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Expert Insights: Children’s Hair Care with Amy Button of La Sabrina Hair Design

March 31, 2013

by Michelle LaRowe
Editor in Chief

eNannySource: When are kids typically ready for their first haircut?

Amy: Like with most things, children are ready at their own pace. Every child’s hair has a unique texture and thickness, and grows at a different pace. That being said, there is no “right age” for a first cut, but boys are usually in need of their first hair cut around their first birthday, depending on the length of their hair. Girls, on the other hand, could be 4-years-old before they need their first cut. With girls, it depends on if you’re a “bangs” mom or not, but if you want to keep your princess’s hair long, you may notice that around age three or four her hair begins to tangle easily. This is caused mostly by the fact that the ends of her hair are still the same “baby hair” that she had when she was one. That hair is usually thin and silky and can tangle very easily.

eNannySouce: Once you start cutting, how often do kids need haircuts?

Amy: Boys hair styles and girl’s short styles, such as a bob, tend to require a maintenance cut every few weeks to a month, where longer hair styles can go six months without a cut. Keep in mind that it is a good idea to have your child’s hair trimmed two to three times per year to keep it healthy and to encourage growth.

eNannySource: What should parents look for in a kid’s hair stylist?

Amy: When looking for the right stylist for your child, avoid spas and high end salons. Typically, women go to these salons to “get away” and relax. There are kid friendly salons that offer movies and special chairs, which can be a lot of fun for them, especially for the first timers! Scope out a salon before booking and look for a kind, patient stylist that can complete a cut or hairstyle in 30-45 minutes. Kids get wiggly, which all moms know firsthand.

eNannySource: How can parents set their kids up for a successful experience? Should they try to distract the kids?

Amy: Prep your child for their first hair care experience! Once, I overheard another cosmetologist friend talking to a parent who was having a difficult time with her child being fearful and refusing to have her hair cut. She said, “You have to remember that you have been telling your child to NEVER play with scissors and to NEVER talk to strangers.” That has stuck with me ever since because in this case – in your child’s eyes – you’re breaking both of those rules! So I recommend that you bring your child into the salon of your choice to make the appointment and meet the stylist before getting her hair actually cut. Try to get your child used to the surroundings and the people there. Then, if they are old enough, explain that only stylists are allowed to cut their hair and that they use special scissors that are made to cut hair. Another thing to keep in mind is that most little girls at some point try and cut their own hair. So explaining this to them may avoid an unwanted haircut.
For younger children, a portable DVD player, iPad or Kindle that will play their favorite movie may be a good idea. In some cases, kid friendly salons will play movies as part of the service. Also, try to make a big deal about going on this special outing by taking pictures, if your child is comfortable with that, and offer a small reward afterwards. Kids receive stickers, pretzels or something special after a doctor and dentist appointment, why not after a haircut?

eNannySource: How often should children have their hair washed? Conditioned?

Amy: It is my feeling that a child’s hair, as well as an adult’s, does not need to be washed every day, unless of course they have been rolling in the mud or have spent a long, summer day running around outside. The natural oils that you have are good for your hair within reason. Every other day to every three days is what I would recommend for shampooing a child’s hair. Now, because children typically do not perspire as much as adults, conditioner will most likely not be needed. However, for little girls with long hair that tangles easily, a small amount of leave-in conditioner is a good option. Avoid conditioning the scalp if you can, the ends of your hair is what needs conditioning most. If you are applying conditioner, be sure to start at the ends and work your way up.

eNannySource: Is there anything else you want parents to know?

Amy:  If your child is not cooperating during his haircut, please keep in mind that if the stylist at any point feels that the situation is no longer safe for the child, they have the right to decide to not continue. It is clearly unsafe for a child to be moving around uncontrollably if a stylist is using a buzzer, scissors or a hot curling iron. Continuing on in a very uncooperative situation it is not worth the risk of the child being hurt or the stylist losing her license or job.

Amy Button is a licensed cosmetologist and owner of La Sabrina Hair Design. She specializes in on-location bridal hair design and “Little Princess Parties,” in addition to meeting her clients’ every day hair care needs. Amy believes that every girl deserves to feel like a princess, hence the name of her company “La Sabrina” which is French for “The Princess.” Amy is a wife and mother of three beautiful children, two girls and a boy, who are her favorite little clients. To learn more about La Sabrina Hair Design visit www.LaSabrinaHairDesign.com


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