Q: How do I cut my one-year-old boy's hair? It looks like it needs more in the back than simply cutting it shorter, but I
read on your site that fading doesn't work well with fine hair. We have clippers, but I don't know what he'd think of them!
A: Obviously, this is a situation that requires some careful consideration. Different children have widely varying temperaments, and
what one child will endure with little or no fuss, another child will resist with all his or her force of will. I don’t recommend
“springing” the clippers on your child without first getting him used to them. The loud buzzing and vibrations can be frightening,
especially when the child has no frame of context for it.
In addition, I don’t think a one-year-old is ready for clipper cutting. My recommendation is that
you use a layering technique on the back of the hair. You can do this by parting the hair in vertical slices and cutting the hair
using a vertical angle. The best way to do this is going to be having someone the child trusts hold him so that he feels safe and
secure and is facing the person holding him. In many cases, it is even preferable that the child be asleep. If a sleeping child isn’t
possible, have the “holder” keep the child’s attention and distract him from what you are doing.
Always keep your hand between the child’s head and the scissors. You can usually place your
hand directly onto the child’s head and use two fingers to hold the hair sections while you cut. That way if the child moves
suddenly, the only person likely to get poked or cut is you. For best results, be sure to follow the angle of the head as you cut.
Since your primary concern is the back of the child’s head, hold the scissors at the same angle that the nape of the neck follows.
With such a small child, you can usually cut all the hairs you need to cut in about four cuts.
Simply divide the hair at the nape area into four sections. Be sure to include part of the initial cut in with the next section being
cut to use as a guide. Doing so will ensure an even cut when finished.
If you want to eventually be able to use the clippers with your child, I suggest you make sure to
have him present when you use the clippers on other family members. You can slowly bring the clippers closer to the child until you
are sure he won’t be panicked by the noise and vibration. Once he seems comfortable with the apparatus, you can get him used to the
feel of the vibration by touching him with the back and sides of the tool so that he cannot grab at it. For safety’s sake, be sure
to keep the blade cover on the clipper’s when doing this.
Eventually, depending on how quickly the child becomes comfortable with the clippers, you will be
able to use the clippers on his hair. This can even be facilitated if you encourage the idea that he can be like the family member
whose hair is cut with the clippers.