My 2-year-old is scared to get a haircut: How can I make it less traumatic?

My 2 (almost 3) year old is extremely scared to get his hair cut. He cries, screams, and clings onto me and won’t calm down for 10-15 mins. We’ve tried clippers and scissors. I’ve tried taking him to different barbers, and I’ve tried doing it my self. I’ve tried letting him see his favorite movie/show, giving him candy, his favorite toy, blowing bubbles, playing music, letting him see himself in the mirror, and NOTHING seems to work. Have any of y’all had this issue? What advice does y’all have to make the experience less traumatic?


Try letting the kid watch while you get a hair cut to see its not scary

1 Like

Let his hair grow until he wants to cut it or outgrows this fear. He’s a toddler. I wouldn’t continue stressing him or yourself out with this.


If it were me I just wouldn’t make him get a hair cut. But what worked for my son on his laat hair cut was letting him use the trimmers on my arm to show him it didn’t hurt. Then we worked up to showing on his arm that it didn’t hurt. Then he let me cut his hair! But I had to remind him multiple times before it was done that it didn’t hurt by letting him trim my arm.

1 Like

Play hair dresses at home make it fun
Go and just sit at hair dressers and just let him watch
Sit him on your lap
It will take a few goes before he feels safe but patients works

We did it with the dentist she loved it now

1 Like

Don’t make him get a hair cut. If you know an experience is stressful or traumatic, what is the point of forcing it?


Get a squirt bottle and let him spray you! It was the only way my son would sit halfway still when he was younger! He thought it was so funny and didn’t even realize what was happening!

1 Like

Yeah, you need to hold them still maybe 2-3 people, it will be better for about year or two

We give mine popsicles :yum:

1 Like

My lil man had to watch his big bro get his head shaved first so maybe letting him watch someone he looks up to get it done first so he knows it’s not scary

1 Like

What I had to do to get my 2 year old to get his hair cut was he sat on my lap and I had his favorite movie (toy story) on my phone. It let him sit for a good 10mins

I took my son when he was half alsleep, half up, i gave him a snack and a toy. He sat down the whole time and didnt cry.

Just let it be for now. He’ll eventually want his hair cut sooner or later but don’t force it. Cause I did n my son was terrified until about a year ago and now he’s good with it.

1 Like

My son sat on my lap for a cut until he was 5.

My son did this until he was 4 or almost 5. He outgrew it. I always waited like 6 months between haircuts lol

Try putting a mirror in front of him so he can watch.

Instead of using the word cut try saying let’s get your hair done :blush:

Don’t get his hair cut

Is he scared of the clippers and scissors or the haircut itself? If he’s scared of the tools then try to get some toy versions or kid safe versions he can play with. I left my son play with the clippers and just let them run for a while until he got used to the noise and he’s still wary of them but does a lot better. If it’s the cutting maybe get some cheap dolls and let him cut their hair it might make it less scary.

My 14 year old finally got used to them like 2 years ago. Still hates it but wants to look “cooler” now. He would scream and cry also make himself sick. Said it hurt his hair to have it cut. We still wait months between cuts. The buzzers scared him the most.

My son was the same way so I gave him my phone and put mickey mouse on to distract him almost him play with the buzzers first thats what my hair styles did for him so he was less scared

Oh yes I had this exact same issue. Places like Great Clips and the salon inside Wal-Mart was the worse. We finally found the perfect place and refuse to go anywhere. We didn’t do anything special. We just simply found the sweetest lady who actually cared, took her time and was extremely patient :heart:

Some hairstylists specialize in cuts for kids // cuts for those with special needs! Maybe try to find one in your area!

I’d put my son on my lap for his haircut.

My son was 3 1/2 and terrified. However he wanted a mohawk so we did just that

1 Like

Suggestions. Put a sheet on the floor with a chair in front of the tv.have him watch his favorite show. Also say a hair trim. A cut sounds like he may get hurt. Also ask if he can sit on your lap for the trim. Bring your phone and have him watch his show.( I’ve been cutting /trimming hair for 40 years. If you can hold his head still and work with the stylist . it’s much quicker and appreciated. A lollipop after is also nice.

Have you tried having him watch you get your hair cut? I know several people that this had worked for the dentist.

1 Like

My son is still scared but does much better. We go to same place, same person and the week before everyday I talk to him and say we are getting a haircut Saturday. I made buzz noises and scissors and pretend to cut his hair. He used to sit on my lap but now he will sit. He still gets upset but it gets better . We ask always get a treat afterwards and they give him a balloon

Maybe it isn’t fear? My son is 5. He has some mild sensory processing disorder and the feeling of the (cut) hair on his neck, ears, and face bothers him terribly. So while he does better now than he did at 2, he still struggles. Whoever cuts, needs to be quick because he gets very anxious. I usually give him YouTube as a distraction and that buys some time and helps him sit still.


Will he sit on your lap?

Just go sit in the barbers shop and let him watch other’s getting cuts. Spend an hour two or three times.

1 Like

My sister actually does her boys when they’re sleeping

1 Like

My oldest son was like that, then we had a woman hairdresser do it, he felt non threatened by a woman for whatever reason

See if you can sit with your child for the first one? I used to have to sit my brother on my lap when we’d go to the dentist because he was scared.

Speaking from experience have you tried a telephone. And a good barber who knows kids. Maybe even earphones and favourite music… could be sounds…autistic trates

1 Like

My son is 4 and still fights them! Most of the time I just do his hair. It may just take time or trying every suggestion out there

Do it while he’s eating lunch. Just pretend to play with his hair

Let him sit on your lap

1 Like

I’m 29 and still scared oh hair cuts

1 Like

My daughters barber gave him a squirt gun. Everyone got wet but his hair got cut

Have him watch you get a haircut or have it at the same time.

I unfortunately have had to resort to shaving my son’s head myself. I brought him to a barber shop and he absolutely freaked out. I I could not get him to step foot into one again. He freaks out at home but at least it’s in my bathroom.

Take him to someone that specializes in children haircuts! There are ways to make it less scary… the first few times you might not be able to get a styled cut but you’ll get it shorter… also take him in and just meet the stylist they should be able to just sit you in the chair and let him hangout and talk with him so that he geta use to the person. As a stylist myself I always give the kids a chance to hold my clippers and feel that the guard doesn’t hurt/wont cut them… also rewards if you get your hair cut we can go to the park or go get ice cream…

1 Like

There are many great suggestions above, have you read to him? There are specific children’s books about it. Redirect Notice

I’d let him watch some YouTube videos of other kids getting hair cuts. Cute ones, funny ones, etc. Might make him feel better.

Take him to someone who specializes in autistic kids hair cuts. Sounds like maybe mild sensory issues. My daughter is a stylist . Since her bonus son has sensory issues she is learning to deal with similar kids. It’s amazing how these girls interact with the little ones.

I let my baby girl watch mine get cut, she got to play with the water bottle and got a treat… Then she got her trimmed… I tend to do at home cuts on both my daughter and I, I also do my own color and color correction … Im not a cosmo but I watched my mom go Through school and picked up alot… I had her watch me at the dentist too…i think it takes away alot of the anxiety if they see you go through it first…or have them help In some way and watch when you are getting it done… Like hold the comb or the sprayer for the person cutting the hair

Let em have long hair. Sheesh.

I’m a barber and cut kids hair. I have had little ones get scared but I take my time and let them touch everything. Clippers and all. I let them play with the duster brush and spray bottle. They get all the combs they want. Watch movies on my phone. Suckers. I also have stuffed animals. Leo the Loin and Belle the Unicorn. My littles love the interaction and it’s easier to cut their hair. May not work in your case but that’s what works for me. Good luck


Literally my son. I just got finished cutting his hair while he was sleeping. He slept right through it, now fingers crossed it’s even when he wakes up

Same here! My son is same age and he’s due for a haircut and I am dreading it. I used to be a stylist. I stopped doing it professionally like 8 years ago. I was never really good with cutting kids hair as it is. Now my little one just fights and fights. I’ve tried letting him hold the clippers (he threw them on the floor!) and I give him the water bottle and comb. I give him his tablet. I’m definitely gonna try showing him videos on YouTube of kids getting their haircut. I was thinking I would take him to my moms to do it when my nephew is due for one. He’s the same age as my son.

Let him cut your hair

My son had sensory issues and had to sit on my lap until he was 5.

My oldest was the same way. It used to take 3 of us to hold him still. It wasn’t it until we made it a race with the kid next to us that he sat still and has been great ever since.

I’ve learned hair isn’t worth fighting about. Try not to make a big deal of it. Play with his hair frequently. Have him watch videos of other kids getting haircuts. Take him with when you or his other parent/grandparents etc get theirs cut.

Let him cut a very small piece himself to get started

Maybe see if he can sit on your lap and have the barber cut it that way

My son can’t stand the clippers next to his ears and the sound that they make gave him my phone and a pair of headphones that helps some and he’s 12. sounds like that bother him he used to cry so we did it at home and found what works best for him now instead of a half hour it takes maybe 10 minutes

I hear ya! My son was absolutely petrified of getting it cut so we introduced him to haircuts by watching his grandad and his dad get theirs done from a distance and little by littlr he wasn’t fazed by the noise of the clippers… to the point where he will let me do it for him willingly now. Also kitkats …

If it’s traumatic, let it grow and try again in a few months when he can understand better

Maybe let him help cut daddy’s hair or grandpas or even a friends hair cuz some just don’t realize it is safe till they do it to someone else

Yes but my son has autism and doesn’t like clippers near his head so I just stopped cutting it because the last time he cried and screamed and I felt bad so luckily his hair doesn’t grow that fast. Maybe try getting clippers close to his head to feel the vibration maybe he will get used to it… I bought some silent baby clippers from amazon essnu is what they are called. but he still hates it. Good luck or do it whiles he asleep if you can

My son was the same way I would sit him down with the stylist and pretend I was going to the bathroom and walk away. If you are nit there he may not cry. Of course I knew the stylist and knew she was safe.

Take him to a place where he can watch other children get their hair cut or if he has a friend who gets his hair cut, have him go with him so he can watch. So he can see it doesn’t hurt. Give him time. Be patient❤️

Dont cut it till hes ready

Take him to a real barber shop where there is no kid music playing or extra stimuli…my son was that way but we found that taking him to an actual barber he loosened up and didn’t fight


Keep asking for advice. I would probably just wait until he is older. Work on cooperation skills with him. My son didn’t like sitting still for as long as it took to cut his hair. So I would cut it in sections for three days in a row. He had beautiful thick hair. A difficult idea is to cut it in his sleep if he isn’t a light sleeper or moves a lot in his sleep. If you don’t like those ideas I hope you find one.

Have him watch dad get his hair done a few times then give lots of compliments on how dad was so brave and how good his hair looks then hand the boy his own scissors and let him try then the barber can finish up.

1 Like

I cut my son’s hair while he was in the bathtub until he was 3-4. Then I cut it still at home. He hated the beauty shop. I told there was a rule that he couldn’t go to first grade unless he went to the beauty shop and got a big boy haircut. He shrugged and said ok!


We used to have to get my husband’s hair cut at the same time. My husband would go first. Then my son. They would get matching hair cuts because thats the only way we could my son to agree to it. Haha he thought it was cool to match daddy.
Now he’s 4 and he doesn’t really care. He’s fine letting anyone cut it

My son has been like this since he was a baby- screams, thrashes, cries. He absolutely hates haircuts. He has sensory issues and hates the feel of hair on him, but resists ways we try to keep hair off him. He’s six now and still does this. Everything we’ve tried doesn’t help. I keep hoping in time it will get better.

1 Like

My oldest grandson was like this and thankfully he outgrew it. Our solution during the difficult years was to have him sit on his daddy’s lap. The stylist wrapped a drape around both of them and they both got a little “hairy” but it got the job done. As he got older he settled for a kid oriented place where he could play video games and the stylist worked really fast.

1 Like

I have grandson that is now 12 but he has down syndrome so when he was little it took 2 of us I would get at his level look him straight in the eyes put my hands on his cheeks so he would look at me we would sing nursery rhymes and do the ABC it didn’t work right away but it did


I am a strong believer in taking the kids to places like barber, dentist, doctors. I took my children since they were babies. Since they went as babies and heard the sounds and were able to see what is going on long before anything was done to them they were fine when it came the time for them to be worked on. If fact they knew exactly what to do where to go and what the reward is when they were done. This way neither of them were afraid of those sounds.


Try getting your own hair cut and having him watch and see that it doesn’t hurt and it isn’t scary maybe he’ll be less reluctant to try for himself

1 Like

As a hairstylist and a mom, If it truly is a traumatic experience for him it’s better to let it go for a while. It can be very dangerous to have a small child moving with sharp tools by his head whether it be scissors or clippers and it can traumatize him further by forcing it. Especially if he ends up getting cut by one of the tools. If you’re going to try I’d definitely find a stylist that is good with little ones and understands the situation.

I’m a hairstylist what I tell my clients is to bring the child in to visit a few times with the same person who is going to do their hair also get them involved let them sweep the hair ect… this also helps with children that are autistic


My grandson did this too- he outgrew it but it was miserable for everyone when he screamed at hair cuts- we did some trims when he was asleep - I think he thought we were cutting off a part of his body…

Try cutting a little of it each time he goes to sleep. He won’t know your doing it. Might take a few days to get it all done but might work till he’s older and won’t be afraid.


Tell him a trim. When we tell ours kids/ or grandkids they are getting a haircut it scares them cause a cut hurts so they think a haircut is gonna hurt too

1 Like

Make it a game and something positive. I have an almost 2 year old and I do his hair every day in the mirror and he thinks it’s great, his hair got so long I did a little man bun until he would sit still long enough to cut it.

My son was scared too! He finally settled down when we found someone in a small shop who moved slowly and was quieter. I think the first few were overstimulating when he was already anxious!

1 Like

I had a grandson who was terrified until age 3 or 4 we just had to do the best we could , but he does great now I would give up trying a salon and just do it yourself until he comes around.

My son fell asleep in his supper a lot and I’d get the back quick and wash him up for bed.

We used to buzz cut our sons hair, some kids do better with that than a scissor cut.

Our Barber explains everything step by step to the kids. Also, we walk away. I can still see but a lot of kids freak out more when mom is around.

We brought our kids to a place that had fake horses to ride. Another time he sat on my lap with his face on my chest and the barber walked around us.

Sure! Ask his Dad or uncle a man to talk to him and make an appt to both get a hair cut!

What made it easy for my son is that he watched kids shows about haircuts… There are Bubble Guppies and Umi Zumi episodes about haircuts that he loved. I’m sure there are others.

When it came time to do it, he was like “Oh just like on Bubble Guppies!”

Just wait for him to get over it. The hair probably bothers you more than him. He’ll get there. Don’t stress it.

Dud he always act scared. If not try to think of anything, even a small 8ncident where he was frightened while in a barber chair. He may connect that bad scare to the chair.
One of my younger sisters was frightened once at about 2 while sitting in dad’s lap. It took us 3 years before she sat on his lap again. It was nothi g he did but somethi g else that made her jump and cry but she assosiated the fright to being in daddy’s lap.

Retired hairdresser here. See if the stylist can sit him on her counter top and squirt the mirror with their water bottle. I’ve done Many haircuts that way. It makes a mess but if it works it’s worth it.

I sat in the chair and had my son sit on my lap facing me… its messy but worked very well. He started getting his hair cut at 1 and is now 2 and will sit by himself now

Kids hear the word “cut” and think it hurts like a finger cut. Use a different word… Hair trim, st

1 Like

Salon that specializes in kids!
Sucker, movie, a good, patient hairstylist that can cut fast!!!
Ive done so many kids & many 1st haircuts… kids learn its really ok

1 Like

Daniel Tiger (free on PBS or probably YouTube) has an episode where he gets his hair cut and that might help :slight_smile: good luck :slight_smile:

Have the stylist take him back to the seat by himself that’s what my mom did for my younger brother when he was about four or five and he was so nervous that he actually sat still and ended up having a great time my younger brother was also very big flirt as a young kid and had a female stylist so of course he chatted her up and flirted with her and it was totally okay after that we’ve been seeing her ever since like 15 years something like that

My grandson is 2 and his first hair cut was so not good,he screamed n fought his little face so sad…I think he will jus have long hair :joy: for a long time…

Same problem, no clear solution but to wait it out. I let his hair grow until it’s irritating him, then wrap him in a towel like a straight jacket while my cousin buzzes it up. We’ve tried everything and nothing has helped, he acts like he’s being scalped every time. At this point I’m pretty much resigned that until he’s older we’re just going to have a shitty afternoon once every 4-6 months. Not super helpful but you’re not the only one.

My son said cuts hurt. So we would trim his hair!