Kids Haircuts: Why They Matter and Where To Get Them

Getting your little one’s first haircut is a rite of passage. Suddenly your baby, be it your first or last, doesn’t look quite like a baby anymore. With just a few snips of a hairdresser’s scissors, the sweet little bub who sat down in an oversized gown, becomes a full blown toddler.

While many moms choose not to cut their kids hair until later (and that’s a totally personal decision), there are actually a number of benefits to getting your little one’s hair cut. As a first time mom I was little unsure about when to get my son’s hair cut, whether his hair would change texture, and how to ensure he was comfortable during the process.

This post has information about when to get your baby or toddler’s hair trimmed, and why regular haircuts are a positive and important part of their routine. For those beyond the early years, feel free to keep scrolling for a roundup of the best kid-friendly salons in the San Antonio area. It’s almost time to head back to school, and a fresh cut can help them return to class feeling confident and comfortable.

Baby’s First Haircut: When?

For most kids, the first haircut takes place around the one year mark. My son was pretty average on that front, we got his first haircut when he was 13 months old. Though I could definitely have had it done earlier (it had gotten a little long and unruly), I waited to find somewhere reliable and comfortable, and that would make it a memorable occasion for us as parents.

It stands to reason that if your little one was born with very little hair, it’ll probably be much longer before you want to see a hairdresser; if they were born with a lot, or it grows particularly quickly, sooner. Other cultural and religions traditions may be at work, too.

Generally speaking, from a safety standpoint, you shouldn’t have your child’s hair cut until they are able to sit independently and support themselves steadily for a good length of time (so, not really before 6 months). Even if you choose to cut their hair, or have someone come to your home, this is a must. At the opposite end of the scale, it can be hard to keep an energetic toddler still enough to get a good cut, so it’s important to both get them used to the idea of getting their hair cut, and find somewhere used to dealing with little ones.

Beyond the logistics of the first haircut, and definitely worth keeping in mind for subsequent cuts: if you’ve noticed that your toddler or child has split ends, or they are constantly pushing their hair out of their eyes and face, it’s probably time to consider a haircut.

Benefits of Haircuts for Kids

Beyond the sentimental value of that first haircut, there are a whole host of benefits to getting your kids hair cut regularly.

Counterintuitive though it may seem, cutting hair can help with its growth. While the speed with which hair grows is a natural biological process that varies from person to person, getting a regular haircut removes any split or damaged hair and allows healthy, new hair to grow. I’ve certainly noticed that my son’s hair grows much faster since I started getting his hair cut every 6-8 weeks; it’s thicker and healthier, too.

In terms of hair health, frequent visits to a hairdresser are important for the well-being of your child’s hair. Split ends and damaged hair (whether from heat, chemicals [especially from the pool], or knots and tangles) are harder to treat with time – and can mean that a more drastic cut is needed. Hairdressers can provide valuable guidance if you’re dealing with scalp issues, especially dandruff, as well as advice on avoiding (and treating) head lice. More specific hair types can also receive more targeted treatment and cuts, as well as advice about specialized products that will help keep it in good condition.

Hair that is cut frequently is also simply easier to manage. Applying sunscreen and bug spray with regularity over the summer has shown me that having long hair at the nape of the neck can be a real pain! Lastly, being able to regularly attend a salon, sit, and get their hair done – and, if appropriate, having some say in what kind of style and length they’d like – is an important life skill and empowering for (school age) kids. It can be tempting to just “leave it to grow” or cut it yourself at home, but the longer you wait for a professional haircut, the more daunting and scary the process becomes. After all, a stranger wielding a pair of scissors or an electric clipper is not the most comforting sensory experience. Regular appointments can show them there’s nothing to fear, and getting a haircut can be enjoyable.

Kids Salons in San Antonio

Of course, you can take your kiddo to a regular salon and get their haircut – there are lots of benefits to doing so, especially for older tweens and teens. However, in San Antonio we are lucky to have a number of specialist salons that cater to kids specifically. Their job is to ensure that children are calm, comfortable, and see getting their haircut as a fun and positive experience – even a treat! 

Pigtails and Crewcuts

Two locations: The Rim and Lincoln Heights

My personal recommendation (Rim location), Pigtails and Crewcuts is a friendly salon with stylists who are specialists in cutting kids hair. Whether they are full of smiles or crying their eyes out, they will take the time to get a good cut, and even talk them through the process. There are a good mix of regular stylists chairs and cars, planes, taxis and fire engines for younger ones; and plenty of TV screens showing Disney+ to help distract and entertain. They offer a first haircut package (complete with before and after photos and a lock of hair), ear piercing, and a range of products to help keep kids hair healthy. Open 7 days, appointments can be booked online.

Cookie Cutters – Haircuts for Kids

Huebner Oaks Shopping Center

Cookie Cutters also has stylists who specialize in kids cuts. The salon has an in-store playground, a TV for watching (or playing computer games) at each station, and fantasy car seats. In addition to regular kids cuts and first haircuts; they also offer styling for events, cuts with shampoo and blow drying, and teen cuts. Balloons and lollipops are included, and appointments can be made online.

Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids

Three locations: Alamo Ranch, Stone Oak and Schertz

Sharkey’s has 3 locations across the San Antonio area and are committed to providing great haircuts for kids in a meticulously clean space. Boys can enjoy the full shark experience with complimentary shampoo and style, or just an edge cleanup around the neck and ears. Girls can have it all: wet cuts, shampoo and blow dry (with or without a cut), bang trims, hot tool add-ons, highlights, mani-pedis, and more. They also have a first haircut package, and a variety of fun pamper party themes. Booking is online for all locations.

Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids

281 and TPC Pkwy

Shear Madness is designed to make getting a haircut a positive and memorable experience, every time. With vehicle chairs, TVs and video games, there is plenty to keep little ones distracted and amused. They have a unique selection of toys, games, books and hair accessories to choose from, so kids can stay and play while their siblings get a haircut! Booking is online and they also offer party packages with pampering and karaoke.

Sweet & Sassy

Alamo Ranch

As well as haircuts, this salon offers ear piercing, manicures and pedicures, braids and up-dos – so you can give your little princess the royal treatment! There are party packages or pampering days, and booking is online.

WildChild Kids Kuts

Huebner & Stone Oak

A great option for tweens and teens, WildChild has a slightly more grown up vibe than other salons featured on the list. Though they do have vehicle chairs and screens to cater to their youngest guests (and a comprehensive first haircut package, too) this slick salon offers great haircuts alongside tv, Wi-Fi, Nintendo Swift games, a cyber lounge, and complimentary baked goods and popcorn. Booking is online.

I hope this roundup of kid-friendly salons is a valuable resource, whether you’re looking for a first haircut or a new place for a back to school style. Many of these salons are experts at working with kids with sensory or behavioral issues. Never hesitate to call and see if a specific stylist is the one for you and your child. Everyone deserves to feel their best and have a great experience!

Natalie is a proud Brit, but moved to Texas at the end of 2017 to be with her husband, a native San Antonian. Their son was born in late October 2020, so her entire experience of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum has been under the cloud of Covid-19. She spent the frivolous years of her early 20s pursuing a PhD in Renaissance history, living in Venice, Italy, and teaching students. She pivoted into editing when she moved to the US, but currently has her academic pursuits on hold while she focuses on her son. Despite being in San Antonio for a few years now, she still considers herself a newbie. She loves to find out more about the history and culture of the city, explore new places, and find local businesses to support. A fastidious researcher and lover of lists, she’s always excited to share her finds and experiences with others. Favorite Restaurant: Dough Favorite Landmark: World’s Largest Cowboy Boots Favorite San Antonio Tradition: Riverwalk Christmas Lights