Is There a 12 Step Program for Haircutting Phobia?

Micah is not a fan of getting his hair cut. (There's probably a club for that on Facebook.) Ever since he was a wee tyke, he cried his way through the ordeal. And if I'm being honest here, that's putting it mildly. For a while, I cut his hair myself, then decided that it was worth paying a professional for. We rotated through the professionals on a regular basis, just to keep any particular one from cringing too badly when we called to schedule.

We tried just about all the tricks of the trade. We gave him a lollipop to keep him occupied during the appointment. Being astute parents, we realized that that was the dumbest idea anyone ever had. Hair falling onto the sticky lollipop ended the fun before it even began, and that compounded the crying. Fail.

We tried giving him a mirror, and that seemed to help for a while. But I have strong suspicions that he has sensory issues way up there on his head, and the clippers were just too much for him. We switched over to scissors, but by then it was too late. He was paranoid, and slightly traumatized.

We sat him on a stool rather than a chair, because the thrashing was kept to a minimum for fear of falling off. The crying and arm waving, however, were not hindered. And he still had full head mobility. It helped, but not nearly enough.

We sat him at a sink with a sprayer hose and let him play in a tub full of soap suds. That was highly entertaining for all involved, and he very nearly forgot to fuss. The whole "lady, get out of my way because I'm trying to play" arm flailing still went on though.

It was time for The Summer Shave this week, so I sat him down on a folding step stool in our bathroom. Cue the screaming and thrashing. He tried sitting up taller so that he could see in a mirror above the sink, so I had the genius idea to pull the stool over to the counter and let him stand up to watch the action. I guess he's gotten over his sensory issues enough to just be mesmerized by the process without fussing, because it worked wonders.

Right up until I hit a sweaty spot with the clippers. Ouch, that pulls.

We're back to square one with the boy.


Annette W. said...

What if you put Toy Story on the TV? I use the tv or portable dvd player to cut my kids' hair...if you don't have a portable dvd player you could use a laptop if you have one to take to the salon.

Anonymous said...

The whole giving of lollipops thing drives me batty! Who honestly thought that stocking kids salons with lollipops was a good idea?! I consider myself very lucky that my kids cooperate with haircuts, though I have been known to trim up ratty ends and long bangs when they are sleeping just to save myself the headache.

Trisha said...

Hair cuts are certainly an "adventure" at your house. Good luck!

Roger said...

We have been blessed with children that don't mind getting haircuts, so I have no ideas (sorry). Good luck! :)

Karen said...

Roger - seriously?! Wow. I find that amazing.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Yeah, sorry, I'm with Roger. No one has ever minded.

Now that you hate me, is there any reason he has to have it done? I mean other than being able to see. You've won the potty battle, maybe this one could slide for a bit?
The Toy Story tip might work, though.
Good luck.

caramama said...

What so wrong with long hair on boys? Just stick it back in a ponytail and call him a hippie! ;-)

Debbie @ Three Weddings said...

We have a place here called Sheer Madness that is just for kids. They can watch tv or play video games while they get their hair cut. It's great and the people working there are used to kids.

Is it possible he doesn't like the sound of the clippers? I know that can be a problem. But then, Peanut just hates anyone messing with her hair and starts crying the second she sees a brush or comb coming at her. said...

His hair looks good, though!

Michelle said...

Wheeee fun! Although ummmm what happens with the sweaty spot? I'm obviously not nearly experienced enough!

Bummer it's still not working. Any chance he could be enticed with the opportunity to "buzz" Woody?

The Sports Mama said...

I'd love to offer some great advice and all, but I got nothin'.

Just know that I sympathize, though. Bug has Sensory Perception Disorder, so hair cutting (along with nail cutting) is a major ordeal. It just simply hurts him.