Afraid of Scissors

Woman holding scissors
Photo: Bigstock
Q: I’m afraid of scissors and every hair salon visit is a nightmare. I’m lucky to be a girl, and I can wear my hair long, but I want to get rid of this fear. Any tips?
A: I know from experience that these types of fears usually stem from an event/events that caused psychological trauma during early childhood. In most cases the client can’t even remember that something traumatizing happened to them regarding a certain thing (in your case scissors). They can’t remember the event simply because they were too young, or because the sub-consciousness often suppresses memories that threaten the foundation of a person’s happiness, psychological health or sanity.
This means that it’s highly probable that something happened to you when you were growing up that made you so scared of scissors that you don’t want to go into a salon.
You can ask your parents whether they have any idea where this began or why:
Parents often “know” the answers to these questions, although they don’t always realize this or the utmost importance of this.
For example, when a girl was really small, a cat came flying through the window, scaring the daylights out of the little girl. The girl’s mom sees this, picks her up and comforts the girl and forgets the event as she knows that the cat was not an actual threat, and she’s thinking about her meetings and what to make for dinner and that she still has to call someone to fix the leaking faucet.
In the mother’s paradigm, the cat was a non-event squished into a very busy life. For the girl, the cat was a hugely traumatic event. Even though her mom was there to “save” her, her brain has already made a very strong negative emotional link to cats. She forgets the cat that came through the window, but has a life-long fear or dislike of cats. So ask your parents whether they have an inkling of where your fear of scissors might stem from.
Let someone you really trust cut your hair:
This might be your mom, best friend, niece, etc. Set up a really relaxed environment and discuss the whole plan of action beforehand, eg how much hair will be cut off, how long it will take and which safety measures will be used to avoid any sort of harm or stress.
Do this at home if you can. It might be that you’re actually scared of the actual salon or being around so many people in a small space, and the mere sight of scissors sub-consciously represents this fear.
Get professional help:
This would be my number one proposal. These types of fears might seem silly to someone else, but for the person that has to deal with it, it can be crippling.
Go and see an NLP counselor (Neuro Linguistic Programming). These people are trained to access the sub-conscious part of the brain, to access the traumatizing memory, to neutralize it, and to equip the client with the emotional tools to help himself/herself if the fear strikes at any time. You can have a look at NLP practices in your area or even have someone help you via Skype etc., as most professional counselor have online services these days as well.
Good luck. I believe you’ll get it sorted out if you set your mind to it.