Special Needs & Sensory Difference Feature Image

Haircuts for Kids with Special Needs & Sensory Differences

The experience of getting a haircut is different for every kid. Some are excited and look forward to each visit to Pigtails & Crewcuts, but for others, the experience can be overwhelming and even a little scary, especially for our friends who may have special needs or sensory differences. At Pigtails & Crewcuts, we aim to make every haircut a great experience and our stylists are ready to work with you and your child through wiggles, tears, and fears to ensure they look and feel great when the haircut is complete. Take a look at how we can help make haircuts for children with special needs and sensory differences a better experience as well as some tips to try before and after each haircut.

Preparing for the Haircut

First, know that a majority of our stylists have experience working with children who may need a little extra time and attention when it comes to their haircuts. We do this every day, so nothing is new to us. When planning for your child’s haircut, call us in advance and let us know if your child has any special needs or sensory differences that have made haircuts a challenge in the past. For instance, if noise or bright lights are your child’s triggers, if you let us know up front we will be prepared to work around that for your child’s haircut. 

Also, keep your child’s schedule in mind and plan haircuts for a time of day when he or she is less likely to feel overwhelmed. Immediately after school may not be an ideal time if your child comes home from school overstimulated from the day’s activities or very tired. You can also talk to the stylists at your local Pigtails & Crewcuts to see when the peak times are so you can plan to come when there are fewer people and less noise inside the salon. Some of our locations also offer special hours specifically for clients whose children have special needs or sensory differences to help make the experience smoother.

Here are a few additional tips to help prepare for your child’s haircut: 

  • Make haircuts routine events. Many children with special needs thrive with routines, so adding haircuts into your regular schedule may help them get more comfortable with the experience. Most kids need a trim every six weeks, so this could be a good interval to start with. If possible, you may want to book with the same stylist each visit so there is an extra level of familiarity. 
  • Talk to your child about the experience. Show them pictures and videos of other children getting haircuts and explain what is going to happen before each haircut to help establish the routine of getting a haircut. 
  • Contact us to schedule a time to drop by the salon to simply visit and let your child become familiar with the surroundings and the stylists. 
  • Consider packing a fidget toy or your child’s favorite stuffed animal or another item that gives him or her comfort to hold during the haircut.
Show Your Child Pictures
During the Haircut
Communication between stylist and parent is key

We always take cues from you as the parent in regard to what your child is comfortable with–we will make sure to work around anything that makes your child feel scared or uncomfortable. Our stylists will have time at the beginning of the haircut to consult with you on your child’s specific needs and help you determine the haircut that will work best for him or her. For example, if your child doesn’t like their ears being touched, we may recommend a haircut that covers the ears

The most important thing for you to remember is that we need open lines of communication between you and your stylist. This will help create the best experience possible for your child and you. If you know there is something that your child is uncomfortable with or could potentially be bothersome, don’t be afraid to speak up!

Our stylists will also keep a few tricks at hand to help calm your child’s fears or nerves and distract them from the haircut. From bubbles to games and silly songs, and even completing a haircut sitting on the couch or the floor, we’ll do everything possible to keep your child comfortable so they leave with a great haircut and a smile.

Fun Distractions available
After the Haircut
End a Haircut with a Prize

Once the haircut is over, we can all celebrate your child’s brand new haircut and will praise him or her for being brave and doing a great job, even if there are some tears. For some kids, getting a haircut is a really big deal, so a little praise can go a long way to help set the stage for the next salon visit. We’ll also reward your child with a visit to the treasure chest for a special prize for a job well done! 

We recommend snapping some pictures to help your child show off their brand new ‘do. The pictures not only capture the memory but can also be used to remind your child of the great experience they had before their next visit to Pigtails & Crewcuts. 

We know haircuts aren’t easy for every kid, but our goal is to make each haircut better than the one before. The tears and nerves may not go away in one visit, but we promise to work with you and your child to take what was once a scary event and turn it into something special over time. Contact your local Pigtails & Crewcuts today to learn how we can make haircuts for children with special needs and sensory differences a better experience.

Happy Stylists & Kids, In Chairs

Our Stylists are Here to Help!

If you have questions about caring for your child’s hair between haircuts, ask your Pigtails & Crewcuts stylist the next time you visit your local salon. We’re here to help you keep your child’s hair looking great all year long!