Can I Cut My Baby Girl’s Hair On My Own?

Cutting or trimming your baby girl’s hair can be done at home if it becomes too long, too unruly, or is required by a medical condition or cultural requirement. Use the proper equipment and follow the comb and snip method. Make sure your child feels comfortable during the process. Bringing her to the salon for a professional cut is always an option.

Many parents worry about their child’s hair — is it too thin? Is it too long now? If I snip it, will it stop becoming curly? Is it even okay to cut your baby’s hair, let alone do it yourself?

Overall, it is okay for babies to have their hair cut, and this can also be done by parents themselves. However, it doesn’t mean that all babies should have their hair cut at such a young age.

Why should a baby have her hair cut?

If your baby girl is blessed with long locks that ultimately get in the way of her eyes, it’s acceptable to trim or cut them. Some children have hair that’s so unruly and tangled — it’s better to have this cut as well so that they don’t feel much discomfort or pain whenever their hair is being brushed.

Some cultures may also require cutting a child’s hair, and that is okay. In the rare case that your baby has a medical condition that involves the scalp, your healthcare provider may also need to have some hair removed.

Besides those reasons, it’s best to leave their hair as it is. At around six months old, they could lose some hair, which is perfectly normal. Before babies are born, they are linked to their mother through the umbilical cord.

Some maternal hormones can pass through the placenta and umbilical cord to reach the baby’s bloodstream. This partly accounts for thick, luscious hair, that could suddenly or gradually thin out in the few months after the baby is born and the umbilical cord is cut.

When should a baby have her hair cut?

If it’s not necessary to have it done soon (as in medical conditions, for example), there is no specific time best for cutting your baby’s hair.

However, it’s better to do it when they are at least one year of age. Trimming can be done earlier than this.

How should I cut my baby’s hair?

An infant girl is getting her first haircut at a salon while sitting on her moms lap

If you’ve chosen to cut your child’s hair on your own, let’s go through the steps one by one.

1. Prepare your salon set-up

You’ll need to ensure you have the right tools for a haircut. A typical home or office scissors just won’t do — they can actually damage your baby’s hair.

These items should be on hand when it’s salon time:

  • Hair cutting scissors (make sure it’s sharp)
  • Small comb
  • Clean spray bottle with water
  • Hair clips or elastics
  • Towels

Look for a high chair that’s safe for your toddler to sit on. Position the chair in front of the mirror if you want your child to feel like she’s in the salon. If you’re worried that she could throw a fit during the trim, look for an area where she will be distracted enough.

You can place the chair in front of the TV, play her favorite programs or videos, or give her a favorite toy while cutting her hair.

2. Prepare the hair

Once your child sits on the high chair, place a small towel over her shoulders. If her hair is unruly and too long, you can use hair clips to divide it into sections.

Slightly dampen the hair using a spray bottle and brush the hair back. Double-check if all parts of her hair are damp.

3. Comb and snip

Divide the hair into 2-inch sections and separate with hair clips or elastics. Take the middle section at the back of your baby’s hair by tilting her head forward. Decide how long you’d like to cut her hair first.

Make a V-shape with your index and middle fingers and place the section of hair in between. Close the gap between both fingers when you’ve decided the length to cut on. Snip above your fingers.

Make sure to cut a little longer than the expected length because damp hair is slightly longer than dry hair.

4. Cut and repeat

Do the same thing with other sections of hair.

Start by trimming the following sections close to the first one. Include some hair from the middle section as a basis for how short the cut should be to ensure it’s even throughout.

Tips for a happy haircut time

Naturally, not all toddlers will be excited (or behaved!) when it comes to cutting their hair. This is definitely expected with their age. Here are a few tips to get things going in the right direction:

Make her feel comfortable about it

If your child can understand, try talking to your toddler about cutting her hair. Make her familiar with this concept by letting her watch videos about the haircutting process.

If possible, have one of your family members or yourself cut their hair first (DIY or at a salon), so she can see that it isn’t painful.

You can bring her to a salon instead

A baby girl is getting her first haircut at a salon while mom watches from the side

If you’re not confident to cut your baby’s hair by yourself, there’s nothing wrong with bringing her to the salon. Just make sure that they are well-trained and experienced in handling children, for everyone’s safety.

You can call in, let them know that you’d like your child to have a haircut, and book an appointment at a time when not many people are in the salon. Make sure your child has already eaten before seeing the hairdresser.

When at the salon, make sure your child always sees you so she won’t feel uncomfortable or irritable.

After all, at this stage, some kids have separation anxiety and may be worried about all the sights and sounds of the salon.

FAQs

Can I use a razor to cut or shave my baby’s head?

Avoid using a razor.

Toddlers may still have softer skull bones compared to adults. If it’s necessary to shave your child’s hair, ask an experienced hairdresser to do it for you.

Will shaving my baby’s head make hair grow thicker?

Currently, there is no medical evidence that cutting your baby’s hair will make it grow thicker, thinner, slower, or faster. The thickness, texture, and color of hair depend greatly on genes.

Will trimming curly hair cut the curl off?

Some toddlers have “baby curls” that could be gone as they grow older. However, children who have naturally inherited curly hair will always have curly hair no matter how often you cut or trim.

Takeaway

Cutting your baby’s hair can be done at home with the right equipment. Other than getting the haircut right, it’s essential that your child feels safe and comfortable.

There’s no harm in asking for advice from your friends or relatives if you’re unsure or enlisting the help of your friendly hairdresser anytime. We also have a separate article on cutting a baby boy’s hair for the first time.

Sarah is a healthcare writer, motivated by her love of reading books while growing up. She took up human biology and further studies in medicine, in order to fulfill her passion for helping kids. While she isn't a biological mother yet, she has taken two young dogs, named Indy and Obi-Wan, under her wing. She would love to someday travel the world and meet kids from different cultural backgrounds.

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