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.
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