Sometimes when I’m cutting small children’s hair, they don’t trust the strange tools I use. When I use electric clippers, I hold them out on my hand so the child can see that they don’t hurt. If the child is brave enough (and usually they are), I touch the clippers to their hand as well so they can feel for themselves. Most of them like this and let me proceed with the haircut.
Scissors a little bit different. Most children aren’t scared of them, possibly because they don’t make noise. A few are, however. That could be just general fear of haircuts, or possibly caused by some past scissor-related trauma. Regardless of their level of fear, I always use my “B” scissors – they are not as sharp as my primary shears, and thus better for small children that make sudden movements. When the children are scared of the scissors, usually around their ears and neckline (probably from the aforementioned trauma), I’ll pretend to cut my finger with the scissors. I tell them these are magic scissors, and they can only cut hair. It’s a half truth; since they are dull-ish, the child sees no blood, and the haircut can proceed.
The other day I was using this scissor tactic, and like it usually does, it worked. The haircut itself was not memorable. However, as I was ringing up the sale, I noticed a bit of blood on my finger.It appears the my magic scissors weren’t so magic that time. Luckily, the child did not notice. I can only imagine him explaining his fear of scissors to his psychiatrist later.