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Can anyone shed light on why a home haircut causes huge distress and meltdown and barbers doesn't?

(15 Posts)
Ben10isthespawnofthedevil Thu 26-May-11 06:51:42

DS (5.11 yrs) decided a while ago that he wanted me to cut his hair at home "like daddy". Therefore I use clippers for a number 5 all over.

He cannot tolerate tickling at all and he finds the hair falling on him from the haircut absolutely intolerable sad Yesterday was awful as I had only done one side of his hair, blowing the hair away as I went and he then got into a complete screaming state about it. There was no way that I could leave it like that as the other side was really really long and he would get teased at school. Therefore we tried strong pressure hugs while DH finished and we now still have longer on one side but much better hair cut.

However when we last took him to the barbers (about a year ago now), he was fine with the whole thing even though they use clippers, the hair falls, they also wrap him up so the hair can't go too far etc etc

He does has Sensory Modulation Dysfunction which explains his reaction at home but why would he be able to cope in the barbers? Saying that, it was a year ago so it is possible that he might now not be able to cope..... for example he was dry at night this time last year and sleeping through until a reasonable time and now........ sad

MedusaIsHavingABadHairDay Thu 26-May-11 07:00:16

I think I'd assume it's because he associates haircuts with barbers and no where else. My DS2 has ASD and he is fine with something that's in the RIGHT PLACE. He wouldn't tolerate home hair cuts because that's not what we do, if you see what I mean.. everything has it's allocated place in his mind and it's when you go off his mind map you are in trouble.

Any ASD tendencies plus sensory stuff can make it soooo much worsesad

moosemama Thu 26-May-11 09:36:15

Ds1 is the same. Can't even stand having his hair brushed at home, but the hairdressers (he won't go to the barbers because he doesn't know what's going to be on their television) say he is their best behaved child customer, in fact he's the only child that one of them will cut hair for. confused

Having watched him, I think he shuts down at the hairdressers and dissassociates from what's going on to a large extent. At home, he is relaxed and so not prepared for an assault on his follicles! grin

Of course there's also the 'saving it up for home' theory as well. ie he can't really cope with the barbers/hairdressers, but internalises the stress and lets loose with it at home instead - a bit like when they're really good for their teachers, but a complete nightmare at home.

Ben10isthespawnofthedevil Thu 26-May-11 11:24:03

Thanks ladies! At least it is not just me that this sort of stuff happens with....... grin

Moose I think you have hit it in the head with this comment:

"Having watched him, I think he shuts down at the hairdressers and dissassociates from what's going on to a large extent."

I cannot bear ever doing his hair again and he can go to the barbers from now on as all three of us were so traumatised - and his hair still looks silly and lopsided!

Triggles Thu 26-May-11 12:15:27

I'd say that's probably part of it - DS2 is the same way. We'd like to start cutting his hair at home, but between the noise of the trimmers and the fact that we are not, in fact, at a barbers/beauty salon, DS2 would most likely lose grip over it.

DS2 struggles with sitting still the entire time his hair is being done - you can see him really putting in the effort as he knows if he sits still it's done quicker. He's still ready to bolt at a moment's notice, the whole time. He then slowly falls apart for the rest of the day - it's like he has used his daily quota of "coping skills" and that's it they're gone now. hmm So we don't plan anything else on "haircut day."

smileANDwave2000 Thu 26-May-11 13:37:24

I think its the barber is the right person who should cut hair to him as ds has said this to me (i do cut it ok) but he says im rubbish your just a mum not hairdresser confused and the barber knows what hes doing (he always adds no offence lol )plus he says I hurt him, I dont I just use the no4 all over but I do think he must switch off mentally in there maybe its the sensory thing it does have a lot of white noise at a barbers/hairdressers doesnt it music other electrical devices humming, hes like hes in a trance sitting there as if he is almost asleep with his eyes open.

Ben10isthespawnofthedevil Thu 26-May-11 13:51:57

I would love to see a barbers full of MNSN boys! They'd all be sitting there in a line in a trance grin

moosemama Thu 26-May-11 14:54:23

Perhaps wW should arrange a barber shop meet up and enjoy the 5 minutes peace! grin

Triggles Thu 26-May-11 16:20:01

wait a minute... you get PEACE at the barber shop?!?! DS2 is chattering a mile an minute - nerves, I suppose - while he's trying to sit still. Asking what everything is a million times and what it does. Not that he remembers, because he asks again about 2 minutes later. hmm I always tip the woman very well as I figure it's generally the equivalent of "hazard pay." grin

smileANDwave2000 Thu 26-May-11 17:23:58

wow heaven a coffee shop in a barbers ahhhhh peace at last lol @hazard pay Triggles smile

wraith Thu 26-May-11 20:36:43

its also possible that the cheaper home clippers are louder i know the stuff used in barbers is much higher quality shapers and less loud

moosemama Fri 27-May-11 09:43:10

My ds has long wavy hair - so no clippers. I like the way it looks long, but daily brushing is a real battle, so I've tried to persuade him to have it cut a bit shorter - no go unfortunately. hmm

Ben10isthespawnofthedevil Fri 27-May-11 12:16:02

Moose I suggested that DS grow his hair longer and he gave me this look hmm. Daddy has a very bald clippered head so DS "needs" to have a boy hair cut as he calls it!

Wraith my DS can cope with the clipper noise as not too high pitched but it is the tickling of the hair that is his problem. Barbers here we come next time!

moosemama Fri 27-May-11 13:13:32

Short is definitely easier, especially when those flipping nit letters come home from the school. Its no fun nit combing a child with long hair, who has sensory issues relating to hair brushing!

Fortunately, mine only caught them once (years ago) and we were on top of it so fast that it didn't take long to sort out. I now make sure they are liberally sprayed in leave-in coconut oil conditioner - headlice hate the stuff.

See, there are advantages to having a child that's not very social - they don't tend to catch nits of the other children at school - I knew there must be a positive side to it somewhere! grin

Ben10isthespawnofthedevil Fri 27-May-11 13:29:58

grin Now it is all clear! DS's social issues mean that he has never ever had nits through FT day nursery or 2 years of primary school grin That is definitely a silver lining smile

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