hair Salon

I have to hand it to them, these folks were really serious about capturing the “little kid” haircut market. There were bins of balls and toys to be found at kid-level, and a DVD player installed at each station to play a video of the child’s choosing to distract them during the haircut. And in addition to traditional barber chairs, they had seats shaped like trains and cars, with steering wheels for the little kids to “drive” them. In no time, Lillian was settled into a seat shaped like Thomas the Tank Engine with a ball in each hand:

Toddler Haircut in Train Chair

Maybe it was the Care Bears DVD playing straight ahead, or all the other fascinating colorful things to look at, but she did really well and stayed perfectly calm as the stylist worked.

Toddler Haircut

And the end result was a cute little haircut for Lillian, with bangs that would finally not be in her eyes for a change. We opted not to do the blow-drying thing — she was so calm throughout that we didn’t want to push our luck by unnecessarily blowing a bunch of hot air in her face —  so here’s a photo taken while the new ‘do was still a bit damp:

Toddler Haircut, After

The only time she cried out of the whole thing was when we had to leave this whimsical place at the end, and she couldn’t take her new favorite ball with her. (We could have bought it — selling toys was clearly a part of their business model here — but that’s not a habit we want to get into, and by the time we crossed the parking lot and got to the car she was already over it.) So, that probably counts as a ringing endorsement from Lillian! If she could write a Yelp review, it would surely be five stars.

As an added bonus, they apparently give out a “first haircut certificate” complete with a photo and a lock of hair to every little one getting their first haircut, so we also left with this sweet little memento:

First Haircut Certificate

All in all, it was a pretty great first haircut, and seeing how easy it went and how cute it turned out in the end, I felt silly to have resisted for so long in the first place!

To all the parents out there, at what age did you first cut your baby’s or toddler’s hair? Was it something that felt like a big deal, or did you just get out some scissors and snip away? I’d be curious to hear any stories in the comments!


  1. Wow!! That is a really cool place! I wish they had those down here. I think the first time Hayley had a hair cut was when she was about Lillian’s age, and it was just a bangs trim done by my mom. I had to go to a shop with her for the first time when she decided to cut her own hair at around two-and-a half. She chopped off about half of the length in the back. Definitely keep scissors out of Lillian’s reach! Alex had his first cut around the age of two. He did really well, and I still have a lock of his hair from that. Amy had hers from me around one-and-a-half , and it was just the bangs. She did well at the shop when she got her first real cut. I was lucky to have gotten pretty patient hairdressers each time. Lillian looks adorable with her new ‘do!!! I love the certificate they gave you, too. Love you all!

    • It really was a neat little place! Looking it up after the fact, it seems like the reviewers on Yelp found various things to complain about, but considering we were just looking for a place to have a toddler’s hair cut in Chicago, it went quite a bit above and beyond our expectations. Thanks for sharing your kid haircut experiences — Hayley cutting her own hair sounds like it would have been frustrating at the time, though I imagine it’s one of those things you’d look back on years later and laugh! Thanks for reading, and lots of love to everyone down there in Florida! :)

  2. Thank you once again for sharing this with us. Lillian is growing up, and of course that makes us happy to see how well adjusted she is. Just a little sad that we are not there. What a precious little girl!

    • I find myself more in awe of this little girl every day! So happy to be able to share these little stories through this blog, and thanks as always for reading and commenting! :)

  3. We heard about the haircut when you Mom came home, so we had to sign on and see for ourselves . . . Lilly’s new look is wonderful! She is the prettist little girl.

    As for first haircuts, since I don’t have any kids, can’t help you there, but somewhere around here is a picture of me getting my first haircut at 18 months – and it was combined with a perm! that’s the picture – Dad holding my head still while Mom applied the perm solution and curlers! (my hair was so thick and long when I came home from the hospital that the nurses put bows in it!)

    Love you – and so proud of you that you did what you knew was best for Lilly, but not what you particularly wanted.

    • Thanks! In retrospect it was kind of silly to have not wanted it in the first place, haha. That’s amazing that your hair was thick enough as a newborn to come home from the hospital with bows in it, and thick/long enough for curlers at 18 months! Love you back, and thanks for taking the time to sign on and comment here on the blog! :)

  4. Wow, that place certainly knew their stuff! I am going to check around here, but I think that we do NOT have such specialty shops, so I am going to suggest it to some beautician friends who have been moaning about slow work here. Sadly, my memory fails me about first haircuts, though I am pretty sure I saved a lock from each kid (I’ll have to sort the cedar chest). I do recall Rachel giving herself a left-sided lop when she was about 3-4, necessitating using the clippers on her like I did the fellas’ haircuts! Luckily she had a pixie-like face, so the super short do suited her. {{{{{Hugs}}}} to you all, and looking forward to your next visit.

    • They really did seem to know their stuff, especially in terms of keeping the youngest little ones distracted long enough for the stylists to do their thing! And it seems to be a reasonably successful business, since they have several locations around Chicago and the suburbs — so if Pensacola doesn’t already have a kid-oriented hair salon maybe that could be a profitable niche for your beautician friends to fill. Regarding the first haircuts, it’s amusing that kids giving themselves lopsided haircuts seems to be a theme in this comment thread, hehe. Thanks for the share and the comment, and looking forward to seeing all of you during our next visit as well! :)

  5. I love this post. My daughter’s always had insanely long hair, so we had to start cutting her bangs at 6 months. She hasn’t had a haircut (other than that) yet, and now at 2 years old she’s got hair half-way down her back.

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