Cutting Baby’s Hair: Step-By-Step Process And Safe Practices


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Cutting your baby’s hair can be a memorable experience. However, trimming a baby’s hair requires practice and a lot of patience. This is because your baby may not be someone who would sit still while you run a pair of shiny scissors or buzzing trimmer over their head.

Babies could be squirmy and wiggly during a haircut, and if a stranger does it, they may even throw a fit. Also, if the hairstylist is inexperienced with babies, it could increase the risk of injuries.

Getting a haircut for your baby could be challenging. Well, we have you covered with all the information about how to cut a baby’s hair, steps to cut a baby’s hair, and some tips to make the experience safe and pleasant.

When Can Your Baby Have Their First Hair Cut?

It depends on how much hair your baby has on their scalp. Most babies lose their hair in the first few months after birth, and it is replaced by permanent hair (1). Since this process takes a while, it is ideal you give your child their first haircut after their first birthday.

If your baby’s hair grows too fast and they find it irritating, you may trim their hair after they complete seven months. It is the age by which they can sit without support, so you can conveniently trim their hair by placing them in a high chair (2).

Is It Possible To Do It Yourself?

Yes, you can cut your baby’s hair yourself. You need to be patient, while the baby must be relaxed. You also need to keep all the haircutting supplies handy, so it becomes easy for you to get the work done. Also, do not stress too much about the nuances since your baby does not need a fashionable haircut.

Should You Cut Your Baby’s Hair Dry Or Damp?

It depends on how your baby feels about it. Some babies feel irritated when having a haircut on dry hair. It’s safe to spray some water to make hair damp before you begin cutting them. You can do so by spraying water on your hands first and then gently running your fingers over the baby’s scalp.

Simple Steps To Cut Your Baby’s Hair With Scissors

You can try the following steps if you intend to cut your baby’s hair with a pair of scissors.

1. Collect the required tools in one place

Before you start cutting your baby’s hair, ensure that whatever you need is in one place. Your little one may get restless if you keep running to get your tools mid-haircut. Here are some tools you might require for the haircut.

  • Old cloth to cover your child’s clothes
  • A towel to wipe hair on your child’s neck
  • A thin toothed comb
  • A pair of small scissors
  • A spray bottle
  • Some spare papers or newspaper to collect the hair
  • A bag or envelope to dispose of the hair

Additionally, you can also keep your baby’s favorite toy handy, so they can play with it while you cut their hair. You can also take the help of a family member so that your baby is distracted.

2. Ensure the baby is happy

Your baby needs to be happy and in a good mood so that they sit steady in one place. Ensure that your baby is well-fed, not sleepy, and not in a cranky mood. If your baby has a specific time when they play or are generally calm, opt for that time to cut their hair.

3. Play some music

Try to entertain your baby before you start cutting their hair. Play some music and dance with them in your arms. Talk to them. Keep them engaged. Show them the comb and the towel you will be using. You can even give them a sweet treat that will make them happy instantly.

4. Start slowly and cautiously

Once you have them gladly on their seat, preferably a high chair, with a cloth neatly placed around their torso, you can follow these steps.

  • Start by spraying some water on their head to dampen their hair. If your baby does not like it, dampen your finger and run them through the baby’s hair. If the hair is not dense, you may cut it dry.
  • Gently comb their hair, take a small portion between your fingers, and start snipping little by little. Cut as close to the fingers as possible.
  • The first few times, stop and check if your child reacts to the snipping sound of the scissors. If they look fine, go ahead and continue cutting in small sections. Make small horizontal cuts instead of cutting a large chunk at a time.
  • Once the hair at the back is trimmed, do the sides in the same way. After every few snips, check for hair on your child’s face and wipe it off, so they do not feel irritated.
  • After the sides, you can start trimming the crown area using the same technique. If you are not sure of how it might look, do not cut too much. Trim the bare minimum to ensure the hair does not fall on your child’s eyes.

Do not worry if the haircut does not look perfect. It takes practice to get it right eventually.

5. Clear the space

Once you are done, wipe off the hair that may have stuck around the baby’s neck and shoulders and take off the old cloth slowly. Clear out the papers you placed on the floor and dispose them of in an envelope or bag. Give your baby a nice warm bath to clear off any hair stuck to your child’s body.

Simple Steps To Cut Your Baby’s Hair With Clippers

Alternatively, you can also trim your child’s hair with the help of electric hair clippers. You can follow the same steps as mentioned above, except for step number 4. Here are a couple of additional steps to keep in mind when cutting hair with a clipper.

  1. Attach a longer guard to the clipper to keep your baby’s skin safe. It may not trim to the shortest hair possible but will be a lot safer to use.
  1. Go over one section multiple times to ensure you have cut the hair evenly. For the section near the ears, use a shorter guard.

If both these methods seem difficult to you, book an appointment with a salon specializing in cutting babies’ hair. There are chances that your child might cry, but these professionals must have probably dealt with it before, so they would know ways to tackle such situations. Also, you can help distract your baby and entertain them while the hairstylist does their job.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does shaving a baby’s head make their hair grow thicker?

Many believe that shaving the baby’s head helps stimulate hair growth and thickens hair strands. However, there is no scientific research to back this belief. Hair experts say that the thickness, length, and quality of hair is decided by genetics, and shaving of the head does not contribute to its growth in any way (3).

2. Any tips for a baby’s hair care after a haircut?

After you have cut your baby’s hair, check for any cuts or bruises. Apply a baby-safe skin antiseptic liquid over their head if required. Then, give them a warm bath. Later, you may apply hair oil that moisturizes your baby’s scalp and hair.

3. How should I shave my baby’s head if they have cradle cap?

Cradle cap is a skin condition that causes your baby’s scalp to become excessively dry and flaky. In such a case, avoid shaving your child’s hair because shaving will only make their scalp dry. If your baby has cradle cap, consult a doctor before cutting or trimming their hair. Medicated skin oils and creams could help tackle the condition effectively.

Cutting your baby’s hair at home is not as difficult as it may seem. If you want to try it but are not very confident, look up some videos online to get an idea about how to do it. You can also ask your partner or any friend to help you out if you feel you cannot handle your baby alone. After reading the steps and tips given above, if you feel you can do it, go for it as it is worth trying.


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