At-home haircuts for kids 0
"You should really plan on the timing of it with children," says Kimberly Irwin, owner of Haircuts on Wheels. "Especially small children. You never want to plan it near their nap time, and they should have a full stomach." (Thinkstock.com)
It's finally here: Back to school time. But those shaggy locks of summer vacation won't do in the classroom. Save money, and help your kids look sharp on their first day back to school by turning your kitchen into a salon.
A home haircut may seem easier than dragging a grade-schooler kicking and screaming to the hairdresser, but cutting your child's hair is not as simple as grabbing some scissors and having at it.
Expert home hairdresser Kimberly Irwin, owner of Haircuts on Wheels in Toronto, has had her share of uncooperative clients. Her mobile haircutting service means she cuts the hair of people of all ages - right in their own homes.
"You're a scary person with scissors," says Irwin, about how her youngest clients perceive her.
To avoid the tears, Irwin has developed a number of tricks.
If a child is tired or hungry, they can be squeamish before you even sit them in the chair.
"You should really plan on the timing of it with children," says Irwin. "Especially small children. You never want to plan it near their nap time, and they should have a full stomach."
To make the experience an enjoyable one, Irwin distracts the child with a portable DVD player and a family film.
"Once they're watching a movie, they don't even remember that you're cutting," she says. "We even do it in the backyard in the summer when it's nice out."
Before you begin cutting, wrap a towel around your child's shoulders and dampen their hair using a spray bottle. Comb out every tangle.
For short hair, begin with the hair at the base of the neck. Grab a small section between your index and middle fingers and smooth out. Cut just below the bottom of your fingers until you get your desired length.
Grab a new section, taking a bit of hair from the previous section and using it as a measure for how much to cut off. Repeat this process, working from the back to the top and front of the head.
For long hair, draw a smooth line with your comb around the base of the skull. Take all the hair except for the bottom layer and pin or tie it to the top of the head. Cut the bottom layer the desired length, pulling sections out with your middle and index fingers. Drop down another layer of hair from the bundle on the top of the head and use the previous layer as a measure when cutting.
To cut the bangs, create a part with a comb and brush the hair forward. Pull straight away from the face between your middle and index fingers and cut.
When you're done, reward your patient child with a lollypop and coloured gel or sparkles for their hair.
Just remember to put the scissors away - out of reach of your kids.
"My daughter just gave herself a Joan Jett," says Irwin. It'll certainly make an impact after Labour Day.
What you'll need:
1. Scissors - Don't intimidate your child with giant sheep sheers, especially if this is their first haircut. A small pair will do. Just stay away from your kids' craft scissors. If they can't cut paper, they're not suitable for hair.
2. A spray bottle - Dampening your child's hair will make for a clean, even cut.
3. A towel - Wrap a towel around your child's shoulders to prevent clippings from getting all over and under his or her clothing.
4. Paddle brush and comb - Don't get tied in a knot over your child's messy 'do. A flat, wide brush is handy for removing tangles, especially in long hair. A comb is key to making precise parts.
5. A distraction - This is possibly the most important tool a home hairdresser can have. Small children in particular can get nervous about having their hair cut. Provide them with something to take their mind off the anxiety, like a movie.