we are functioning from a basis of :
immatureity (as in phycially behind -- barely PT at 4 ... and so on)
there are other issues but not os relvant to this post
He HATES to have his hair messed with. he will wash it and it fine with getting wet in shower or pool.
he doesn't want me, or anyone, to TOUCH it.
Once in a while he will let me brush it -- if he is brushing his teeth or something. not all the time., and frequently if i do -- he messed it right back up.
i am ok with that.
but he FLIPPES about getting it cut. he panics before, can't sit still during, cries and sobs like his heart is breaking and for hurs afterwardin -un-sooth-able. and for the rest of that day and some times days after each time he touches it or sees it he is right back in the middle of the reaction.
We cut it very very very very rarely.
he is 4 is it cute and curly and not worth it.
but -- it has to be done some times, it is getting wild and summer is starting ... i'd like to 'cut it back" (like the bushes) to start the summer, but i just can't make myself do it.
now we are blessed that it is cute as it is --
how do you cope / manage the hair cut situation???
oh and brbiery means nothing to him -- he doesn't really get it and while he MIGHT agree to X in exchange for Y ... he can't / won't follow though ..it means nothing after the fact
\he never had a bad expereince that this is reaction to -- i mean they are all bad for us all -- but that is how it has been since 2.75 almost 3 when we fisrt cut it.
We are working our way through the more immediately pressing issues, and just working around the ones that can wait.
He said it hurt. He'd cringe and cry. He never fought or tried to get away or ran or kicked. He'd just scream in horror with each slice of the scissors. It was awful.
(Side note: Evidence in my mind of sensory issues being hereditary: My mom, upon hearing me describe this, started off with a "well just tell him..." and then she stopped, and she said, "I remember when I was older than him, my grandma used to think that it would be such a treat for us to go get our hair done together -- the whole 50s thing of shampoo, cut and set. Getting your hair shampooed was supposed to be so luxurious ... and I hated it and I thought it hurt and I had to grit my teeth the whole time.")
Anyway, what we discovered was that, counterintuitive though it seemed, the clippers were more tolerable to him than scissors. I actually get it, because that "skrr skrr" with the sort of uneven pulling sensation as the blades cut through the hair in sequence? I dont' like it either.
So what we did was we took him in and had the hairdresser shear him like a sheep with a 1/4" guard every 6 months. We bribed heavily and talked him through it.
It would be nice to say we should have just left it, but his hair is very thick, very unruly, he was in swim lessons so it was getting damaged, and it was beginning to look like he was uncared for in a way that gets everyone treated in ways we did not need him to be treated. He hated combing too.
So we got through it wtih clippers and things gradually improved, until a few months ago, at 9.5 yo, he pointed to a picture on the wall at the barber and said "I want my hair like that." And we said "Kid, that' a scissor cut." And he said "Okay, that's fine if my hair is like that after."
savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).
I wish I had more advice but I just wanted to let you know you are not alone!
one thing that helps, though not much, is to do in between trims. right when his hair needs to be cut, i tell him i am going to just do the perimeter with scissors and it wont take long and he usually agrees. i follow through on my promise to keep it quick. not sure if it really does anythign other than instill trust and make it look slightly better.
we just sort of have agreed that haircuts suck for him and they need to be done so we grit out teeth and just do it.
My youngest still doesn't care about the looks as much and we have sucess with using the clippers with him.
My two younger boys hated haircuts, screamed through them, fought, it was awful. Connor's hair grows crazy fast, like he really needs a cut every 3 weeks, even when we do it short; Isaac grows out nicely so I can go about 8-12 weeks.
My best trick is to take them to CoolCuts for Kids, where they have little movie/video game consoles at each station and they (ideally) totally zone out and don't notice. We still had some tantrums and tears and awfulness there, but they are skilled!! in that they can cut while the kid is thrashing and come out with it pretty good. They are good at determining if clippers or scissors are better for a particular kid, and will use them. They will also follow requests of use/don't use spray water, use baby powder and a fluffy makeup brush to remove hair (best trick ever!), will give towels to cover the face, give them suckers during (and even ask first if it is ok!), bribe with hair gel spikes at the end(Worked great with Connor!! He wanted spikes, but his hair has to be pretty short to do it because so heavy). Whatever it takes to get through. We have a few ladies there that we like and I always tipped really well in the early screaming cuts, stayed with them, and it took about 1 1/2 years for Connor and Isaac to be ok. I still tip well, because they have worked so hard to make it better for them. I just took Connor Thursday, and he didn't even flinch. I even had her wash his hair (another battle), and he cried at first, then got a towel to cover his face, and was all smiles. So I may start taking him in every couple of weeks to do his hair. When he is not sweating, a quick douse with water is really all he needs. But hot Texas summers mean he has to have it done 1-2x a month.
Umm, other things we do--immediately come home and shower and put on clean clothes. Clean out end of hair from ears. Use baby powder all over to keep any strays from sticking. We use the special kid hair care products from the salon (so it is what they stylists are using), let them stay and play if they want to. At ours is a lego table, a thomas table with trains, a large TV with movie (Nemo or similar) and extra video games. If it isn't really busy so that we are not in the way, we stay for maybe 30 minutes or so.
Hope some of that is helpful that you could try. I know you said rewards and bribes don't work well for him, but thought maybe getting them while cooperating might be useful in that case. I totally thought it was a gimmick until I saw Connor get old enough to engage in a TV/game and completely be ok with it all! So if Theo can TV/game zone, you might have a chance with this.
Sometimes doing something in a completley new way helps.
Bribes and rewards don't work with my sensory child for things she is afraid of either.
but everything has pros and cons
It went way better than when I had tried to do it myself in the past. After that one cut at home he was able to venture out into a salon. Good luck, we had a lot of difficulty with that. I luckily had a curly headed boy too who looked cute with long hair.Now at six he wants his hair short. It is hard to believe since it was such a struggle from ages 2-5
Drawing a picture of ds with his long hair, then handsome shorter hair. He was very bothered by looking different.
Wearing ear plugs- he says now that it was the sound of the scissors that was scary for him...
Going to a kids place that has a video or water game- (or maybe you could get one, the thing that you fill with water and push the button and the little rings shoot around to get caught on the posts or something), cool big seat, lollipops and toy afterwards....It was worth it as after going twice, ds was okay!
My main thought was that if he isn't able to accept longer-term gratification, then he needs something special as a reward *while* you do the haircut.
I would go for something special that he only gets at haircut time - a hand-held leapfrog game, a special candy, a really interesting toy, etc. Have a little haircut kit with the supplies you need plus his special item that he gets to have while you do it.
Then maybe start over with haircuts where you either find pictures on google or draw them to show the stages of the haircut. Make a little short story about it with a photo or drawing on each page. Then have a page with each one little with a number to show the order. And do lots of little haircuts with only stage 1, 1 and 2, etc. and then build it up so that he gets to look forward to his special toy and knows that it will be short before you build up the time you are doing it for.
Cutting his nails is a whole other ball of wax.
Mine is only 3, but the last time I cut his hair, I didn't really do a bribe so much as let him eat a candy cane to keep him occupied while I did it . Having something in his mouth really helped. And I did it in spurts. We did a bit, then took a break (took some pictures because he looked really crazy with a half haircut) then did some more in front of a movie. I wouldn't have cut it at all except that it was in his eyes and bothering him. He is sounds sensitive, so the buzzers don't work, but he did okay with the scissors. After the first few snips and some tears, he seemed like he could at least handle it.
Cutting his nails is a whole other ball of wax.
Stephenie, Wife to Nick 9/3/05 Mama to Keagan 4/12/07, Eden 3/29/09 Someone new coming in July and two angels 6/06 and 10/10. Check out my blog!
I had one client that would bring in a white sheet and wrap her ds tightly and then put the cape on top of it. she held him in her lap and would squeeze him gently while I cut. It seemed to work for him. Some kids need the input others don't like it. I had another lil guy that we scissor trimmed while he sat in the shampoo bowl spraying everyone with the hose. Everyone was soaked , but it worked. Another stylist once had to cut a little kids hair in their car in the parking lot ..his mom was getting married and needed his hair cut pretty badly.
If you do decide to go to a salon I would call around first. You might make a few visits before actually getting a cut. You can call ahead and let them know that your trying to prepare ds. Tell them you are trying to make him feel comfortable and would like to go in for a friendly visit to say hello and get a lollypop a few times. If he has a few positive experiences beforehand it might help a little. You could even ease into the haircut by just having his hair sprayed and combed or just the bangs snipped. You could get your hair trimmed the first time while he sits on your lap.
My mom, his grandma, is the ONLY person so far that he has ever let 'trim' his hair. And she says, sometimes the trim includes a full haircut. He seems to be all right with that as long as she is doing it. She can also wash and comb his hair with minimal fussing.
The rest of us are not allowed or he has a full scale meltdown!
Now going to the dentist is an entirely different scenario...