Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I Am Not a Hair Stylist

Well, folks. It has definitely been confirmed. I did not miss my calling as a hair stylist.

I know, I know. You probably could have told me that before I whipped out my scissors.

Several months ago, Sean had trouble getting time to run and get a haircut. It was understandable considering we were still in the thick of the bottle stage. However, Sean has a strict 3-week schedule he likes to keep for his hair. Any longer and he kinda starts to freak out. Hehe!

So I volunteered to cut it since he couldn't make it over to get it professionally done. I have no idea why he said yes (glutton for punishment, maybe?) but apparently he was just that desperate. I did extensive research, (meaning I googled and read a couple of articles on cutting hair) and then we set aside some time for me to attempt my first haircut. We decided I should try it on a Saturday with the understanding that if it went horribly wrong, he would have time to hit one of those chop shops on Sunday and get it fixed.

Sean getting ready for my first haircut attempt.
(I used the Super Hero Squad crib sheet as a cape for good luck.)

It was awful. There is just no way around it. It was so bad. Sean gave me his clippers and told me what settings his hair stylist normally used on his hair. Do those levels vary from clippers to clippers?? He was practically bald in the back with the top being longer. It was like...a really weird bowl cut.

And, no. You aren't going to get to see an "after photo," but I refused to take one of the finished product. And we all know how much I like taking photos, so that's saying something.

I didn't tell Sean how bad it was. I figured he was smart enough to use a mirror to look at the back of his head (and secretely praying he wouldn't and that his coworkers wouldn't say anything)!

After a couple of days, no one had said anything to him about how bad it was, so I thought, "okay, maybe it isn't so bad."

And then his parents came over to see the kids. His mom took one look at his head and asked, "Who cut your hair?" Sean said, "Becca did it a few days ago." And then thankfully he turned away from her to help one of the kids and missed the part where she looked at me and started laughing. LOL!

About two weeks later, he was in the bathroom getting ready for work and picked up a mirror. Suddenly I heard, "Does my hair really look like that?!?!" Oooopps....and it had already been growing out for a couple of weeks. Heh.

Like I said, it was really, really bad.

So with that fantastic introduction, of course I would volunteer to cut my boys hair. Why not, right?

Honestly, it's kind of unfair that they couldn't even argue with the idea. Oh well. :)

Caleb was first up and had no idea what he was in for.

Caleb: Before Photos

I asked over on our FaceBook page if anyone had any hair cutting tips for me. Natalie of Mighty Men suggested giving him a sucker to keep him occupied, and Laura, another reader, said that she likes to do haircuts in highchairs. Done! I will definitely take the advice of people more experienced than I. (If you aren't connected with us on Facebook, come join the conversation!)

"Lick your sucker, Buddy."
"Mom...what do you think you're doing?"

"Okay, I can get behind a sucker."

Unfortunately, the sucker only worked for so long. He wasn't very happy at all with the day's events and quickly tried to use it as a weapon to fend me of. We ended up with sucker stickiness on his hands, on my hands, in his hair, and on the scissors. If you are curious, hair is really hard to cut when it's sticky.

Hair covered sucker...gross!

So we took it away and went with Plan B: VeggieTales. It was still a very emotionally charged afternoon though.

After: Caleb's First Haircut

Classy Bald Spots!

Daddy trying to distract Caleb

Well, I jumped in this far, I might as well nab the other boy while I'm at it.

Elijah: Before Photos

We decided to just forgo his sucker and go straight to the VeggieTales.

"Hey Buddy? If you put your hand up here, I might accidentally cut it."
(Yes, both boys go by "Buddy" half the time.)

It seems my warning came too late. Somehow, I ended up with blood on my hand. I looked and looked and couldn't find blood coming from anywhere on Elijah, and he wasn't crying, so I let it go (and later discovered that I cut my own hand! Way to follow my own warning!)

He actually did quite well holding still.

After: Elijah's First Haircut

The boys now have matching bald spots!

So what was my special Little Boy's Haircut Technique? I'm flattered you'd ask! Here is how you do it:

1. Put them in a highchair and try to distract them (Thanks for the suggestions, Natalie and Laura! And thank you, Sean, for helping me!)
2. Use a pair of scissors and try to catch some strands of hair in them.
3. As the kid wiggles and bats the scissors away, go ahead and snip anyway and pray that you didn't cut too much off.
4. Laugh really hard every time you look at the kid because you did indeed cut too much off.

All this has made me realize is that I'd much rather cut my husband's hair than cut my toddlers' hair.

So what does that mean for the future of haircuts at our house?

Well, on the husband front, I've actually gotten much, much better at cutting his hair. I'm no professional, but it is at least presentable, and I do get a little better each time. I've been cutting it for about nine months now, and no one laughs anymore. So I'm pretty proud of that fact! Hehe!

And on the kid front? I probably won't attempt more than a trim on the girls (but not for a long time because their hair has to grow more). Beyond that, I'll let a professional handle it. But the boys? Well, they smoosh food in their hair at every meal, can't tell me that they don't like the way it looks, and they aren't dating anyone...so they are pretty much stuck.

Besides, it's their fault if they wiggle while I'm trying to work my magic. :)


  1. I cut my boys' hair too. I didn't when they were little though. I was too scared! Now that they are bigger & its thicker & I can use a clippers vs a scisors its not too bad.

    We opt for a booster seat, outside, with a popsicle. Then we can just hose off after. Not sure our plan when winter strikes us?

    Its never perfect, but I'm happy with it. We invested in a nice clipper kit with multiple pieces, specific pieces to go around ears, etc. It was maybe $40 but since one haircut costs that for 2 boys we figured it was a good investment.

    1. That does sound like a good investment! I thought about using Sean's clippers on the boys, but based on the way his hair looked after I used them on him, I decided that I didn't want completely bald children. LOL! Now I use only scissors on Sean, so thought maybe I should go the same route with the boys.

      And cutting their hair outside and spraying them down after sounds like an awesome idea! I'm storing that idea away for next time!

  2. haha! So sorry the sucker turned out messy! Maybe I should have mentioned sometimes my husband just puts them in a headlock and we go REALLY fast! ;)

  3. Yep, same here. I've been doing my husband's hair for probably the last five years. (at least he's easy though! nothing fancy.) We bought a $30 set of clippers at Walmart. I don't do scissors - too hard. We haven't had a lot of luck yet with the toddler boy (I do my 7-year old girl's hair with scissors). We've been doing it in the bathtub with a beard trimmer because it's smaller and less noisy.
    --Andrea from Blue Ridge

    1. Cutting the husband's hair is such a great way to save money, but I think you are braver than I am to cut your daughter's hair! I just don't know that I'll be able to work up the courage to try that! Does she hold still enough for you to cut it straight??

  4. This was a wonderful and funny post-- thanks for sharing your struggles! I've cut hair on people and dogs over the years-- not always the highest quality, but often in situations where due to remote locations I was the "only game in town." And my sister once cut my hair and it was pretty funny-- one side nicely followed my face and the other side looked like a staircase. Both of us now have asymmetrical haircuts-- coincidence or a hold over from the old days???

    I'm afraid that the only really good advice I have will not work on little children or non-drinkers. I suggest that a libation be consumed before the work begins. And it is important that the libation be consumed by the one getting the haircut, NOT the hairdresser!!! (I speak from experience here-- this was part of the problem with the cut my sister gave me.)

    1. Ooo! Instead of saying they have horrible haircuts, I could just say that we are starting a new hair styling trend! Hehe!

      And it sounds like your experience with your sister was something else. LOL!

  5. When I cut my boys' hair I just buzz it, #3 with the clippers. No way will I attempt using scissors lol. When I want them to have a nicer cut for pictures I have my sister or sister-in-law who are cosmetologists do it for cheap. :) And I definitely won't do Hubby's, he's particular about his hair and I know I would royally screw up!

    1. I think my experience with Sean's hair has scared me away from the clippers for awhile. I'm seriously worried that the boys won't have any hair left if I try to use it on them. Someday, though, just running clippers through their hair sounds awesome and fast! :)

  6. Please do not ever cut your children's hair again. They are too cute to be going around looking like Herman Munster :)

  7. That post made me laugh! I am amazed your husband let you cut his hair after the first time. But, it is a good thing he did as you have gotten better and better. The boys look cute with their new cuts by Mama.

    : 0 ) Theresa (Capri + 3)

  8. Hey Becca...I can't figure out how to do the "Comment as" line...so I'm just going with Anonymous...lol....
    Anyway...your story and experience reminded me of my Cosmetology days years ago. Parents would come in with kids and say...."Hm, they ought to charge *1/2* price for kids since they are half the size"!!! It took everything I had not to blow a head gasket! Here I stood, totally frazzled, hair all over every single person involved in this experience, a child wiggling around more than a snake and making enough noise (yelling, crying, kicking etc...)to alarm the entire place...and they'd have the NERVE to suggest a price break! It's a very TOUGH job to give kiddos haircuts! Good for you...you WILL save your family lots of mula in the long run! :-) love you...Connie

    1. Anonymous works! :)

      I seriously looked at Sean while I was cutting their hair and said, "Why don't they charge double for kids' cuts?! I would totally understand that!" Ridiculously hard! I think people often don't realize just how difficult a task is until they actually try it themselves. I figured cutting kids' hair would be hard, but I really thought I'd do a little better since I've been cutting Sean's hair. I was totally wrong!

      And I was also thinking about you while cutting their hair. You gave me my first hair cut! I know for a fact it turned out better than mine did. LOL!


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