As a parent, there are many milestones that we anticipate for our children: first time rolling over; taking their first steps; saying their first words. Getting their hair cut.

When my daughter was just over a year old, her hair was growing out a bit erratically; her bangs were too long and in her eyes, but it was still short in the back. She just didn’t have enough hair to justify bringing her into a salon to get it cut. So I did it myself.

I’ll never touch my children’s hair again. Ever.

Brenna lodge 13 March 2005 011

So when it came to her first real haircut, my husband and I did it up. We brought her to a kid’s specialty hair salon, where she was strapped into a special kid-sized seat and was able to watch a princess movie on the private screen right at her own booth. We paid a premium price for the service, but she came out unscathed (and looking much better than when I butchered it six months earlier!). It just so happened that when my son needed his first haircut right before his first birthday, we were able to bring him to the same kid’s salon.

24 July 2008 - Anthony's 1st Haircut-3

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find such a place since we moved here to Okinawa. Now I take my daughter to one of the salons on base; my husband brings our 22-month-old son to the barber shop with him and holds him on his lap so he can have his hair cut “just like Daddy!” It works for us; my kids don’t have an aversion to getting their hair cut, and normally sit still pretty well. But I’m sure there are other options out there… right? I mean, our Okinawa Hai readers can’t all bring their children to the base salons and barbershops, can they?

One of our readers, Carol, wrote to me to ask about “baby’s first haircut”…

I have seen posts regarding information about adult haircuts, [but] …I am specifically interested in a [kid’s] first haircut. My son is 14 months old and very wiggly. It doesn’t need to be “An Event”, but I am looking for resources or names of people who are good with kid’s hair and active little boys so the haircut isn’t a trauma. Thanks!

I’m afraid I had to tell her I was stumped. So I’m asking you, our faithful readers, for your advice. Where do you bring your children to get their hair cut? Do you also use the base salons, or do you take them to American stylists who work out of their homes? Or do you have a local stylist that works well with kids? Has anyone found a kid-specific salon or barbershop on the economy? Please share!

[Editor’s note: One trick I have discovered that works well in keeping wiggly toddlers relatively still during a hair cut is providing them with animal crackers or a box of raisins to eat. Something they can focus on that will take their mind off of what’s going on a little north of their mouth…]

Another Editor’s Note: As I was searching the Oki Hai website for a completely different topic, this post came up, with more reviews of the Good Boy barber shop as well as other stylists on island.  Somehow it never showed up in my previous searches.  Gotta love how Google works, huh?


  1. My boys and I used to go to a place in Ishikawa near the beach. The guy has individual TV monitors with DVD’s that play for you, and he did a very good job, but it’s slow…like 20 minutes for a cut.

  2. Penelope, thanks for the suggestion of hair location and also to Monica on using a beauty salon rather than barber. I prefer I think this would be better than seeing razors coming out! Thanks! 🙂

  3. Okay, JBO! My nine-year old has a ton of curls and he has been growing it longer. He was refusing to get his hair cut again because everytime we have gone to one of the barbers on base, they have cut his hair way too short. I convinced him to try the beauty parlor instead in the Kadena Concession Mall. They did a great job and he wasn’t in tears this time! Also, it was only $9 something with a club card.

  4. Good Boy.

    They are all over the island I think, you’ll recognize the little stick cartoon head with spikey hair on a blue sign. There is one on 58 just past the 130 intersection as you’re headed south towards Foster, right next to a currency exchange place.

    They have one Jeep “chair” for children, situated directly in front of a TV. I’ve usually seen Anpanman on when we’re there. They also have the double headed capes if you need to hold your child instead.

    I’ve noticed a sign inside that looks like they do keepsake boxes for locks of hair from a first haircut.

    If you have a style in mind, bringing a picture might help. I do a lot of gesturing with some really bad Japanese thrown in and then usually just say “make him kawaii”. They laugh at me, then do just that! I only know the price for little boys- 1050 yen.

  5. Looking for a place that does well w/ boys curl locks? Would love to keep curls, keep it trimmed and even all over, but not buzzed or cutting too much of the curls either. I have found it difficult so far going to on base with the barbers as the language barrier is somewhat frustrating! This has also been the same for my older son with trying to find someone that can both “understand” the type of cut as well as do the cut w/ positive results!

    Anyone w/ kids hair recommendations is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  6. I’ve pretty much always cut my kids’ hair myself. It was way easier with the girls as I just needed to take a little off the bangs and then started shaping their hair on the sides and back as it got longer.

    My son’s first haircut was at home with my SIL, who managed a salon at the time. I took over from there. There’s an e-book called Haircuts for Little Men by Nancy Baetz that had some helpful tips (and pictures) that I read before I tried his for the first time.

    I just stick him in his high chair and then immediately put him in the bath when we’re done. Any really small details I need to touch up I can usually catch while he’s absorbed with his boats. 🙂

  7. I buzz my two boys at home, its easy enough with boys to just put the 1/2inch adjustable on the razor and go at it. They get candy if they sit still through it for bribery.

    Having said that, I’ve seen a place that looks as if its a kids cut salon down in the building with ToysRUs in Naha. Its on the second level near the play area there. I’m not sure of the prices, etc. but it looks a lot like one of the salons in the states that caters just to kids. HTH