The Dreaded Self Hair Cut :-/

Updated on December 27, 2011
K.L. asks from Woodland, CA
14 answers

My 2.5 yr old cut his hair. There is a family tradition on my husbands side that the first hair cut waits until age 3. This isn't such a big deal, but for some reason I feel like the worlds worst mom.
I had just gone to the restroom. I thought it a L. odd he didn't follow, but i was ok w it. Next thing, I come out, and there is hair all over the ground and he has snipped his bangs at a jagged angle.
I must have underestimated his reach, bc the scissors are kept in a mug in the kitchen, which is blocked by baby gates. Needless to say, I have moved the scissors.
I am just so sad. He is proud of himself. I didn't punish him (why would I punish him for something he doesn't know any better doing?)
Mamas, put me as ease. I know he's not the first kid to ever cut his hair. How did you feel when your L. sneak got a hold of the scissors??

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

I have made my profile pic of his hair cut... Check it out ;-)

Added: I emailed the pic to my mom. She just called me laughing and laughing! She told me i cut my hair when i was his age. I apparently cut my bangs right to the scalp! So I feel better now, and I had a good laugh with my mama :-) My husband said its no biggie, and now we will just get to see how handsome he will look with short hair :-)

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answers from Seattle on

My fav story is actually a friend's of mine. She was sitting a L. girl (about 4, that she sat several times a week) and after getting instructions from the parents downstairs, went upstairs to find the L. girl (their family doesn't do goodbyes, but that's another thing). ANYHOW... my friend goes upstairs and finds the L. girl and the dog.

And hair clippers.

And a bald dog.

My friends is a psych student, so she didn't make the mistake of asking "What are you doing?" ((Which makes toddlers freeze... afterall... it's obvious, isn't it? But if they thought it was obvious and it's NOT obvious to the all knowing adult, then -toddler logic- it's NOT what they thought it was. Oh no! What ARE they doing???? Hence the "I don't know!" answer when you ask "what" a toddler is doing in a horrified voice.)) Anyhow... my friend sits down with the L. girl and asks "Why is she shaving the dog?"

L. girl looks up.

"Doggie has chemo."

The reason my friend was babysitting so frequently was that mom had cancer.

She felt the dog should be in solidarity with mom. It wasn't fair, afterall, that she and the dog had hair and mom didn't. Lucky for her, unlucky for the dog, she decided to do the dog's hair FIRST.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

My 2 yr old watched me give my husband a haircut for the first time (I bet you can guess where this is going). She had been working on lots of art projects with scissors, so I had no qualms about setting her up with paper and scissors for an afternoon craft. Turned my back to check on the baby...and SNIP! She cut off a HUGE chunk of hair near the top of her head. Took her to the stylist and they said there's really nothing they can do until it grows out some more. All this a week before "school" pictures. :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My 4 1/2 year old daughter JUST did this. It's so bad! She cut off a big chunk all the way right up to above her ear on the left side! And then there a couple varying "layers" near it. Her hair is VERY long so I think I should cut it to help it even out sooner but I can't cut it THAT short, it's be a boy cut, worse, a boy bowl cut from the 70's.
I could only laugh at first. But then I started to get a L. worried because she is performing in a ballet this weekend and how am i going to get those funky short strands into a nice tight ballet bun? Also, she is a flower girl in my friends' wedding on Christmas Eve, they are now a L. worried how I'm gonna cover it up for that... yikes.
My mom was like, appalled- "how did she get hold of the scissors???". Well, she likes arts and crafts, she has access to whole desk full of markers, hole punches, tape and yes SCISSORS.
So it's been a few days and I still haven't tried to get a hair cut for her anything... I'm thinking I'll just continue to try and hide it, but it will take at least a year to grow out to the current level of the rest of her long lovely hair. I think a short haircut is in her future. sigh.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Take of picture of him...and then a trip to the barber is in store!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You'll definitely laugh about it someday. Just the other day my girls and I were talking and laughing about our own incident. They are 10 and 8 now, but when they were 5 and 3 the older one cut the L. one's hair at 6am while I was still sleeping. She had heard me saying over and over how the L. one needed a haircut (she really did) so she truly thought she was doing me a favor. She cut it into a lopsided mullet!! I didn't have time to fix it before dropping her off at preschool. You should've seen the looks on the teacher's faces. Too funny. All I said was "older sister did it" and the all nodded at me knowingly. Of course school pictures were the following week. That picture makes me laugh to this day. Anyway, find the humor in it. No major harm done :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I just saw your profile picture.
I must say I've seen worse haircuts on people who MEANT to do it.

You aren't the world's worst mom. And, his hair is salvageage. Looks like he didn't feel like waiting until he was 3.

On the upside, when you get it fixed, you don't have to convince him that cutting his hair won't hurt. And, at least he didn't give himself a reverse mohawk and cut a huge chunk out of the middle of his head. I've seen that one. That's a L. harder to repair without just buzzing the kids head.

When my L. sister was 3, her hair was quite long. We had an appointment and my mom put her hair in braids. My sister threw a fit! She did NOT want her hair in braids. The fit continued as my mom got her dressed and then went into the bathroom to brush her own teeth before going out the door. My sister was suddenly quiet. I thought she'd gone into the bathroom with my mom. My mom thought she was sitting in the chair in the living room with me.
My sister had gone into my mother's room, climbed up on a chair to get the sewing basket, got the scissors, and cut one of her braids entirely off at the roots.
I heard a scream. It was my mother. I ran in and there stood my sister with a braid in her hand. I thought my mother was going to faint.
We didn't make it to our appointment and my mother had no choice but to cut the the other side of my sister's hair off. My mother cried. There was no way to fix the chop job on one side of my sister's hair. It took a while to grow out enough to look normal.
My mom sewed 99% of our clothes so we were well aware that scissors weren't toys and we weren't to touch them. When not in use, my mother kept them out of reach.

These things happen.

Your son is a boy, so maybe it's time for a L. boy haircut. No point in waiting for the 3 year rule now.

Don't feel awful.
Soon, you'll be able to look back and laugh about it.
Your son DOES need to know that scissors aren't toys and he's NOT to cut things without your permission. It's okay to be stern on that point.
Today his hair, tomorrow the couch?
You want to make sure he knows what he did was serious.

But, it's not the end of the world, mom.

Best wishes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tallahassee on

Fortunately, my daughter has never tried to cut her own hair. She's 5 years old now and is not happy with me for having her hair cut in a bob. It looks so cute, but she doesn't like it and wants her long hair back so I don't see her every giving herself a hair cut.

I would just say to take some pictures of the damage before you try to fix his hair. :) They'll be cute to look back on when he's older.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I love Riley's story.
I have heard this type of snafu (sp?) for ages.
Those darn independent children.
I looked at the picture and I think it's just fine. Don't worry yourelf.
It's not at all bad.
And here's my take.....thank goodness he didn't hurt himself w/the scissors. Glad you moved them.
You're not at all the worst mom. Please don't be sad, honey.
I think he looks beautiful! Not to worry.
How about this take?: Thank goodness he isn't sick and has a full head of hair for himself to take a snip from? Does that help at all?
I hope so because I feel your pain but at least he's healthy & he hasn't lost his hair to some type of medical treatment.
My son does plenty of other things. Just not that one quite yet. Hope
I didn't just jinx myself. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

When I Was three, I cut my own hair.. :) also, when my son was about 6 he chops some of his.. your son's pic is cute. I think his cut is easily fixed up a bit .. although, it might mean a shorter cut.. or you could just keep it as such. .people will know he did it.. it's really not uncommon for kids to do this.. :)

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answers from Washington DC on

My son, L. sneak, went off while we were eating Easter dinner a few years back. He told us he had to go potty. Some how he got a hold of my hubbys beard trimmer went to our spare bedroom, locked the door and took a nice noticeable chuck out of the front area just as your son did. My sons was more like a crew cut where he cut it.

Don't beat yourself up! I remember cutting my bangs right before my 1st school picture day. I can't imagine how my mom felt, lol.
Make sure you write it down so you can share a laugh once he is old enough to enjoy the story ;)

PS Cute pic!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Sweet Boy...

My son cut his sisters bangs when he was 2 1/2 and she was 10 months old. All the way to the scalp. We had no clue where the scissors had come from, turned out it was one that had been left there by his older cousins. I was so distressed that it was right before her 1st birthday..... Not a good look for her!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My baby niece cut her gorgeous long blond hair into jagged lopsided bangs on my watch. 15 yrs ago! I still have a twinge of guilt about that one. 2 wks ago my son took dads face hair trimmer and cut a chunk out of his long curls on the crown of his head. Dad thought he had some wierd scalp disease that caused his hair to fal out in patches. :) It happens!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My younger son cut a huge hunk of his bangs off at church school when he was about 4. Who knew safety scissors were sharp enough for hair?! The consequence for him was that he had to go to Supercuts to get his hair fixed - which meant buzzing most of it off - which was punishment enough, because he hated the idea of anyone cutting his hair except the kids' hair stylist he'd been going to his whole life. Hmmmm, too bad you cut your own hair on a day when she's not open..... He was also restricted from using scissors for a very long time.

How did I feel? I was mainly irritated at the sunday school teachers for not watching him more closely and I was glad hair was all he cut. I thought he looked kind of cute, but it obviously couldn't stay. I wasn't really sad - I kind of figured most kids try to cut their own hair at some point. When I was that age, I trimmed my bangs with pinking shears because I wanted to see how they looked jagged. It didn't work the first time so I kept cutting... until someone caught me!!

Can you take your son to get just his bangs fixed so they're not all crooked and leave the rest for his third birthday? That way you can honor your family tradition while ensuring your child doesn't look like, well, like he cut his own hair. Good luck.

ETA: Oh my gosh, I just saw your photo. He's so cute! It looks like a very avant garde hair cut!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

My daughter is 4 and she literally just did the same thing- she has been around kid scissors for a year and never tried to cut anything other than paper - I got in the shower left our arts and crafts projects on the kitchen table. I get out the shower she comes up stairs I start brushing her hair to get her ready to go somewhere and clumps start falling out. It was horrible she was crying, I was crying - she cut so much of her hair and it was all from the top of her head - now she has a mullet - its crazy I went nuts - lucklily I came to my senses the next day and now we laugh about it - her hair is still crazy I basically have to glue it down with hairspray to get it in to a pony tail. The salon tried to fix it as much as possible but hopefully by summer it will be a bit better.

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