Never let Granny cut her hair!

My first memory of getting a hair cut was going to “Tony’s Barbers” around the corner from where we lived. I remember the red leather (plastic?) seats with booster cushion. The walls were full of black and white headshots, featuring men with crew cuts and even a mullet. I think today would be a bit of a parody but back then it was all real. I never did have the courage to ask for a flat top. When I’m near home I still go to the same place even though it’s changed hands in recent years. It is much more clean and clinical and has lost it rough around the edges feel.

Boys have their hair cut much earlier than girls.

Our daughter grew her hair for a while before we took off her first haircut. We tried trimming around the edges to keep out of her eyes but ultimately we wanted somewhere give her a good haircut. We also wanted a smooth introduction to the process.

And so we found this great middle salon called Mopp Heads.

It’s run by a guy called Mike, let’s call him “Mopp Head Mike”! He does an incredible job at putting children at ease and distracting them while they have their hair cut. He has a toy car they can sit in, Peppa Pig in the background, lots of books and toys to play with. It’s really just like going to nursery. She loved it.

Sure we could have got away with cutting her hair ourselves. But we didn’t want to. We wanted it to look decent, not that she cares, but we take time to buy a nice clothes so why not a haircut too?

Some relatives, perhaps frugal ones, don’t think this is necessary.

They don’t see the point in cutting a child’s hair at the salon. In fact, they think it can be done at home. Some people tell me I can’t tell if a child has had their haircut at home or by a professional but I think I might guess right eight times out of 10.

Professionals are trained in techniques that aren’t available to the lay person. I don’t know about cutting away a fringe, or feathering, or adding layers; perhaps women know more about this, but all I ask for 90% of the time is “a No. 4 back and sides and to cut it down on top”.
I don’t know how to cut hair but I do know when it doesn’t look great.

Cue granny who came along and try to cut the hair herself.

There’s nothing inherently wrong in this, and it would save us a bit of money, but we had to correct it. She turned it into a bowl cut without even trying. And worse than that, she thought it looked okay! I don’t mind writing about this publicly because she knows our thoughts. After a while we all saw the funny side of it.

This haircutting incident prompted an urgent trip to see Mopp Head Mike to salvage something out of a disaster. This required more than the usual trim. At four years old we finally went for a Bob. And she looked really grown-up.

I don’t think you can replace a professional with a home job.

We wouldn’t do dental work by ourselves and we shouldn’t get do haircuts by ourselves. Sometimes we can get away with a quick trim to save on time and money, but it’s never the same as seeing Mike. Just as important is the experience our daughter has of going to the salons, learning to sit and be patient. It’s great training for the years ahead.

There are loads of great children’s haircutters out there and I have only limited experience. Mike runs a salon called Mopp Heads based in Leamington Spa. He specialises in children’s haircuts. Find out more on his website. If you live in the area I would really recommend checking him out.


  1. Carolyn
    February 21, 2017 / 7:43 pm

    Strongly disagree that you cannot give as good haircuts at home. I was taking my two boys to the barbershop to get haircuts by the “pros” and they got really bad haircuts three times in a row. Really bad, like he cut steps. So I bought a pair of wahl clippers and asked my boyfriend to help me as he had been cutting mine for me after I had gotten a bad salon haircut and went nearly a year without one before he gave me the first of many haircuts that he still gives me. Net result he took over because I got flustered, he did a great job and now he continues to be the family barber. Saves me at least a grand a year. And i get compliments on his work and requests as to where I took my boys to get their haircuts because bad haircuts at the barber and salon ar not very uncommon. My husband fixed my friend’s bad haircut she got at the salon last winter and know she rfuses to let anyone near her with shears except my guy, who learned by watching videos and hands on practice.

    • millennialdad1
      February 22, 2017 / 4:56 pm

      Hi Carolyn, you’re probably right that it can be done really well at home. I guess I just had a bad experience. Looks like you’ve found an excellent solution in your boyfriend – perhaps he should become a professional himself! Part of me is scared to “have a go” at trimming my daughter’s hair just in case it goes wrong. But I suppose it will just grow back anyway. I think the tools are important and you mentioned buying wahl clippers… think I need to look into that rather than just a pair of scissors from the drawer. One of the biggest benefits is saving all that money, so maybe that will encourage me to try hair cuts at home. Thanks for your comment, Phil.

  2. Carolyn
    March 1, 2017 / 12:55 am

    Really good tools are important. I would not let hubby near my locks with kitchen shears. He uses the pro grade one with the adjustable knob. I get my hair sectioned pinned up and i get caped and each 1/2″ section let down and trimmed. No put it in a ponytail and saw it off. I cringe when I see those bad hacks, and they think it looks great, it looks chewed. For the boys, they get caped, neck strips, and multiple attachments used, followed by scissors over comb and a peanut razor for a neat neckline, no buzzing their heads with no attachment and making them look stupid like the barbers did. They look well groomed. Sadly there are people who think you can grab craft scissors out of the drawer and randomly hack or cut the whole section of hair into too short uneven bangs back to the child’s ears. Saying it looks so cute, does not make it look good. Seen too many, and sadly a good number were done at the barbershop or salon.

    • millennialdad1
      March 1, 2017 / 4:56 pm

      These are good tips. I think my experiences of home cuts come from having it done with kitchen scissors! I will look into investing some money in some good barbering materials. Thanks!

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