Top tips for cutting a toddler’s hair

Well. That’s scarred us both for life. He’s left with some 80’s style tramlines and I’m part tempted to hit the bottle at 1:30pm. Today was time to tame the unruly toddler mop that Deano had only just resurrected after the home-styled buzz cut of the first confinement.

So many of us have had to ‘retrain’ as a result of lockdown. Covid19 has seen parents turn teachers. It’s required us to morph in to Mary Berry to use up the glut of black bananas. For those blessed to have a cleaner pre-lockdown (sadly I don’t fall in to this category), they’ve had to don the marigolds and blitz that toilet bowl.

But the one profession I was never destined to excel in was hair styling. It’s an art form. Not only the response to the kinks and crowns but to the wiley ways in which you can cajole a three and half year old to sit still considering you are essentially wielding weapons.

Here are my top tips for surviving a scalping.

Watch a YouTube tutorial

Watch it, and then disregard it. Never has my child been able to sit still and compliant for 7 minutes. And is a haircut actually possible in 7 minutes? Never have they been cool as a cucumber as I’ve tried to navigate their neckline with a grade 1. I salute these ‘I’m not a hairdresser’ moms who don’t have to resort to sitting on their child to get the job done.

Bribe. Then bribe some more.

Have a carrot you can dangle. Who am I kidding – have a deluxe cornetto you can metaphorically dangle. Start with ‘once I’ve cut your hair’ as the goal but continually shift it to ‘once we’ve cleaned you up’ to ‘once we’ve hoovered your unwanted locks’ to ‘once we’ve got you changed from your hair shirt’ to the necessary ‘once mammas had a shot of something 70% proof to get her over the experience’. Make sure you have the reward to come good on your promise.

Try a ‘fade’…

… said no amateur stylist, ever. Seriously. People train for this. They learn through teaching, modelling, practise and more practise how to seamlessly blend a grade 1 with a grade 6 on top. Harry now has stripes where he lost his mind when I paused to swap to a third clipper attachment. He literally bolted from the room. There no gentle fading here people. Do not fool yourself in to believing you will be a natural Trevor Sorbie. You are not the next Vidal Sassoon.

Get the job done

Don’t mess. Find a grade that doesn’t make him look like a complete convict. Then go wild, all over, in every direction. I’m talking full Edward Scissorhands shizzle here. Don’t pause. Don’t take a breath. Show no mercy. Just buzz the grade 6 outta life.


As your offspring comments “I look so smart mummy”, bite your tongue when you are tempted to reply, “maybe from 6 feet away”. And pride yourself that actually, you’ve done a passable job, there’s no blood and no toddlers were harmed in the process. Then crack open a bottle of wine.

It will grow

Repeat after me: it will grow. That is all!


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