So a while ago I posted about Baby H’s pretty terrible first haircutting experience - something which we had gone alone to enjoy and treasure turned into a wrestling match filled with tears and it haunted me for a long time. Maybe that sounds melodramatic, but when your child’s first haircut makes him more upset then having a nurse shove two giant needles in his thighs, then there’s something wrong.
Anyhoo. My H has the most glorious head of mixed race hair. I want to tell you it’s all from me, but it isn’t – it’s fine but plentiful. It’s dark and strong like mine, but not rough and spiky as young Chinese hair can be, it’s soft and shiny. Anyway, since the traumatic first cut I’ve refused to let anyone else do it. Instead I have been sporadically trimming it, but I made a bit of a mess last time – (Mr C “Hack into it! Add some layers!). He doesn’t exactly sit still for a hair cutting session.
I decided it was time to find a hairdresser to sort out his hair on the condition that it be a specialist hairdresser used to dealing with kids. I found a salon, not exactly local to us but close enough (about a 40 minute drive) called Little Big Heads, in Wilmslow, Cheshire (a posh area).
When I booked I was very clear with H’s history, the fact that he had been traumatised (as had I) and he hated having his hair cut. No problem they said, bring him in. We turned up at the cute little salon, where we met his hairdresser, Sarah – we had a chat, I did say that should he get upset at all, or if she felt at any point that he was too difficult to cut for, to NOT do it, to just stop, and I would pay the same! No problem she said, let me know if you feel uncomfortable at all.
H was placed in a special chair NOT ON MY LAP. I can’t emphasise how hard it is when people think that your children automatically sit statically still when on your knee, but instead you have to restrain them. I thought he fuss like hell but he didn’t – the chair was high up, it had a special panel in between the legs which would stop him from falling forward. He could lean on the panel in front of him if he wanted. The chair made sense, because it wasn’t about using seat belts and restraints – H in particular hates being belted in, so he was happy with this chair.
A cloth was quickly placed around him with minimal fuss (once again, it seemed like such a trauma last time, but Sarah handled it, I wasn’t being told to restrain him at all). Oh – very cute detail – I was asked what H’s favourite cartoon was. He loves Cbeebies…Alphablocks…Numtums…ah! Octonauts! Like magic, a Octonauts DVD was produced and put on the DVD player in front of him. Helped VERY MUCH to have a specific cartoon that he enjoys in front of him as a distraction.
Sarah began by spraying H’s hair to get it wet. Mr C noticed that when H didn’t like the sensation of being sprayed, Sarah sprayed her hand wet and patted it on his hair. It’s a small thing, but the point is she sensed when H didn’t like something and adapted accordingly. Part of being a children’s hairdresser…
And we’re off. I am worried. He’s fussing a little, whining, as they do….
We have already said that we will keep going until the hair seems like a good length, or H has decided he’s had enough. At one point I have to whip out my phone too so he can SIMULTANEOUSLY watch Octonauts and his favourite Elmo video, ABC with India Arie. It’s working, he’s fussing sure, occasional whining, but he’s not fighting to come out of the chair.
H was born with the skill of Wing Chun – he’s very good at swatting things away when he doesn’t want them near him. He grabs his ear, one side, the other side. Sarah is quick though, and she moves expertly round his head and is on to the next section before H can get too fixated on a particular area.
Oh my God. It’s actually happening. I’m feeling quite emotional - sure he’s definitely needed the distractions, I’m not saying that he’s sat there 100% willingly having his hair cut, but the fact that he’s ok with it and his hair is most definitely getting cut is a real bonus. Why couldn’t his first time be like this?
Before you know it we are done….
We all back away. H is happy chewing the DVD case and watching more Octonauts. They have some healthy snacks for kids there too like Raisins for the kids. The even do Babychinos! Well, H is too young for that but as he gets older he might find it more fun and we can relax and have a cup of tea and use the free Wi-Fi.
We chose not to blow dry his hair and let it dry naturally (there’s only so much you can do to a toddler in one day!). We asked for some wax in his hair (my favourite, Original Sprout!).
In the back of the store is a playroom too – kids can play before or after their cut. There’s a screen on the wall, books and general toys to play with. It’s a comfortable space for kids and H had an explore. See! He got a sticker for being well behaved:
I was elated, and so happy after our experience. We paid £12 (there are a ton of other services available, especially for girls and even for mum and dad if you want your hair done) and is absolutely well worth it.
H’s new hair!
Looking more like Daddy now!
I can’t recommend Little Big Heads enough – North West parents, this is the place to get your kids haircut if you can’t do it yourself, or if your child doesn’t like going to the regular hairdressers, OR you just want to give them a treat. Even if your kid absolutely despises getting their haircut (as H did) I think they may be able to work their magic!
Oh you also get a loyalty card!
The website is here.