With a new school year comes new school clothes, supplies, shoes, and... the dreaded haircut. Every summer, I let my boys' hair grow long and unkempt. We keep doctor's appointments and dentist appointments and any sort of appointment to a minimum because frankly, we're too busy having fun to think about such things. But once August rolls around, it's clear that we need to get down to business. And often I find myself weighing the cost of taking three little boys to the local hair dresser, where I can count on spending around $50 for all three of them, sometimes more.
So I asked a local St. Louis mom of two and former hairdresser Elisha Wrighton to walk me through the process with my 3-year-old Emil.
- Sharp scissors (specifically for cutting hair)
- A trimmer with a number 2 and number 1 attachment
- A fine-tooth comb
- A spray bottle
- A sheet & clip for keeping hair off child's neck and clothes
One benefit of giving a young child a haircut at home is that they feel at home! Sometimes a barber shop can be scary for little ones. At home, they will be more relaxed. We set up a kids' show on an iPad to distract Emil during the haircut.
Begin by trimming off excess hair at the bottom, working at a 90-degree angle.
Next, using the #2 attachment on the trimmer, use a rocking motion to take off hair from bottom to top.
An important safety tip: Hold each ear down as you trim around it to avoid nicks.
Next, take the attachment off the trimmer and gently trim baby fuzz at the nape of the neck, making a clean line.
Mist hair lightly and comb and section down hair where the head starts to curve down. Use hair that was previously cut as a guideline to trim edges.
Next, point-cut hair in instead of straight across to make for a softer line; repeat on other side.
Next, a scissor over-comb. Combing up from the bottom horizontally, trim any longer hairs that stick out unevenly.
A few tips:
Focus on the sides more than the top for this cut. If it's a close cut, you should focus on making it look smooth and not choppy.
Don't be afraid to multi-task. Holding the comb in the same hand that you are holding the hair you are cutting will reduce the need to put down and pick up the comb 20 times!
Now for the top! Mist the top of then hair, then section like a mohawk, pulling middle section up between fingers, and use back hair length as a guide before you begin to cut. Slant fingers at an angle to make hair longer in front (if you prefer a more modern style cut).
Next, take the side sections on either side of the middle and do the same.
Cross-check the opposite way (work both horizontally and vertically to keep it all even and blended).
Comb hair over to opposite side and trim extra long hair. (This way, he can wear it to either side or keep it in the middle, so no matter where his hair goes, it will "flop around" evenly.)
Last, add texture by point-cutting: Hold hair straight up between fingers and cut down towards the head. This will also give the top a bit more body.
Remove sheet, and brush off hair—you can also use a hairdryer to blow off excess hair. A lint roller or tape works well to remove hair from clothing.
Voila! A free haircut, and a little one looking dapper for his first day of school!