How I have had to learn to handle sensory issues and haircuts.
Personally I don’t hate getting my haircut, but I can’t stand to have my hair washed. My family never understood why it drove me crazy but there is something about my head being wet and my body being dry that overloads my senses. Thankfully I can skip the hair wash and just get the haircut.
When my oldest was a baby, I learned how to do basic boy’s haircuts. This skill has served me well, since my younger two boys have sensory issues and haircuts can become a stressful event. Here’s a list of 20 tips for helping with sensory issues and haircuts.
Now that my boys are older and want more stylish cuts, they need someone else to cut their hair. Nothing produces anxiety like telling them today is the day they are going to get their haircut.
The first hurdle I needed to address, discussing with them how to tell the stylist how they want their hair cut.
Which way do you part your hair?
How short do you want it?
Do you like your hair to cover your ears?
We needed to role-play and think through answers to these questions. Cause I read a joke somewhere that read, “No one goes to the hairdresser to get their hair cut longer.”
Then I explained to the boys that why they are in the chair they should offer feedback to the stylist. She wants to give them a good haircut. I was very proud when my boy mentioned he would like his bangs a little shorter.
I have also learned the value of showing a picture. In this day of smart phones, a photo of a haircut helps to communicate how the boys like their to wear their hair.
The second hurdle I needed to address, their sensory issues and haircuts.
My boys are really concerned that their ears are going to be accidentally cut off. Although I can not promise their ears won’t get cut, I can promise their ear will stay attached. I promise to buy really fun band-aids if it happens.
One of my sons finds holding a stress ball to help with sitting in the chair.
Most importantly, acknowledging my sons struggle with haircuts helps to get through the event.
I do mention to the hair stylist that my boys don’t like getting their haircuts so try to ignore the looks on their faces. I promised them I would not photograph the look of pain, I also try to encourage them to smile a little. We are still working on that.
If you are looking for a book on the subject, I found a one titled It’s Haircut Time!: How one little boy overcame his fear of haircut day
To end our day getting haircuts, I make sure to have a little extra fun activity. Which usually involves food, my boys are always hungry.
Do you have any tips or tricks to help with getting haircuts?