Do it yourself—set up a “barber shop” or “salon” in your kitchen. Invite your child in for her appointment. Ask her to bring play money with which to pay (and to tip) you or let her use real coins. Play fun, kid-friendly music—let your child pick. Allow her to wet her own hair with a spray bottle (don’t scold if she gets you wet). Talk throughout the haircut. Tell jokes. Ask questions. Start slow—do not give your child an aggressive haircut. Begin with a trim. After the haircut, comment repeatedly on what a “big kid” she was. Tell your friends. Tell your neighbors. Celebrate the milestone in some way.
Enlist a second adult or older sibling. Use previously mentioned tactics but add an element of immobilization. Your child can sit on the adult’s or sibling’s lap or in a highchair during the haircut. Have the second adult distract her.
Use a video or a snack or both. (Caution: The snack may get hairy.) Work very quickly. Let go of the idea that it all needs to happen in one sitting. A haircut may happen over the course of a week.