Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Hair Apparent

I've mentioned before that I'm not a fan of going to the hairdresser's. And I can quite happily ignore the state of my own hair for a fair while.  When it comes to the Monkey, however, I need to be a little more attentive.  After his brief spate of near baldness, he's developed a lovely thick mop - with some interesting characteristics all of its own.  He's inherited my tendency to have cowlicks - both front and back.  And added to that is his cool double-crown: one at the back in the normal place, and one at the front, a sort of mirror image of his cowlick.

Anyway, his hair grows reasonably fast, so in no time at all I'm faced with the neccesity of trimming it

I'm afraid I balk at taking him to a hairdresser for a couple of reasons.

1.  I'm too cheap.  I don't see the point in lashing out $20 (or whatever it costs) to have a stylist chop the Monkey's locks.  It's not like he'll get teased by 2 yr old bullies at playgroup or anything.

2. I don't think it's fair to inflict the Monkey's attitude to haircuts on an unsuspecting hairdresser (or any other salon patrons).  I think he may have inherited some of my dislike of the haircut experience, as he HOWLS during any haircuts I've been brave enough to give him.  I really think he's carrying on a bit unnecessarily - after all, it's not like I cut his ear OFF that last time.

So, I just do it myself.  The first time I tried was abysmal - I chased him around the room, trying to pin him between my knees while randomly snipping at his (dry) hair with - lets face it - probably rather blunt scissors.  The result was ...  interesting.  Avante garde, perhaps.  I decided that perhaps help was to be found online - as indeed it was.   Isn't the internet a wonderful resource?  It seems that noone was willing to show how to cut  the hair of a screaming and flailing unco-operative toddler, but I did pick up a few tips.

Pin them down in some way: high chair, person with baby on the lap, velcro suit and a patch of suitably fuzzy sofa.  It doesn't really matter, as long as you can access their head from all angles (unless you like mullets, in which case, feel free to pin them with their back against the wall, and also be prepared to pay for years of psychotherapy).

Distraction, distraction, distraction!  I use the television shamelessly - and morsels of honey toast, but whatever works for you - if they're paying more attention to the novel stimuli and less to the fact that there are interesting and sharp (hopefully) scissors within grabbing range, then you're doing well.

If your immobilisation plus distraction method winds up something like this:
then I'd suggest that you might perhaps want to tone it down a notch or two.  Just sayin'.

After this I guess it comes down to the cooperativeness of your victim, and your stylistic tendencies.   Even with maximal distraction, the Monkey is quite resistant to hair grooming.
There's a lot of vigorous head-waving - which, as you may appreciate, makes me a little loathe to approach closely with a sharp implement.

My strategy thus far has just been to grab a small hank of hair between my first two fingers, and apply the scissors to the bits of hair that stick out.  So generally, he gets the one-finger width haircut, though it's in no way consistent or even or any of the other things that you might expect if you were paying for a service.

But it IS shorter.

When he starts coming home from playgroup with nappy wedgies, I might reconsider my current MO.

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