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how to #5: give my child a haircut (video)


Want to give your child a haircut that won’t embarrass either of you in public? This post is for you! Below is a step-by-step guide (and video!) showing you how to trim or cut your child’s hair at home. Yep – here it is in black and white. How to #5: give your child a “hair-cute” rather than a hack-job haircut.

Disclaimer: These instructions pertain to cutting almost-shoulder length or longer hair only. I have no clue how to trim short hair.

My nephew has a wonderful, inexpensive barber whom they visit at least twice a month.  I guess the guy figures, “Sweet! Beer money,” so he cuts them a deal on frequent visits.  Everyone’s better for it!  That kid’s hair grows like nothing I’ve ever witnessed.  I recommend this route for parents of short-haired kiddos.

Below are step-by-step instructions for trimming or cutting mid- to long-length hairstyles. While I’m sure it isn’t perfect, it’s working well for our family thus far. Both girls receive compliments on their hair all the time! :)

Speaking of hair…see my post how to #4: make adorable hair clips in a jiffy (video) — they’re a huge hit among the masses!

How To Steps…

gather your materials


Step 1.  Gather your Materials

- shears

Note: Invest in sharp, high-quality Fiskars or haircut-calibre shears. Cutting hair with dull scissors sucks and is terribly frustrating for both stylist and client.

- comb(s) – you may want a brush, too

- hair ties and clips (for sectioning the hair)

- broom and dust pan

- small trash can



Step 2.  Find a good location for this job.

Find a place where you don’t mind hair spilling everywhere. After many years of haircuts over carpeted areas, we’ve migrated to a hard-wood surface in our great room. It’s an easier cleanup rather than vacuuming.


eliminate the “squirm” factor by providing entertainment



Step 3.  Stop wrestling and enjoy a peaceful, non-squirming child.

Focus your child on a quiet activity (books, puzzles, coloring/drawing) or diversion (movies/TVs) while you cut hair.  You’ll thank me later. This alleviates the “squirm factor”, which results in an uneven trim.


Now we’re ready to cut some hair!




Step 4.  Have your child sit in a tall chair or propped up to a level where you can barely see the top of her or his head. You may have to stand on your toes bit while sectioning the hair, but again, you’ll thank me later.  The portion of hair you’re cutting or trimming should be up at your eye-level. Otherwise, you’ll be bending over, straining your back for the duration of the haircut.  We don’t want that.


section the hair into portions running from top-to-bottom

Step 5.  Section the hair so it’s easy to trim.  Starting near the crown of the head, section the hair into portions running from top to bottom.  You will use the comb to “draw” a line, collect the hair, and tie it up section-by-section. You’ll get better at this with practice. Leave the bottom-most layer of hair free – the area just below the ears down to (or past) the nape of the neck.


Step 6.  Start trimming.  Once you have sectioned the hair, be sure to have your child look straight ahead at a 45 degree angle (or rest her chin to chest if cutting longer hair).   Slowly comb the hair down to the end of the hair length, leaving the section you are trimming or cutting just below the shears.   Cut from one direction to the other, adjusting each section to be even.


let down another 2-3-inch section of hair and repeat Step 3


Step 7.  Repeat Step 6 for each layered section.  When you have finished cutting the lowest section, let down another 2-3-inch section of hair (see photo).   Continue letting down sections and trimming until all layers of hair are the same length from top to bottom.




even up trimmed hair length from side-to-side

Step 8. Check to be sure sides (left to right) are even (see photo).







catching all the split ends – snip!


Step 9. Catch all the split ends you may have missed.When we go to a hairstylist, he or she will section the upper levels of the hair bit-by-bit and trim any errant split ends.   Simply do just that.  This step also creates a light layering effect for body and fullness.







Step 10. (optional) trimming bangs trick… See my how To #3: trim bangs (video) post

Here’s the video tutorial where I model each Step while trimming Little Mermaid #2′s hair.


That’s all there is to it – Haircutting 101.  Go ahead and give it a shot!  

Best case scenario: After you practice a bit, you’ll save hundreds on your child’s haircuts.

Worst case scenario: Hey, it’s only hair.  It’ll grow back! ;)


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