How Can I Give My 2 Year Old a Haircut?

Updated on January 13, 2011
J.B. asks from Lanoka Harbor, NJ
20 answers

Im a pretty good hairdresser and have cut my husbands hair and my brothers hair numerous times. My 2 year old sons hair is getting out of control long. Its so bad that more people refer to him as a girl rather than a boy and when i correct them, they tell me its because of his long hair. Ive tried to cut in numerous times but he wont have anything of it. He struggles, fights, kicks, screams. He runs and throws a fit. Ive also tried a professional hair dresser, and no luck there either. Any advice?

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answers from Detroit on

I would leave the water on and let my son play in the sink. A hairdresser I know has her grandson sit in someone's lap and lets him eat m&ms out of a bowl while she gives him a cut.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

My MIL cuts my 2.5 year old's hair. She will either let him sit outside watching the cars or something or inside watching TV. Seems to occupy him long enough for her to cut his hair.

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answers from Raleigh on

Can you cut your husband's hair while he watches? That is what I had to do. My husband acted like it was the most fun ever and I didn't have a bit of trouble with him again.

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answers from Jacksonville on

My son was good for his first few haircuts... but then when he was around 2, he decided he was having none of it ever again. I know exactly what you mean about the struggle. We tried all the bribes you can imagine-- he simply didn't care.. he didn't want to sit still and have his hair cut. He wasn't afraid of the clippers or the noise, or plain scissors or anything. He just WAS. NOT. PARTICIPATING.

I let it go for awhile. Then we found a REALLY amazing guy, who started cutting my husband's hair. We took our son to watch a few times... then he (the stylist) asked if he wanted to sit in his chair? He put a big cushion (made for the chair) there so he could sit completely unassisted, wrapped that tissue around his neck, then added the cape. He let my son hold the clippers while it was on. He talked to him like a little man (not a kid). He asked him how he liked his hair styled. He was totally focused on what my SON wanted. Me and hubby didn't exist.

He gave him the most perfect hair cut. He even combed it nicely and then asked my son if he wanted him to put some "girl getter" on him... you know, some "smell good" stuff. ? Ooohhhh... he liked that!

He didn't mind getting his hair cut so much after that for awhile. But then, when he got a little older (like about 4 yrs old) he explained to us that he HATED the feeling of the little hairs that fell onto his neck and down into his shirt. He is 12 now, and he STILL gets REALLY SUPER agitated by that feeling. He will wear extra shirts, and has learned to ask them to wet his hair first (the hairs go down his collar less when it is damp first). If they just put on a cape and not the tissue around his neck, it is worse too.

I used to pooh-pooh his complaints about the hairs (he even comes straight home and takes a shower and changes his clothes, and will occasionally ask me to re-wash a shirt that he can still feel hairs in!), but one day I got some in MY shirt (can't remember... I think I had a shirt on the floor in my bathroom when I was using clippers on him, then put it on real quick to go outside and do something in the yard).. anyway... it was THE MOST ANNOYING thing. And actually a little painful. Those short hairs are sharp!

Have you tried asking him what part of getting it cut he doesn't like? Maybe there is something specific that could be bothering him, like the hairs thing with my son. Or maybe you could try clipping the back with scissors when he is in the bathtub...

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answers from Toledo on

Do it while he's asleep. Cut one side and the top, then turn his head and do the other side and back. Be very gentle, and he won't wake up. Works like a charm.

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answers from Spokane on

I put my 2.5 y/o up on the bar stools in the kitchen, put in a favorite video, give him a sucker and away we go!



answers from San Francisco on

I had the same problem when my son was that age. He had curly hair and it was pretty long and everyone thought he was a girl. When he was two I took him a local barber shop and they made me sit on the chair holding him on my lap. He cried for a little while but he was fine after his haircut, they gave him a lollipop. I continue to take him to his barber and he just jumps on the chair like a little man and sits there very still..... :) Good Luck!


answers from Los Angeles on

This is probably not the best way but it has worked for me...

At each child's first haircut, if I see them getting upset I whip out a sucker!

Works like a charm!



answers from Orlando on

Have you tried letting him watch TV while you cut his hair? This works really well for my son. He holds still and doesn't wiggle much. When he was younger, I'd even strap him into a high chair. I have a friend who uses clippers with her son, although you have to be ok with a really short cut for that to work. Her son is like yours. He hates getting his hair cut and this way she can do it quickly without worrying about cutting him because it has a guard on it. We also give our son a treat after his haircut. He doesn't get sweets very often so he is always excited about this.


answers from Dallas on

distract him. Have your husband ready with whatever makes him happy and hopefully he will hardly notice what you are doing.

worst case scenario.......try cutting it while he sleeps.



answers from New York on

Cut it when he's napping; that's what I did when my son was little. I would cut one half then turn him over and cut the other half. Any little imperfections can be straightened out with a quick trim. Hope this helps!



answers from New York on

.5 talk about trimming instead of 'cutting'
.7 don't think reasoning with him will make a difference
1. sit him in front of a DVD
2. think about the larger picture - does he listen to you and do what you tell him when he doesn't like it in other situations? if not, then there is a larger issue to work on - practicing for him to do what he tells you when he tells you because you tell him.


answers from Houston on

I'm a stylist. I started cutting my boys hair when they were sleeping. I'd do one side, then roll them over and do the other side and get the top.

Now, they are pretty good, but if I am asked to do a friends hair who isn't used to it, I put in a cute movie, and give them a lollipop to keep them occupied. I've heard of stylists putting fun stickers on their shoes, so when they ask the child to look down they say, "look at your stickers!" and give them a sticker when they are being good.

Every now and then, I have to have someone else hold their head for me if they are young and fighting. Sometimes, if it's bad, I have to step away for a few minutes so they calm down.

Just use clippers, less chance of anyone getting cut with those than scissors.

Also, he isn't too young to discipline, march his butt to the time out chair when he behaves that way, even if he is covered in hair.


answers from Chicago on

I used to do my son's. I would put on his favorite show and do it while he watched. Sometimes it took an hour to get it all done in little sections. I would also do it while he was eating in his high chair/booster. He's confined and distracted that way.

Do you have a Snippets or kids cut kind of place by you? I take DS there now (2.5) and he does great. They have TONS of toys, TVs with their shows they can pick out, "race car" chairs for them to sit in....the whole place is just really cool. And the people work with kids all day, so they have the most patience in the world. Our lady made sure to show DS all of her tools, so he knew what she was using on him first.


answers from Columbus on

My son's hair grows really fast, so I've had to cut his hair every other month since he was born. I used scissors until he was about a year old and got too wiggly, it made me nervous. Then my mom asked me to let her try with her Wahl electric trimmer. I figured he would be scared and she would be sorry she offered, but when I went to pick him up, he had a perfect trim! Turns out she cut my dad's hair with it first, and my son got to sit in his lap. Then she let him hold the trimmer and "help" cut grandpa's hair, which he just loved! So when it was his turn he was very excited to get his hair cut just like grandpa, and sat perfectly still like a little angel.

I went out and got a Wahl trimmer right away, and he let me cut his hair with it without too much trouble. He just turned 3 and so far it's still working for us. Occasionally he tells me he doesn't want his hair cut because he likes it long. Luckily the Wahl has 6 levels, so I can leave the hair on top a little longer. I let him look in the mirror while I do it, and he likes to tell me "not too much." Just try to make your son feel like he's got some control of the situation, since it is his hair after all! Good luck.



answers from New York on

For my daughters 2nd bday, I took her to 4 different salons to get her hair cut. We left, her in tears, and me stressed out, and all without getting her hair cut. I found a kid salon, and within 5 minutes of getting there I felt at ease, so did my daughter... the trick... The hairdresser put on her favorite show, so she was glued to the tv, and gave her a lollipop. This was the first time my daughter was introduced to the lollipop, but at this point, I was game for anything. My daughter LOVED it! She didn't realize she was getting her hair cut, because she was enjoying her lollipop so much. At the end the hairdresser even used a blowdryer, my daughter didn't even budge. My daughter is now 3, and had numerous cuts (by me). It's the same routine - it works like a charm! If you don't mind a little tv and your son having a lollipop, try it. Good luck!



answers from Rochester on

I had the same problem with my grandson when he was around 2 years old. Then one day I was so frustrated with trying to get him to sit still, I handed him the clippers and asked if he wanted to do it. The clippers had a clip on them and would only cut his hair to a certain length so it wasn't like he was going to do any harm with them. When he was done I just said, "Oops, you missed a spot." "Let grandma get it.", and finished up the job. We still do it this way. First he cuts as much of it as he wants then grandma finishes up. He loves it. He's 6 now and loves to brag to mommy and daddy that he cuts his own hair! Of course, he knows he is only allowed to cut his hair when grandma says so and only with the clippers (which are hidden so he can't find them).


answers from Denver on

I too bribed my son with suckers. He got his after he sat good (while watching a show) we gave him one once during and he got hair on it and threw a fit so now the sucker comes after.



answers from Harrisburg on

I am a "hairdresser" myself and cut my sons and husband's hair. What I've done for my 2yr old is a lot of talking and distraction while I do it. I do it when he is not going to be hungry, sleepy or otherwise irritable. I do it at the same time I do my other "men" so he can see that it is routine. Good luck.



answers from Albany on

Try to tell him that he will get a wonderful treat after the haircut. My son was all excited about a hair cuts, i had just given daddy one. So i put him high in a chair and started witht he buzzers. (he had already had a buzz cut done about 3 times before this) well once i made the first swipe, he started to freak out and not want his hair cut. I had to bribe him to stay seated for me to finish. I would also try using sissors as well. Good Luck

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