What Is the Right Age for Your Kid’s First Haircut?

A black woman holds her smiling baby boy who has a curly hair

Photo: @jaylabrenae

Being a parent to a curly kid is hard work. Aside from all the things you do to keep them healthy and happy foremost, you also try to keep them looking their very best, even when they insist on taking mud baths and wearing their food. Although it never lasts long, you still put a lot of TLC into washing, combing, and styling those little curls! But what about trims? What’s the right age for the first haircut exactly? Well, it’s a little trickier than just throwing out a number. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider about this special milestone.

When is the right time for a child’s first haircut?

While it would be nice if there were a set magical time frame of when to cut the hair, it is simply based on the hair of the child. If your baby born was born with long, luscious curls, they will need a cut sooner than a balder baby. It is best to just pay attention to the hair’s growth rate and overall health of of the hair to determine when to get that first cut.

Here are some options for timing your curly kiddo’s first haircut. As with a lot of parenting advice, it’s up to you to choose which route will be best for you and your child.

1. Time it with their birthday!

Many parents choose to do the first haircut to celebrate turning one. While doing it with the first birthday is a great way to celebrate this special milestone, it will certainly still depend on the child. If your little one has a lot of curls and they are long, a cut should be fine. However, if they have shorter hair, cutting it too soon might be, well…completely unnecessary! It will depend on the state of your child’s hair for the most part.

A black man holds his smiling baby boy who has a curly mini-mohawk hairstyle


2. Take their gender into account…or don’t!

While you may want to take your son in for a trim early on, you might want your daughter to have her first cut later in life. Since we do tend to associate longer hair with femininity, girls usually get their first haircut later than little boys. Of course there’s nothing wrong with a close-cropped baby girl or a Rapunzel-esque baby boy! They’re too busy figuring out motor skills and growing teeth to have much of an opinion on it, so this is really up to how traditional you’d like to be yourself. As long as they’re happy, healthy, and their grandparents aren’t fussing at you too much, they’ll be cute no matter what! Remember, we look at all our commenters’ profile pics, and we know you’re out there making adorable babies. So don’t stress.


A black mother holds her baby girl who smiles at the camera with one hand in her mouth and a cucumber slice in the other

iStock/Weekend Images Inc

3. Start small!

That first time getting a haircut can be an emotional time for parents! Seeing their baby so grown up can get the waterworks going for sure. For many, it symbolizes the end of the baby years and the transition into being a big kid. Since this event will already be quite emotional, don’t make it worse by cutting too much hair all at once. The first cut should be more of a trim for those parents who are in their feelings about it. If you want to take off more later on for a keepsake of your baby’s curls, go ahead and extend the date of their first hair cut. Then make that one a mild trim, and take that baby book lock of hair on the second cut they get.

4. Know that there really is no “right” time

Parents worry about everything, “how to do XYZ best,” and “when is the best time for it” anyway. However, with this aspect of parenting, there really is no right or wrong time. You just do it when you feel your child’s hair needs it. Many parents choose to cut those baby curls to see if it will speed up the change from baby texture to their “truer” texture, and while this is one way to do it, it will put an end to those soft baby curls.

If you aren’t quite ready to part with those cute wisps, don’t cut! If you are ready for their hair to move beyond baby and into big boy or big girl curls, get ready for those shears (and some tears)!

Curlies, let us know when you knew it was time in the comments!


Read next: My Baby’s Hair is Dry, Brittle and Frizzy. Help!

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