Turn your home into a hair studio with these expert-approved tips.

By Jenn Sinrich
April 08, 2020
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father cutting son's hair outside
Credit: Getty / Kevin Dodge

If you've yet to assume the role of hairstylist for your child, chances are you're about to. Hair salons across the country are shut down temporarily due to social distancing and COVID-19. During these trying times, we're finding ourselves having to assume new roles, like that of a hairdresser. While this might seem like a daunting task at first, there's no need to stress out about it—hair experts have practical advice you can follow to ensure you give your kids a great haircut. Best of all, you probably already have most of the materials you need, including a trusty pair of scissors, a comb (or brush), some leave-in conditioner or tangling spray, and some hair clips, at home.

Prepping the Hair

The best time to give your kid a haircut is right after bath time, when their hair is still wet. Have them sit down in a comfortable chair and give them something to focus on, like a tablet or a book. This will help ensure that they stay still and keep their head in the same place for equal cutting. If their hair is still sopping wet, towel dry it gently before draping the towel around their neck to catch any falling hairs.

Celebrity stylist Adriana Tesler, owner of Tesler Salon in Los Angeles, California, suggests applying a leave-in conditioner or detangling spray to help detangle the hair, such as Johnson's No More Tangles Detangling Spray ($3.99, target.com). Comb the hair with a brush, starting from the ends of the hair and work your way up towards the crown. "This way, you don't hurt your little one's scalp, or pull on their head," says Tesler. Part their hair in the middle with the comb and then part it again starting at the top of the crown of the head, down to the top of the ear. "Insert a clip behind the ear, grabbing the hair towards the front, as to keep the back hair separate," says Tesler. Repeat this step for the other side of the head. 

The Cut

Tesler suggests starting with the back section by parting the hair horizontally across the nape of the neck, as to have one section going up, and one going down. "The section going down should be small, and will be your base section," she says. "Clip the remaining hair up and get it out of the way."

With your child's head still facing down, comb the hair straight along the nape of the neck, starting from the middle. "When you reach the bottom of the hair with your comb, start cutting one to two inches for a trim," she says. "Once you are finished with your base section by cutting the hair straight and even, grab another back section above it and repeat the same steps, by matching the length to that of the base." Repeat these steps until you have cut and matched all the back sections. With your child looking straight ahead, take off the clip on one side of the head, and grab a small side base section. Then, Tesler instructs grabbing a small section from the back and using it as a guide for the side section, as to keep the hair even. "Comb the hair straight down and match it with the back section, and start cutting again, [making] your way slowly towards your child's face," she says. "Repeat the same steps with the other side."

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