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9 Reasons First Haircuts Are Terrifying (and 9 More To Just Go Ahead and Do It Already)

HAIRCUT19by Elizabeth Beller

We’ve all seen that kid. Screaming, writhing, red-faced and crying with rage in the barber’s chair. Some of us have even been that kid (hello, husband.) Yes, histrionics because of a haircut seem ridiculous, until we think about the fact that hair, despite it’s superfluous nature when compared to the rest of our anatomy, can be a cultural barometer, a religious statement, political indication, and an especially personal expression. Naturally, then, people get anxious about getting their kid a first haircut. And baby’s are people, too.

It’s one of the most accessible ways of projecting an image we have of ourselves. What we choose to display on our noggin can evoke responses that can in turn shape our experience. Children, even tiny ones, aren’t dumb. They know that sitting in that chair can change their whole persona, or at least how it’s perceived. I was charged with emotion when it recently came time to cut my little boy’s hair for the first time. Actually, it had been time for a year, and I had vacillated constantly between my desire to give my son a proper haircut, and my desire to retain his crazy, Fraggle-Rocked, ducktailed mullet that was his alone. I think many of you have been or are there, but I’ve outlined some pros and cons of the first shearing to help us understand what might be going on in the mind underneath the hairs in question.

  • CON 1 of 18
    It's scary. My first barber might look like this!
  • PRO 2 of 18
    But it's not a scary as getting teased if my hair looks like this before I go.
  • CON 3 of 18
    It might sap my strength a la Sampson and Delilah!
  • PRO 4 of 18
    I may come out with a look that screams "Superman."
  • CON 5 of 18
    It's so hard to sit still that long!!
  • PRO 6 of 18
    Lollipops at the end!!
  • CON 7 of 18
    It might hurt!
  • PRO 8 of 18
    It won't hurt.
  • CON 9 of 18
    My hair feels like a security blanket.
  • PRO 10 of 18
    It's almost summer, and my new ‘do' will keep me cool.
  • CON 11 of 18
    It'll change my look from fuzzy-haired baby to little girl or boy.
  • PRO 12 of 18
    Mommy will freak out over this very notion, save the snipped locks, and spoil me for a few weeks.
  • CON 13 of 18
    I feel silly sitting up here!
  • PRO 14 of 18
    Being pampered isn't so bad.
  • CON 15 of 18
    I could end up looking like this.
  • PRO 16 of 18
    I'm a kid and look cute no matter what happens to my hair.
  • CON 17 of 18
    Like Linus Van Pelt, I don't have that much hair to begin with.
  • PRO 18 of 18
    Like Linus Van Pelt, my lack of hair indicates my thoughtful nature, and the absolute bewilderment upon my first time in the barber chair will be fodder for an intelligent, morally compassed speech I'll give to the other kids while a feckless Beagle heckles me. Unlike Linus, who is perpetually five years old, I'll eventually get more hair.


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