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 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........
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 worse
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.
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!
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.
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. So we don't plan anything else on "haircut day."
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 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.
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. I always tip the woman very well as I figure it's generally the equivalent of "hazard pay."
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!