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!