IDKWID: I Cut My Kid's Hair

Instead of telling you guys about my "DIY" projects here, I'm going to tell it like it is: I don't know what I'm doing, but I did it anyway. IDKWID for short.

In this episode of I Don't Know What I'm Doing I cut my kid's hair, and it didn't result in an "emergency" trip to Supercuts. As always your mileage may vary, but let me be your spirit guide through the art of child barbery.

Why You Should Do It

  • Save some money
  • Learn a new skill
  • Your kid will feel more comfortable with you cutting their hair than a stranger
  • Give your kid the haircut you want them to have
  • Bragging rights

Why You Shouldn't Do It

  • Not quite as easy as it looks
  • You might cut yourself or your kid
  • It's messy
  • Someone else probably knows how to do it better

My Reasoning

We had a pretty typical reason for cutting Eli's hair. He is barely 3 years old, and he is still unsure of how to feel about getting his hair cut. He has been to a "Kool Kuts 4 Kids," and that went well. All the hairs got cut. Eli got to watch his favorite show. I got to play Sonic The Hedgehog with Caleb. Errand complete.

Fast forward a few months, and Eli isn't quite keen on the whole personal grooming thing. Shari took him to get his hair cut again, and he wouldn't have it. I guess the planets had re-arranged themselves and all signs pointed to "no." We didn't push it. He stayed a solid "no" until we just couldn't stand the shagginess any more, and I came up with this ...ahem... hair-brained scheme.

The Procedure

My normal process is to go straight to youtube, because the Internet is my entire adult life. I may have graduated from college, but that doesn't mean I'm not still in Youtube University. I watched a ton of videos. They're all done by trained professionals, and they all make it look like even a blundering idiot could do it. That idiot is me. You just spray, comb, and snip. Here's a video I liked a lot:

Tip: watch hundreds of those kinds of videos until you are cutting kids hair in your dreams. I liked that particular one because we wanted a cute little boy cut that didn't require scary, buzzing clippers. If Eli flat out refused a basic haircut, clippers were probably going to push him to favor the Kid Rock look for the rest of his life.

All of these youtube videos have angel kids, too. The kind that sit still and smile for two hours while somebody messes with their hair. I'm not sure where to find a kid like that, but if you don't have one, you can do what I did and plug yours into the iPad. It should keep him or her from trying to leap out of the chair mid-trim. Just know their limits, and pace yourself wisely. These little boogers are ticking time bombs of energy.

Probably the most surprising piece of advice I have for any potential DIY barbers is this: do not stop when you're finished. Every time I got to what I thought was a stopping point, my wife and I would spot something that didn't look quite right. I made so many "last snips." Just as I stood up, I would see it from a different angle and go in for more. It helps to have a second set of eyes.

Have A Backup Plan

My final admonition: have a backup plan! Your kid will thank you to reconsider taking them to a professional if you just can't make it work. I was prepared to drag Eli kicking and screaming to KoolKuts4KidsDeluxe if it came to it. That, or face the embarrassment of telling people who actually cut his hair.

Either way, there's no win if it goes horribly wrong. Unless you're okay with teaching your kids to lie, you pretty much have to tell everybody why there's a big chunk of hair missing on the back of your kid's head. I guess there's always the possibility of locking them in their room until it grows out enough to try again. I wouldn't recommend that approach. Kids need sunlight... and love. Just tell the truth.

An intrepid man is wise to use humility as his machete in the jungle of life.

-Me (just now)


It was harder than it looked, but we think it came out pretty good. I still don't know what I'm doing, but maybe next time it will be easier? Anyone else want to join me in child barbery? Feel free to comment below.