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Old 07-21-2013, 04:56 AM   #1
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Sensory issues and haircuts

My son will be 3 in the fall and while he has improved so, so much the idea of a haircut is still terrifying for him. My dd got hers cut yesterday and Dh brought ds in to the store about halfway through the cut. Ds started shaking and crying clinging to me. His last haircut was 7 months ago and he and he fought that so bad he had 3 cuts . It's not an immediate need. I'm fine with growing his haircut some more, but he will need it cut again at some point.

Anyone have any ideas?

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Old 07-21-2013, 09:36 AM   #2
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Re: Sensory issues and haircuts

I just didn't do it. For 3 haircuts I did fight with Kearnan to get it done. He screamed like he was being murdered and finally I just realized that I didn't care if he had a hair cut or not. From 2.5 til 7.5 he didn't get a haircut. I would sneak into his room while he was asleep and trim the ends of his hair (that is also when I cut his finger and toe nails). For him cutting his hair was much like cutting off a body part, I wasn't going to put him through that for nothing. But really I don't mind long hair on boys and I am ok with my children choosing their own hair styles. I had let myself get caught up in the whole "first hair cut" and then maintaining it thing. I should have just left him alone from the beginning. The only reason he cut his hair at 7.5 was because a very nasty teacher bullied him into it. He wound up super upset and grew it out long again.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:02 AM   #3
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My DS has sensory issues and haircuts are also an issue for him.
I have found that it isn't the hair being cut that seem to be the issue but rather something about he haircut places. He will let me trim his hair but only if he is in the right mood and not often. He will go to cookie cutters and I think it I because he just wants to sit in the cars. He gets weird about getting his hair cut there but he doesn't have a complete meltdown. I *think* it is because when we go there there has never been anyone else there so it isn't loud. Unfortunately ours gives sub par haircuts so I don't want to pay for a haircut from them.

I love DS's long hair and so does he so we just don't worry about it.

For my son I think there are a few issues with haircuts and he will probably mostly grow out of them. He doesn't like loud places or crowded places, he doesn't super love having his hair touched, and he hates the feeling of the little hairs on his neck/face that come along with haircuts.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:35 AM   #4
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Re: Sensory issues and haircuts

We would go to a childrens salon, that helped DS a lot. He got to sit in an airplane chair and watch a movie. They have trimmers that are especially quiet, I tell them that he has sensory issues and I'm not worried about absolute perfection but speed is important. And we would get it cut really short so there was plenty of growth time. I didn't mind his hair getting long but it bothered him because of the rubbing on his hearing aids.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:44 AM   #5
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Re: Sensory issues and haircuts

My 16 yr old STILL has sensory issues surrounding hair cuts. When he was little the salons refused to cut his hair because he screamed like he was being murdered. I bought hair trimmers and buzzed his head. He screamed for a few years, but with a short buzz, I did not have to do it often.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:07 AM   #6
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Re: Sensory issues and haircuts

Yep, my son is in the "screams like he's being murdered" category. It's bad. We only do kid's salons with me holding him and a movie and candy and it's a no-go. he does let me play with his hair, so maybe I'll just have to learn how to cut it.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:37 AM   #7
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Re: Sensory issues and haircuts

My 2 yr old has some sensory issues and hair cuts are an issue. I do them at home, but that's because of costs. The last time I cut her hair she screamed and fought and my 16 yr old had to help hold her down so she didn't get cut.

BUT...that was while cutting her bangs. The rest of her hair, not an issue. I suspect it was more because of the scissors being so close to the eyes. Or, it could be the cookie and tv distraction I used while doing the rest of it.

My 4 yr old was awful to cut her hair at that age too. Honestly, I just don't do it often, but they are both needing it again. I might try cookie cutters or something similar this time around. I want to take the 4 yr old to the botique at Disney when we go in October but I want her to like it and heading to a real hair salon to "test" might give me an idea whether or not either of them would enjoy it. I think my 2 yr old (who will be 3 at Disney) would want to do it if her older sister was.

Anyway, doing it at home and distractions are how we manage hair cuts.
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:54 AM   #8
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Re: Sensory issues and haircuts

We do them at home in front of a favorite DVD with a sucker DURING the haircut (rinse off hairs as needed, LOL) and I just run buzz clippers all over with a pretty short attachment, anywhere from 1/4-1/2 inch. Buzzing is far easier than scissors since its pretty fool proof and they don't need to hold totally still. Also has the added benefit of making it easier to keep their hair clean. My kiddos hate their hair washed worse than pretty much anything! For my most sensitive one, we sometimes only do the buzz once a year! I prefer once at the beginning of the summer, once before school starts, and somewhere in between. But I don't always win.
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Old 07-25-2013, 03:29 AM   #9
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Re: Sensory issues and haircuts

I let it grow until it hangs in his eyes. Once it gets to that point I take 3 snips a day until it gets to the proper length. We average a 1-2 week long hair cut twice a year. He still get hysterical but usually by the time he starts to get upset I have already gotten my 3 snips and can tell him it is over for the rest of the day, which stops the meltdown in it tracks before it has time to build up. I generally do this haircut over summer and winter breaks because he goes around with lopsided hair for a while until I have enough days to even it out.

If you have to do it in a salon I would only take them to one that specializes in preschoolers because those beauticians won't blink twice at tantrums of epic proportions. I used to take Alec to kiddie salon but we moved. They don't have anything even close to the type of place I used to take him so that is how we evolved to the little here a little there type of cuts.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:28 PM   #10
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The good news is that the home haircut went so, so much better than the salon. He didn't love it, but he was irritated instead of terrified. The bad news is that I am not great with hair! I did it in short bursts throughout the day and I couldn't get it perfect or even as good as I wanted around his ears, but at least it's out of his eyes and the mullet he was getting is gone! Now it'll probably be another 6 months before I try this again.
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