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Baby's First Haircut

When you really think about it, a child's first day of beauty consists of only a few minutes under the scissors - a snip here and a snip there, and voila! Doesn't seem like that big a deal, but if you're a parent then you know how tricky that baby's first haircut can be.

So, in Monday's Perfect Parenting segment, The Early Show has brought in expert Cozy Friedman, whose chain of Cozy's Cuts for Kids keeps them coming back for more.

Here are Friedman's tips to keep your baby smiling instead of crying:

  • Call in advance to see which stylist is good with children. Don't expect just any stylist to be adept at cutting children's hair - stylists should be trained or have experience dealing with babies.
  • Visit the salon with your baby before the haircut appointment ,so the child knows what to expect. Or, bring the baby in for a parent's haircut so the child knows it's a friendly place.
  • On haircut day, come prepared. Bring snacks or special treats like a lollipop or a book -- something to keep them occupied -- as well as a change of clothes in case hair gets on the clothing.
  • Depending on your child's age either be close by or have your baby on your lap.
  • Spend time introducing the hairstylist your child. It is also a good idea to show them the comb, spray bottle and cape to ease them into the process. You never know what may upset your child. It is also a good idea for the hairstylist not to spray the hair of the child directly, but the comb instead.
  • Consider asking the stylist for a leave-in conditioner to start the haircut. It is a plus because it makes it much easier to comb the hair out.

You can tell that it's time for the baby's first cut if the hair is fuzzy or getting in their eyes or getting frayed on the ends, says Friedman. In general, there is no "right" time or age for children to get their first haircut. Just check if the hair is in the eyes or bothering them on the back of the neck.

As for the best style for your child, here are some suggestions:

  • Flip through parents' magazines to get an idea of what they want and what they don't want.
  • Be realistic. A boy with curly hair can't have a side part and hair combed to the side.
  • Listen to the stylist. You are not going to style your kid's hair every morning, so a wash-and-go cut is the best way to go. For girls, consider if they want barrettes or rubber bands in their hair, so as to decide if bangs are the way to go to keep the hair off the face.

And here are a few last tips:

  • Kids don't need to have their hair washed every day. Twice a week is sufficient, unless they're really dirty and have paint or glue or something in their hair.
  • Tear-free shampoo is the way to go. Also, use a detangler.