1. The first steps begin before you go to get the haircut. Prepare you child by describing what will occur at the hair dresser.
2. Also, include what reinforcers they will earn while at the hairdresser and afterwards. For example, if the hairdresser has cookies or chocalate available you can let them know they can have access to any treats as long as they are behaving nicely, not crying and co-operating with the hairdresser by sitting still.
3. Always plan a reinforcer for after the haircut. This should be individualized for your child. if they enjoy an outing you might take them to lunch or the mall. The parent should evaluate his child and decide on a very strong reinforcer to give the child after the hair is done.
4. As usual always use social praised during the haircut. For example, you might say "you are such a gentleman you are sitting so nicely for the hairdresser".
5. You can point out the good reasons for sitting still. For example, you can tell your child that if he sits still his hair will look better and the kids at school will like his hair.
6. During the haircut you might give the child a toy or computer or cellphone to use while getting the haircut this will distract him and relax him during the process.
7. During the shampoo also praise your child, encourage the woman who shampoos his hair to massage the scalp and make it a very happy pleasant expereince with plesant conversation.
8. Always test the water before the shampoo on your hand, or the shampoo person can do this, to assure that the water is not to hot or not to cold.
9. Make sure the chair is adjusted to the right hight and position so the child is comfortable or provide a booster seat if necessary.
10. Try to include the child in the plan for how to cut the hair so that they feel in control of the situation and they feel their rights are respected.
11. Finally, make sure your child is feeling well the day he goes to the hairdresser. Try to go when he is not overly hungry, tired or sick.
Parents or caregivers should realize that using some of these small tips may be the diference between a pleasant haircut and a big tantrum or problem at the hairdresser.