Tips for Cutting a Baby Boy’s Hair

Cutting a baby boy’s hair can be tricky – here are some tips for success!
Tips for cutting a baby boy's hair
Whenever I get my haircut, I usually go to a local beauty school. It’s usually really cheap (and sometimes, I’ve even gotten it done free!) and they do a pretty good job. After getting my hair done there, I always have a desire to go to beauty school. It just seems like so much fun, and it would be a useful skill.

Of course, I never will. There are about 10 different jobs I cycle through that I think would be really neat to have. I’m pretty indecisive — it took about six major changes to settle on journalism, which, ironically, is what I started out with in the first place!

Anyways, I figure having a boy who’s hair I can cut will help satisfy that desire to spend lots of money to go to beauty school. I don’t think I’ll ever venture into cutting girl’s hair…but Jack’s hair? Not so intimidating. Plus, this will save you so much money doing it at home. Haircuts can be so expensive, and boys often need them every few months…and that adds up quickly.

Cutting a Baby Boy's Hair by Clarks Condensed

Jack has been needing a haircut for months. He was born with lots of hair, and it’s just continued to grow ever since. And it just got longer, and longer, and has basically been in his eyes for awhile now. However, I just couldn’t accept the fact that he needed a haircut. I feel like a haircut is really a rite of passage, and I don’t ever want him to grow up! Plus, it’s his baby hair. But finally, I gave in to Forrest’s persistent pestering, and decided we could trim his bangs and the back. Here are a few pictures of him before the big cut. People started calling him a girl, and some people Forrest worked with said he looked like a little Kurt Cobaine. I think those comments put me over the edge the most!

Cutting a Baby's Hair
Cutting a Baby Boy's Hair
In my defense, I didn’t usually let his hair go in front of his eyes…I would almost always brush it off to the side. But obviously, it was pretty long!

I tried to find tips online for cutting a baby’s hair, but there really weren’t a lot. And while I’m not a professional by any meaning of the word, I felt like our first experience cutting his hair yielded good results. Here are a few tips for cutting a baby boy’s hair (though I imagine many of these would work for a little girl, too.)

Tools

You don’t need a lot when cutting a baby’s hair, especially if it’s just a trim. We borrowed some simple cutting scissors from a friend, found a baby brush and comb, and filled up a spray bottle of water. If you are really wanting to cut it all off, you could try using a razor, but we aren’t quite at that point yet! This is a great hair cutting set that is worth the investment if you want to cut hair from home all the time.

I wouldn’t mess with using a towel — that is just one more thing for your baby to try and mess with. If you want to avoid getting hair on them, use a big bib that can’t be easily removed.

Bumbo or Highchair

First, make sure you have a good place to sit your baby. When I was doing the back of Jack’s hair, I took him out of the high chair so I could see it. I, very hopefully, thought that he would sit still. Yeah…that didn’t happen! He tried to get away as fast as possible. So, learn from my mistake, and make sure you have a good, secure place for your baby to sit.

Cutting a Baby Boy's Hair
Cutting a Baby Boy's Hair
We started out with his high chair, but when it come time to cut the back of his hair, there was no way I was going to be able to get the back of his hair like that. So we pulled out his Bumbo that we hadn’t used in a long time. I guess it was worth it to hold on to! Next time, we are going to start out this way — it has a seat belt so he can’t get away, and it was easier to reach all parts of his head.

Distractions

Cutting a Baby Boy's Hair

If your baby is like Jack, they won’t be easily distracted when it comes to their hair being cut. Jack was not happy about it, but I think the only reason we got anything done was because of Blue’s Clues. I pulled it up on our iPad at first, but then it died, so we turned it on the TV. While he was still hard to distract, during the few times he had his attention diverted to the show, we were able to get quite a bit done.

When he was in the Bumbo, Forrest sat in front of him and played with him with some toys. I think that was the best distraction!

Two People (at least!)

Don’t be fooled, cutting a baby or young child’s hair is no easy task. I would really not attempt it without another person. Even just having someone else to distract your child will make a world of difference. Forrest started out the haircut, and I finished it up, and it was definitely a tag team effort. In the picture below, you can see Forrest cutting, while I held Jack’s head still. If you have someone there to hold the child’s head, or gently hold their hands back from swatting the tools (because that WILL happen,) things will go smoother.
Cutting a Baby Boy's Hair

Pick A Good Time

One of our biggest mistakes was probably cutting Jack’s hair right before he went to bed. He was tired, and kind of emotional. I think that picking a time where your child is happy and most likely to be distracted by toys or a TV show is the best way to go. Make sure it’s not right before a nap or bed time! When we finished Jack’s hair off in the morning, it was a lot easier because he was well-rested, and more easily distractable.

Wet the Hair

I’m not talking about taking a full on bath beforehand, but have a spray bottle ready to use. Cutting the hair mostly dry makes it easier to style, in my opinion, because you can see what the end result will look like. However, having it slightly wet makes it easier to work with, and see stray hairs.

Cut vertically

This is the one tip I was able to find, just for cutting hair in general. Hold the scissors and cut vertically. This makes it easier to blend and make sure you are cutting even. I was kind of confused about this at first, but it worked. It takes a little more time than just shopping the hair off in one swift cut, but I believe it yields much better results.
Cutting a Baby Boy's Hair

Start With the Most Noticeable Area

Just in case you have to quit early, start with the area that most needs the cut. Hopefully, your child will be cooperative enough in the first few minutes to let you get the most important part out of the way. By the time we were done with Jack’s bangs, he was not having it anymore, and the back was saved for another day. He was rocking a mullet for a while, but I think I would prefer that over him short hair in the front, and long in the back, rather than the opposite. That’s just me though! I’ve heard that it’s best to start with the ears, the neck, around the skull, and finishing with the bangs. It’s up to you.

Choose Clothing Wisely

We started out by having Jack in his pajamas, which happened to have a rather large collar. Hair got all over the clothes, and probably made him rather itchy. When I was trying to get the back of his hair, I took off his clothes, and he was just in a onesie. This made it SO much easier to get to the areas I needed. Put your child in just a onesie, or even consider having them just in a diaper. Extra clothes might make them hotter, trap the hair, and make it harder to get the hair, depending on the length of the hair and style of clothes.

Prepare for Tears

And not because you accidentally nicked your child with the scissors. I’m not sure why, but Jack really had a hard time. I imagine he isn’t the only child to have this reaction, but prepare for your baby to be kind of upset. Chances are, they aren’t hurt, so just be careful and keep going. Just be aware that it might not be the most pleasant experience.
Cutting a Baby Boy's Hair

Be VERY Careful

I think this is probably the most important tip I have. Jack wasn’t constantly moving his head, swatting the scissors or comb, making me very nervous about cutting his hair. I was so scared about cutting him, and there were a few close calls, but luckily, we came out with no injuries. Make sure to go very slowly, and be aware of how your child is reacting. It only takes one swift move of the head for an accident to happen.
Cutting a Baby Boy's Hair
Cutting a Baby Boy's Hair

Slow and Steady

It isn’t a race. Set aside a good chunk of time to do this. Even consider doing it in a few different sessions. Your baby might get restless, may be upset, or you might just not have enough patience to do it all at once! The haircut doesn’t need to be perfect (Jack’s definitely wasn’t) but it’s worth it to put a little bit of extra time into the process.
Cutting a Baby Boy's Hair

Have an Envelope Ready

If this is your baby’s first haircut, you might be feeling a little nostalgic. I know I was! So I had an envelope close by, where I put his precious locks as soon as they were snipped off. Because we took such small amounts off at a time, each snip didn’t seem like a lot, but it added up. If I had waited until the end to gather the hair, I probably wouldn’t have gotten as much. Some might think this is weird, but if you want to save the hair, do it. My baby book from when I was little has an envelope with my hair, and I think it’s kind of fun.
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6 Comments

  • I think you did a great job! I rarely cut baby hair at the salon, but sometimes it happens and it really is so hard to d. There are a lot of times when they leave and I'm just hoping I didn't miss a spot because I've had to go with whatever and the baby is constantly moving their head no matter how hard the two of us try to distract or hold them down.

    I recently discovered though, that giving a baby who is old enough, a dum dum sucker keeps them very content and still for a decent amount of time!

    Amberly
    http://amberlyandjoe.blogspot.com
    • 4 years later, and you probably won't read this, Amberly, but this is probably the best tip. I need to cut my baby boy's hair, so I'll definitely be trying this out.
  • Great job Katie! I've been cutting Drew's hair for a while as well with a profesh cut thrown in about 2 times a year. It just grows so fast! :) Anyway, little Jack is a doll and I can't wait to read more about him. Hope you'll stop by and follow as I'll be hosting an Easter Basket Showcase link party on the 28th! I'd love to see little Jack's basket! :)
  • WAY TO BE~! I am impressed. I think it's so funny that haircuts are such an ordeal - I get that kids cry, I'm just not sure why...so it cracks me up!

    Thanks for the tips! Any thoughts on little girl hair? My little T is starting to look super stragle-ey but I'm not sure if you actually cut girl hair...dumb question? Don't mind me!
    Kaylynn
    AmongTheYoung.com

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