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Steps - Handling a Special Needs Child during a Haircut
One word, Patience!
Prepare yourself in giving a rather challenging haircut while expecting everything to go on such as yelling, screaming, crying and possibly swinging hands and kicking feet.
It will require tenderness and patience beyond your imagination. Most special needs children I find have a high sensory sense of hearing and touch than the average child, therefore once you learn to recognize the child’s trigger points, you will then know where to begin cutting first and I would advise cutting the area that is most sensitive towards the end of the haircut. This will ease the child’s emotional state and you will be able to give them a calmer and more proper haircut.
Cutting special needs children in most cases requires a parent to sit with them before they are ready to sit on their own without the parents help. It takes time but eventually the child will get to know the stylist and they will listen and not be so impatient with the whole haircutting process. Time and patience on both parties will be required.
Introduce yourself to the child, let them know who you are and tell them exactly what it is you will be doing to their hair. (It can be very frightening to a child sitting in your chair while you hold a pair of shears or run a loud set of clippers on their hair)
Drape the child
If they refuse to wear a cape, then have the parent of the child bring in extra clothes on their visit
Make it fun to reduce the child’s anxiety (Post Pictures of each haircutting step)
Point to each step and number them, this will let the child see upfront of what will be happening during the course of the haircut. Talk to the child as you begin and end each step.
Once you begin the haircut show them the shears and comb and the water bottle, most children I find enjoy getting sprayed on their face. If anything, have them hold the water bottle and ask if they want to spray their hair for you. It’s worth a shot.
Now you’ve wet the child’s hair and are cutting and telling them what is happening. The child now will be looking forward to the next step and so forth.
If you’re not using the clippers, I would suggest you have the child, feel the outliner in the middle of their palm so that they can feel the vibration before you outline their hair. I usually refer that outliner as the baby machine because it is the most quitter machines and the quickest part of the haircut, that is if the child cooperates without moving too much.
Once you're done with the haircut clap your hands and praise the child for a great job even if the child didn’t cooperate at all, it is highly suggested you say this in order for the child to remember for the next haircut.
Clean them up by removing all the hair away from their face, neck and ears. If they have hair on their hands or clothes, please remove also, but avoid the blow-dry in case the parent of the child tells you it is ok to use. It may be too loud for the child to hear and scare them.
Off the child a treat and a toy. This small gesture will have the child looking forward to future haircuts and possibly reduce the fear and anxiety of haircuts.
Steps - Handling
a Special Needs Child during a Haircut
Ideas to Attract Parents-Toddlers
Children’s salons are spreading like wildfires around the world. From local town shops to well-known kids’ hair salon franchises that most parents will choose to bring their children to their local barbershops. There is nothing wrong with that with the exception if you indeed own a kid’s salon then you’re probably not going to be very fond of that strategy at all.
Have you thought about steps on how to approach parents in getting them to get their children’s haircuts at a kid’s salon versus the barbershop? A kid’s salon has a lot of fun and interesting things to see and do versus a local shop with bare walls and a loud tv in the background.
Most kids’ places offer a formal lollipop and an extra surprise after the completion of the haircut. This small gesture will stay in the child’s mind until his or her next haircut service. It’s amazing what children will remember and most of the time it’s the simple treat as a lollipop.
If you’re going to be giving lollipops and special treats and small gifts, then have enough in stock. You never want to say no to a child who just did a great job getting their haircut.
Most toddlers wake up super early waking up parents earlier than they would like to get up. Therefore, holding an early morning haircut special for toddlers would be ideal.