DIY Haircuts

December 6, 2012

I have several half-finished projects I’m trying to finish up and share, so until then, I thought I’d share about my latest money-saving project.

Last week a Mom at school had her daughter’s hair cut off in a precious little bob. It was our topic of conversation for several days and got us all thinking about the hair on our own little ones. A quick look at my girls confirmed what I’d been trying to deny–they looked scraggly. They needed haircuts. But the last thing I wanted to do was haul 3 crankies to the kids salon and shell out way too much for haircuts I might not love anyway. And a quick check of my math told me I’d be looking at $54 plus tip and I immediately knew it was home cuts for everyone.

They’ve all had haircuts before, but nothing recently. Chloe’s the only one who has had her hair cut since we moved into this house in April, so to say they were long overdue is an understatement! It feels like their hair takes forever to grow, but comparing pictures from just a year ago shows they actually grow it pretty quickly!

And boy does time fly!

I started with Sofie. She’s been talking about a haircut for months and I’ve been dragging my feet. She has precious curls at the bottom of her hair and I was terrified if I cut them off, they’d be gone. Her hair grew out unevenly and it was a lot longer on the right than on the left and I tried to hide it constantly.

Sofie wavers between wanting Rapunzel hair and wanting super short hair, so I left it long. My others have short hair and I love being able to braid hers and do cute longer styles with it. It’s baby fine so I didn’t cut layers into it, we just went with a straight cut and some tapering around her face.

I didn’t style her hair before I took the after pictures and she apparently wrestled with Chloe while I was cutting Ella’s, so it’s a little frizzy and more wavy than usual, but you get the idea!

Baby Ella was my biggest change. She was born with a ton of hair and it started to grow pretty quickly. By the time she was about 6 months old she’d rubbed it bald in the center back of her head and I cut it then to even it up. It broke my heart to be cutting her hair already, but it looked so much better afterwards! Well that bald spot is growing in curly so the hair under it and the hair over it were both stringy and a lot longer. I tried to put it in pony tails to keep it out of her face and hide the curls, but it always looked bad. I never want my girls to look back at pictures and say, “Mom!? How did you let me go around with hair like that!?”

I watched some videos before I cut Ella’s hair and the one that was the most helpful was a Mom who said prioritize your haircut to get the maximum amount of haircut for the time they’re willing to cooperate. She was cutting her son’s hair and she focused on the front, back and sides, leaving the length for last in case his patience was up. So taking a cue from that, I just cut the top and bottom layers off even with the middle curly layer and tried to clean it up around her face a little. It could use some layers and a little more cleaning up, but it’s worlds better and I’m so happy I did it! Chloe’s hair was straight until her first birthday, so I’m not totally surprised Ella’s is starting to curl. We just don’t know how much it’ll end up spiraling!

Ella’s sick today, she’s got her first ear infection (a double) so I’m extremely happy with the little bit she put up with. And look! If you look really closely, you can see her first tooth! It took her 14 months to cut it, but there it is.

Ella was my biggest change, but Chloe was definitely my biggest challenge. I might have been more intimidated if I hadn’t cut her hair several times before in her life, and if I didn’t have curls myself. Mine are nothing like hers, though, so it is a learning curve for me. While this isn’t a fair representation of Chloe’s before hair from the front, it is completely fair for the back. She’d had it in a pony this morning for school and I took it out and tried to flatten it a little. When I put her hair in a pony tail I don’t comb it out. Once it starts needing a haircut, it causes lots and lots of knots and she cries and cries while I comb it. It really is this rats-nesty every morning when she wakes up!

One of the hardest things about Chloe’s hair is just how much the curl actually shrinks up. It cracks me up every time I wash her hair and I see it stretch down her back. It’s almost as long as Sofie’s, but you’d never know it! So I have to take her curl shrink into account when I cut and be careful not to take off more than just the dry, knotted ends.

I didn’t wait until her hair dried for the after shot (it was naptime) but it doesn’t shrink much more when it’s dry.

All 3 cuts took me just under an hour! And considering it saved me more than $60, I’d say it was a good way to spend 60 minutes. I need to make a better habit of cutting their hair so they never get straggly and homely looking again. I can’t wait to get them all dressed up cute for Christmas and not have to worry about strategic bows or shots from a certain angle!

It felt like I cut off a lot of hair, but to see those tiny curls on the kitchen floor made it feel like it wasn’t a very big deal. And Sofie vacuumed it up for me! Win!

Some tips:
-Work quickly. Prioritize the parts you really need to cut and do more detailing only if they’re still cooperating. If you have to end the cut suddenly, you don’t want to do it with half the head cut and the other half still long.
-Put them in front of the tv and play a favorite to maximize cooperation! This is probably what saved me today. Thank you Mickey Mouse!
-If you don’t know what you’re doing, watch some videos first. This is the one I found the most helpful for cutting kids hair in general.

http://video.about.com/babyparenting/Your-Child-s-First-Haircut.htm

This is the video I’ve always used to cut Chloe’s hair. She’s got tighter curls that this little girl, and her hair is a lot shorter, but the technique is spot-on.

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4 Responses to “DIY Haircuts”

  1. Rosalie said:

    Have you heard of the Knot Genie Detangling Brush? It would work wonderfully I bet for your Chloe! I have one for my daughter and even though she has straight hair, it gets all knotty during the night. The Knot Genie works wonderfully getting through the hair without hurting them. They are featured a lot on babysteals.com or babyhalfoff.com for half price! :) http://www.knotgenie.com/

  2. Jacy said:

    My mom always cut our hair when we were kids, and when we were older, my sister and I trimmed our own bangs. It’s a great way to save money. I just wanted to say, I had really long hair about a year ago (before I cut off 12 inches to donate it), and even though my hair is stick-straight and moderately thick, it was killer to try to untangle it sometimes. I picked up some detangler spray (the generic of the Johnson & Johnson kind) and it immediately became my favorite hair product ever because of how much time, pain, and loss of hair it saved me. Give it a try with your curly-haired cutie, it could make a really nice difference.

  3. Eva said:

    I cut my kids’ hair, except I have two boys and a curly girly. You need to get your curly girly some Moroccan Oil. Stat. Works miracles.

  4. TracyKM said:

    They’re so adorable! I’ve done my kids’ haircuts over the years, but now they all want to go to the hairdresser’s. But it’s never anywhere near $54, and I have 3 kids. We just go to a cheap place, kids’ are $11 but there’s always coupons.
    I’ve been tempted to try those new detangling brushes, but wondered if they really work. My youngest has fine hair, but a TON of it, and it snarls really easily.

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