This is a collaborative post with Johnson’s Baby.
In the past few weeks, both Pickle and I have had our hair cut. Which may not sound like much to write a blog post about, but it was Pickle’s very first professional haircut so it marked a huge milestone. Getting your child’s hair cut is weirdly emotional… and I can’t quite pin down the reason why. Is it because it always makes them look more grown up? Is it because (particularly in Pickle’s case) it took such a long time for him to grow what hair they had, that it seems like a shame to chop it off? Is it because we’re purposefully choosing to alter their physical identity?
Whatever it is, it’s emotional. And I was there (just like many parents before me), tin foil in hand, ready to catch those gorgeous golden locks of hair to treasure and keep. Not entirely sure what I’ll do with it for the decades to come, but I know I’m not the only sentimental one out there to do the same.
Preparing for their first Haircut
Although it was Pickle’s first time at the hairdressers, I had made (quite frankly awful) attempts at cutting his hair myself before. I am not a hairdresser. And the result was a bit amateur to say the least… but I knew from that how tricky it was to keep him still. I tried doing it whilst he was preoccupied in his high chair, I tried when he was in the bath – but whatever I did, he wasn’t going to let me cut it without a fight or a fidget.
I asked on Instagram Stories for any advice any other parents had, and took all of them on board – and thank goodness, they worked! I honestly couldn’t believe how well behaved he was: so comfortable and relaxed. It could have just been a happy coincidence, but here’s what I did in the run up to his haircut, with the last point being particularly effective.
Tips for your Child’s First Hair Cut
- Find a salon that is known for doing children’s hair: I asked my friends for local recommendations of where to have Pickle’s hair cut, so I was able to learn from their experience where was worth going, and where was best to avoid. Just because a salon is brilliant at doing adult hair, doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing when it comes to putting children at ease.
- Talk to them about it beforehand: as soon as I booked the appointment, I started talking to Pickle excitedly about his upcoming haircut and preparing him for what would happen.
- Pack lots of snacks: I had a bag full of raisins, oat bars, rice cakes, carrot puffs…. you name it, I had it in my bag. A little box of raisins is always my go-to choice when I want him to be still, whether that’s at the cinema, the theatre or now the hairdressers.
- Arrive early: I purposefully arrived ten minutes before our appointment and wonderfully, there was a boy sat having his haircut as we came in. It meant I could sit with Pickle, point out all that was going on and talk to him about the other boy having his hair cut. I pointed out how still the boy was being, and how it wasn’t hurting him. We marveled at the sound of the trimmer and hairdryer together, and laughed at the water spray bottle.
The salon we went to had a special brightly coloured gown for children to wear, and even had a sweetie jar as a little treat too. Although they didn’t have a special shaped seat (I’ve seen other salons with special seats that look like cars or carriages), they did have a booster seat for children to sit on and Pickle loved watching in the mirror.
Baby and Toddler Hair is Different to Adult Hair
As I stood next to him, marveling in disbelief at how well behaved he was being, it reminded me of all that I’d learned at our second Johnson’s Baby Ambassador event. I had no idea how biologically different hair is from when we are born, to when our hair matures at about twelve years old. The structure and properties of my hair, is so very different to Pickle’s, which is why we both need hair care products that are specially formulated.
Primary Terminal Hair
From around the age of one year old, toddler hair is classed as primary terminal hair. Before this, that gorgeous baby-fine hair can only grow a minimal amount. Once a child starts getting their primary terminal hair, this can grow two to three times thicker than their baby hair, and up to four times in length.
If we do a quick comparison, you can see the changes in Pickle’s hair from the super fine baby hair here when he was about eleven months old…
… to much thicker and longer hair just a few months later. I think it’s quite clear from these photos that it’s not just hair that’s grown longer, but the strands themselves are so much thicker, carrying more weight and beginning to look more like the hair we have as adults.
Secondary Terminal Hair
Pickle won’t reach the next phase of his hair until he reaches puberty, at around twelve years old. His secondary terminal hair will be thicker again (up to five times as thick as his baby hair), and could grow up to seven times longer. What this means, is that the hair he has now, needs the same care for potentially the next ten years. And he won’t be ready to start using adult shampoo until then.
A Johnson’s Family for a while longer…
It’s good news then, that we’re such fans of Johnson’s Baby, as their range of baby and children’s shampoos will be long on our bathroom shelves.
Disclaimer: this is a sponsored #ad post as part of my Ambassadorship with Johnson’s Baby. All content, ideas and views are my own but, as always, remain honest and genuine. If you’d like to read more about my relationship with Johnson’s Baby, have a read of my introductory ambassador post.