Whether it’s for financial reasons or because it’s easier for you to do it home, cutting your toddler boy’s hair using the clippers isn’t the worst idea. Many toddlers are going to start making a scene right after they got on the chair, which is why cutting their hair at home is the wisest and best thing to do.
If you have the patience and the skill for it, cutting your toddler’s hair with clippers is going to spare you time and money, but also give you the chance to bond a bit more with your kid. You may want to get into a playful mood, be creative and do your best so that you both have fun and finish the job…eventually.
Here are some steps for you to follow when preparing to cut his hair with clippers.
Prepare the tools
You do need to use the right tools when cutting his hair, which means you need everything to be handy. As may know by now, toddlers don’t have much patience so you don’t want him to be squirmy as you’re not using the right comb or scissors. Even if you’re planning to do the main cut with the clippers, you still need some scissors prepared. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to choosing the right tools for cutting hair:
- Try not to use the household scissors as they may be too dull to use for a haircut. You may go with some multi-purpose scissors, but barber’s shears are always the best option. It shouldn’t be difficult for you to find some good hair-cutting scissors in a grocery store or local pharmacy
- You should prepare a booster seat with a low back so you can easily get to all sides of the hair, from various angles.
- Get a comb with a pointed end so you may section your toddler’s hair
- Place a towel, some newspapers or magazines under the chair so that you get all the hair clippings that are going to fall.
- Place a nice towel (one of his favorite could make wonders!) around his shoulders so that the clipped hair doesn’t end up on his clothing (which may become a real disaster, as we all know it!).
Get the toddler ready
Think about an activity that may keep your toddler distracted while you’re cutting his hair. You don’t want him all wiggly during the cutting. As you know by now his schedule, you may want to schedule the hair cutting around the time he’s happy and well. Try as much as you can to never plan it when he is hungry, sick or tired.
Here are some things that may help you keep him/her occupied:
- You may place the chair in front of the TV set. He is going to be preoccupied about what’s happening on TV, which means it’s easier for you to go ahead with the hair cutting.
- Some toddlers love lollipops so you may give him/her one during the hair cutting
- It’s a great idea to talk a lot to your toddler, to smile at him/her a lot, always giving a positive feedback. You should try your best to turn the hair cut into a nice, fun and lovely experience. Don’t hesitate to involve him/her in the process, singing along your favorite songs and taking time. Cutting a toddler’s hair isn’t that much about the perfect haircut (especially at home), but more about having fun and being efficient at the same time.
Wet down the hair
Almost all kids out there love water, toddlers including. Spray a mist of water on your toddler’s hair before you actually start. If you’re the lucky winner of a toddler with tangling hair, get a spray bottle of detangle so you don’t waste time and irritate the toddler while combing his/her hair. Make sure you wet all the hair as if not, you may not be able to cut evenly.
- It’s important to wet the hair if you want to cut the hair easy and nice. Get a water bottle, fill it with water and spray it all so that the entire hair is wet.
- Get a wide-tooth comb so that is easier for you to comb your toddler’s hair.
- You may wet down the comb and comb your toddler’s hair afterwards. Using the water bottle remains the easiest way, though. A wet washcloth and a bomb may work also for wetting the hair.
Keep in mind that you only want to mist the hair, not wetting it all like in washing.
Cutting the hair with clippers
Many parents find clippers less intimidating and a lot more forgiving than scissors.
Here are the steps to follow when cutting the hair with clippers:
- Stick the guard on and slide it carefully through the hair. You may use a longer one for the top and front and a shorter one for the back and sides.
- Don’t use a guard higher than a number four as it’s quite useless. If you set it like that, the clippers are going to miss many hairs so you may end up with a poor job and a tired toddler, altogether.
- Start in the back at the base of the hairline and use no.4 (1/2”) Snap-On metal blade. Take a deep breath and be careful
- You may want to use your fingers to hold the hair down, so you don’t leave no any stragglers behind. “Scoop” from time to time with the clippers, just like a plane would pull up for take-off (this is great for playing with your toddler). This way, you start putting an angle on the hair for better blending.
- You work around the head, until you get the “dog at the groomer’s” look. If your toddler isn’t patient anymore, you may very well stop. If he is still into it, you may continue and actually finish the hair cutting.
- You need to move to the sides when you’re done with the back. If you have the skills for it, you may want to use a half-inch Snap-On metal blade. You could play it on the safe side and use also a plastic guard for the clippers. Tuck nicely the ear down when you’re clipping around it.
- Move to the front and use the scissors. You should be able to figure out on your own hoe much to take off the top so it blends nicely with the back and sides. After you made an idea, pull the hair straight up and cut across horizontally, to the length that you wanted. Remember: it doesn’t have to be perfect
- You need to cut the hair so that it matches the shortest lengths (which are from the previous cut). Try to angle the hair toward the crown to compensate. Work through the crown, using the short hairs as a guide, while you’re pulling the new sections and cutting parallel to the head.
- Blend the sides and back as you’re pulling the hair straight out and cutting it parallel to the shape of the head of your toddler.
Take it to the next level
Here are the steps to follow if you’re really aiming for a great hair cut:
- Use the clippers to blend the haircut and the comb to pull out the hair, while going with the clippers along the comb. The position of the blade of the clipper is essential. You should move the comb down to get hairs lower than the mid-point as you don’t want to end up with a tell-tale clipper mark in the haircut.
- When the cut becomes more blended, you should use a 45-degree angle toward the neckline to better blend the back. The length of the top is important and it decides if you should go with a tighter or a wider angle. Imagine that you’re putting a pen vertically against the back of the occipital bone. The best result is when the hair blends nicely to that imaginary line.
- You should use the scissors for blending if the clippers are too much for you. Don’t forget about the 45-degree angle, though.
Chances are your toddler isn’t going to stay perfectly still throughout the whole cutting session so some mistakes aren’t impossible to happen. Here’s what to do:
- You may leave the sides too bulky
- You may cut straight across the neckline and forehead as well.
You can remove bulk by using the clippers with a guard and follow the techniques we already mentioned (clipping along the comb).
You may also cut small points on the ends, breaking up the “straight-across-the-forehead” look.
One last thought
Practice makes perfect and a toddler’s haircut isn’t about perfection. It’s mostly about sparing some money and time, not to mention to avoid a big scene in the middle of the hair-cut when going to a professional.
Don’t hesitate to have fun, be patient and take breaks as often as you think. After all, this is supposed to be a fun, lovely and warm experience with your toddler, after all!