6 tips for cutting your child’s hair at home, according to a stylist

Don't go for a dramatic change, just maintenance.

cutting your child’s hair

Families are stuck at home avoiding coronavirus and that means no stops to the salon. Typically, you would send your kid to your local hairstylist when their hair is too long, but with salons closing all over, you might need to cut it yourself. But don't worry—you can do this, mama.

Of course, we always suggest going to an expert (we would never advocate replacing a professional), but if your kid desperately needs a cut, consider only trimming an inch or two.

We caught up with Angela Soto, a hairstylist and owner of Baja Studio in New York City. Here, she shares on ways tips to trim your child's hair at home:

1. Gather the right tools


"The best tool you'll want to use are thinning shears or clippers," says Soto. "Clippers are best if the hair is already short." But we understand that may not be realistic now. Instead, use the sharpest pair of scissors you own. Dull scissors won't give you the precise cut you're aiming for, so avoid cutting with dull scissors as best as you can.

2. Offer entertainment

Getting little ones to sit still is hard—really hard, mama. This is the perfect time to use screen time to your advantage. Using an iPad or turning on their favorite show is a great way to get them to sit still while you cut. "When kids move a lot is often when a cut goes wrong, or they can cut themselves or you, especially around the ears," says Soto. If it helps, ask your partner to help you keep them straight by having your little one focus on something in the room.

3. Sit as straight as possible

Have you ever had a haircut and wondered if one side of your hair was longer than the other? "Avoid this by having your little one sit as straight as possible," says Soto. When cutting, make sure they are sitting upright in the chair, arms resting on their lap or arm rest and legs are flat on the ground. See how long they can sit still before you start cutting—this will give you an idea of how much time you have between breaks.

4. Dampen the hair + carefully cut

Make sure the hair is wet before you begin. First, separate the top of the head and create a parallel, vertical section along the head with scissors. Then switch to a thinning shear if you need to take more off. Or, just cut smaller chunks of hair if you don't own shears.

"It's important to keep the hair damp if you notice it starting to dry," says Soto. "Damp hair will let you see how the hair falls when you're done with each section."

5. Take your time

"Use a wide tooth comb to grab sections and take your time," says Soto. Start with a small amount of hair and cut more as needed. Generally speaking, keep the front a touch longer than the back.

6. Don't aim for perfection

We know you're not a professional stylist, so don't expect perfection. Instead of creating a new full blown cut, work with the cut that already exists and only cut a couple inches of hair. Think of this as a maintenance cut, not a new, layered look.

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