Tackling the Home Haircut

We have a longstanding haircut routine: Phil and I meet after my work and all three kids get a cut (cut + tip = about $20 X 3), then we have the mandatory dinner out at a “family-friendly” place the kids approve of and we despise. So it ends up being around a $100 night that soaks up the whole evening. Back in high school my mom trusted me to cut, color, and perm (remember those?) her hair, and she was never publicly ostracized, so I felt like maybe I could tackle at least the boys’ haircuts, and we could spend less time and money each month on this routine that always ends up being unpleasant. After I snagged a copy of Haircutting for Dummies on the Free Books table at work, I felt armed and ready to tackle home haircuts. But getting the kids to give up Haircut Nights balloons! Dum-Dums! an indoor slide!) was going to be a tough sell. So I hit them where it mattered: Cash.

I made a deal with the boys that since the haircut out, base price, was $14, I’d pay them $7 to do the haircut at home. Money talked, and they agreed. Then I got cold feet. My dad once — only once — gave my brother a haircut in an effort to save money. I remember my poor brother emerging from the bathroom where he’d been shorn, sporting Frankenstein-like bangs that climbed nearly to his hairline. My mom just leaned over and put her head straight down on the dining room table so she wouldn’t laugh out loud, but I could see her shoulders shaking until she could get herself together. The world is cruel. I didn’t want the same fate for my boys, so last month we still did the traditional Haircut Night.

This weekend, though, I bought a pair of professional scissors, and, because Tom was getting closer to saving enough for a Lego set he wants, he asked several times if I could cut his hair. Max decided he was going to grow his hair a bit more; I think he wanted to evaluate Tom’s haircut before he let me loose with a pair of scissors.

Tommy has thick hair, and I always say that when he’s ready for a haircut he looks like a middle-aged lady sporting a sparkly holiday sweater, shopping at a discount department store. His hair gets that kind of boufy look. It sneaks up on you, and suddenly he looks like he’s bargain-hunting for a pair of Sansabelts, which is how he was looking this week. So it was time.

Sylvie wanted to be part of the action, but she has curly hair like me, which is more difficult to cut. I know I’ve come home many a time over the years with either over-curled and styled cuts (“I look like Jermaine Jackson!”) or straightened hair  (“I look like Linda Tripp!”) from hairdressers who didn’t know how to deal with my hair. So for her, I just pretended I was cutting the back, and merely gave her bangs a little trim.

Following Tommy’s haircut, he emerged the handsome boy we know, $7 closer to a General Grievous Lego set.

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4 thoughts on “Tackling the Home Haircut

  1. Way to go mom! You did a great job. I cut my girls hair with no trouble, but my son is another issue. I have used the clippers on his hair many times, but now he wants to wear it longer, more like your son’s hair. As a result, I have stopped cutting it.

    • Thanks, Alison! I have always wished our boys would just let us buzz their hair; I think it looks so adorable. My daughter has curly hair that scares me a little, so she’s still going to get it cut at the regular salon until I get a bit more practice at this hair-cutting thing.

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