Toddler terrified of hair clippers

Hi all - I have a 22 m/o son. We gave him his first haircut a few months ago with my husband's clippers, and he was totally fine with it. We sat him in his high chair, let him look at the Oakland Zoo's instagram videos, and he happily let my husband cut his hair. We just tried again last night and it was a disaster - he was terrified of the clippers and wouldn't let them anywhere near him, despite watching videos for distraction and sitting in the same high chair. My husband and I both tried showing him that it wouldn't hurt him - holding it to our own heads/bodies. But near his head - no way. We even found some videos of kids getting haircuts in the hopes it would reassure him, but no luck. Any tips for how to overcome this? Not sure we can let him go haircut free for the next few years.... 

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Lots of places (especially kids haircut places like Snippety Crickets) will give haircuts with just scissors and no clippers. Speaking from experience as my now 6 year old is just beginning to allow clippers. :) 

My son was the same way around this age so I took him to Snippety Crickets on Solano. He cried/screamed the entire time but the stylists there are totally unfazed by it and just get the work done. I thought my son would swat at their hands but somehow the cape that covers him prevented him from even thinking that was an option? After taking him now 3 or 4 times, he still cries but it's less traumatic each time and he recovers almost immediately as soon as he's out of the chair. For $23 per haircut every couple months, it's worth it to me to have someone else do it!

Snips in the Rockridge area of oakland on college Ave. They are excellent with kids and have a great space where kids zone out on paw patrol. My 2 year old has had 2 successful cuts there despite his anxiety about haircuts. Appointments can be 1+ month out, but it’s worth the wait.

Can you just use scissors for a while? Seems like a typical fear that he’ll grow out of in the next couple years, and having a nice haircut probably isn’t worth the stress. 


I found lollipops really helpful in this situation. Also... why not just use scissors until he gets old enough to be able to tolerate the clippers?

My son was also not into clippers. For several years we’ve been going to Alex, originally at The Shop in Berkeley and now at her own studio attached to her home in Richmond. She’s very patient and kind, and I’m happy to say that she has earned my son’s trust - she asks if he’s up for clipper or the hair dryer, and only uses them if he’s on board. She also cuts my hair, so it makes it very worth the drive for us.

Hi! My boys became averse to clippers at some point so I bought a set of "Calming Clippers" from Amazon. It is really just scissors, but has different guard attachments so that you can give a similar type of cut to the clippers. There are videos as examples on youtube, too. I have had varied success with them, but it might be a good option, if you want to do the haircuts at home.