My son is 2 years old and he had rarely had a haircut. He refuses to sit on his own or won't let the barber cut his hair because he only likes to do things he likes to do. He has it cut when he is on my lap and that only after he sees barber trimming my beard. But that way the barber messes his hair length as he has to extend his arms over me.

How can I make my son sit on barber chair so he can have a proper haircut, he doesn't like things which he doesn't like and push things away.

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    You could just let his hair grow for 6 months or more. He'll be much more cooperative at 3 when he can comprehend instructions better. Nothing wrong with a lil' surfer dude. – Stu W Jan 2 at 20:03

Both sitting on your lap, and seeing you get your beard or hair trimmed, are experiences that reassure your son that nothing will go wrong while he gets his hair cut.

Something that helped with our boys was finding a barber who specializes in younger children; these businesses may have smaller chairs, colorful bibs or tools, a television in the corner to distract, and/or a more cheerful demeanor. Any of these could make the overall experience more relaxing.

(Sadly, when my youngest was two, our nearby "kids haircut" business closed down. At that point, the older (three) was able to sit still long enough for a reasonable trim, but the younger sibling wouldn't deal with a "grownup" barber even when sitting on his father's lap. My last resort option was watching YouTube videos on basic haircuts, which kept my son looking respectable enough until he was older and could sit more calmly.)

If you need to resort to holding him, you can try turning your son sideways on your lap, so his arm is against your chest rather than his back, or even sit him facing you. This will give the barber better access to his hair, and you can also distract your son a little more when talking to him face-to-face (or face-to-side-of-face).

My son likes getting his haircut because he gets to watch a movie - this only works because most of the time we don’t let him watch movies, so it’s a cherished reward for him. It’s worked since about 18 months. If a movie doesn’t seem appropriate to you, I would come up with some other kind of reward to encourage/reinforce the desired behavior.

Power tools and sharp blades are properly scary, only through training is it ok for a stranger to wield them near your head. Being tense during hair cuts is pretty close to an instinct in many children, it is not expected for a two-year-old to have the discipline to stay still while scared, but with more exposure most will recognize the visceral reaction isn't the appropriate one.

Practice.

Have him sit in a chair and lean into your hand as you comb it or wash it to practice the mechanics of sitting still for head manipulations. Play barber, preferably with sounds, explaining each tool and their use and let him take turns play-cutting your hair. Show him pictures of (acceptable) hair cuts and assist him in seeing the differences and forming opinions about what is good and bad in them.

Get to know your barber.

I generally try fairly hard to avoid waiting with young children, but while you wait he can watch other people behaving normally and listen to the barber's patter. If you are displeased with the results of a cut do it again; hair grows back pretty quickly and hair cuts aren't expected to be a budget breaker. The more often he sits in the chair without loosing an ear the less worried he'll be.

Conversely going at an off peak time can let the barber allow enough time for the kid to relax. Talk with the barber and maybe you can find a slow time that you can use a chair for a while without costing any business.

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