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How To Keep Your Kid Happy In The Salon

How do I keep my child happy in the Salon?

If you are asking this question you are not alone!


Every parent (or caretaker) must conquer the salon experience. 

Lets face it folks! Even the most well behaved child will get fussy when bored, or worse, when they’re scared! So take some tips form me. I’m not only a beautician but a single Mom too!

First things first.

Let's discuss what to do during the wait time.

If you’re on the ball you will not only book an appointment in advance, but you will call 20 minutes before your appointment to see if your hairstylist is on schedule. This way you won’t waste “good behavior time” before you even get a chance to get started.

If the appointment is for you I suggest bringing an activity bag. 

Never count on the salon or stylist to provide toys or books.

Instead pack a bag with washable crayons (you know why I say washable), coloring books, blank paper, older toys like cars, action figures, dolls, or anything that you can easily clean hair off of. Avoid stuffed animals or things made of cloth for they are harder to clean hair off of.

Even if no one in your family is getting an actual “haircut” there will always be hair floating around somewhere. Even in the cleanest salon.

A word of caution: A hair is very sharp once cut. It can work it’s way into your pores easier than a splinter.

If it goes unnoticed it will keep working its way into the skin deeper and deeper. When this happens it will almost always cause an infection.   Infants can not tell you what is hurting them. So be more careful with them in the salon. No stuffed animals or blankets! Dress them in old clothing . Bring a change of clothes to put them in after they get their hair cut.

Most hairdressers use the blow dryer or a neck brush to get the hair off of people when they're done. This gets rid of minimal hair!

Dusting the neck with baby powder will dry the wet hair and make it come off easier.

Another thing.

I find it disgusting to use a public neck brush!

Instead buy a cheap powder brush from the make up section at the store. The bigger the better. Also buy a travel size bottle of baby powder. Most salons have talcum powder which is geared towards adults. The younger the child the more sensitive the skin so just bring your own.

One other thing I highly recommend is to buy one of those lint rollers that are made of that sticky fly paper stuff.

Use the lint roller on the dirty clothes to get off the resistant hairs that can’t be shaken off. It not only keeps hair from getting on other clothes in the wash , but it keeps the hair out of your car. It will help get hair off of hard to clean strollers and car seats too.

You don’t want to get in the car a few days later and get poked with hair all over again!

I recommend finding a walk in salon for children, or a barber shop for boys.

There are no appointments necessary at these establishments. You can call on your cell phone ahead of time to see how long the wait is and you might even be able to reserve a spot in line over the phone. 

If you are stuck waiting in the lobby and forgot your activity bag don’t sweat yet!

Try flipping through the hairstyle books. Teach your child how to pick a hairstyle by showing them how to find pictures that have hair similar to their own.

“This child has curly hair like yours. This child has fine blonde hair like you do.”

Play a game with them. Tell them to think of someone that they know. Ask them to find that person’s hairstyle in the books. Then ask them to flip through the pages and find a new style for that person.

Play the I- spy game or 20 questions.

Peek-a-Boo works great on infants. So does picking them up and walking them around while showing them all the colorful shampoo bottles.

A little imagination can go along ways.


Now here is the part you’ve been waiting for.

This is a secret most of my customers want to know.

The hard part is actually getting your child through the initial haircut.

First ask yourself why you think your child is fussy.

Do they need a nap?

Are they hungry?

Do they fear strangers.?

Is it the loud clippers or the sharp scissors.?

Are they bashful?

Maybe it's your child's first haircut.

If you can get down to the main reason of the problem will be simpler to solve.

For example:

I once had a little girl who was petrified of me. She had beautiful long hair that was commented on wherever she went. Her father insisted that she never cut it. He jokingly told her that if she ever cut it she would never be the same again. This was when he caught her with a pair of scissors in her hand ready to experiment on her beautiful long hair.

Somehow, someway, in her young imaginative mind, she translated what her dad said, into, her hair would never grow back, and that I would cut it all off. Now imagine what she thought when her mom actually took her to the salon. Well I suggested that Daddy bring her himself and get his own haircut at he same time.

We talked with her about how long his hair had gotten since I saw him last and how fast it grew back. We joked and laughed and after that she was fine.

Boys are often afraid of clippers and scissors. It’s best to warn them that the scissors are sharp enough to cut so they should sit still.

Never tell them that their ear will get cut off. You don’t want to traumatize them.

You may tell them that if they don’t sit still the poor hairdresser will probably cut her finger.

The haircut may not look as good as it should.

Or that the whole experience will take longer because they keep moving.

Little kids need to feel secure so it’s good to describe a hair cut experience before they go through it. Then point out the different steps other customers go through while waiting for your child’s turn.

“Look Honey, that woman is getting a shampoo it looks like it feels food. That man is using the trimmers. They look like they tickle. That little boy got a balloon. He must of sat very still. What a big boy.”

When the drape goes on your child expose their hands. Place something in each hand like a toy. I would put a comb in each hand and for some reason they would never try to comb their hair with either of them.

When the clippers turn on I would say:

“Wow these are noisy huh? That’s because they have a motor in them like a car. They also have a guard so they can’t cut you.” 

Then I’d run the blade over my fingers to demonstrate. Then I’d do it to the parents fingers. Last I’d ask the child if they’d like to touch it. Then I’d tell them that it might tickle so try not to wiggle while I moved it through their hair. 

If you’re a fast talker the haircut is over before you know it.

If I haven't made it a point yet I will now!

Sometimes just getting the hair off your child will make them feel better.

Who wants to be itchy?!






This was originally reproduced by permission of Melissa at askabeautician

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