We Used to Dread Haircuts



That is what this photo shows. 

Night and day progress. 

Years ago, taking this photo would not have been possible. 

Instead, I would be standing right next to Lucas and his Dad on the other side.  I couldn’t take him alone.  That would be a disaster. 

His hair would be so long it would become unmanageable.  Washing it was too hard, so we’d have to make the dreaded appointment. 

I’d wear the least amount of clothing possible. 

Why?  Because my body temperature would rise in an instant.  My face flushed red, and sweat poured down my face. 

Honestly, it was the longest 10 minutes of my life and his, I’m sure.  We’d make the first appointment of the day.  Chances were we’d be the only ones there.  Sometimes, we weren’t so lucky.  The screams were deafening. 

Hair cuts were hard for Lucas.  Someone touching him, spraying water on his head, using things that made too much noise around his ears and little pieces of hair causing him to itch.  And that blow dryer, goodness that was the product of the devil himself. 

It was the first time I truly understood sensory overload. 

Hair cuts did that to Lucas.  We’d try to over prepare and sometimes surprise him.  We’d pretend to do hair cuts. It was actually a favorite activity at Grandpa’s.  Using the shop vac, of course.

Slowly, they became easier, but it took years.  Then, he began to advocate for himself.  “Water on your hands, please” he’d say so they wouldn’t spray it on his head.  Or ask them to unplug the hair dryer.  This time, he told her not too short.  I guess last time it wasn’t to his liking! 

I don’t share this to shame Lucas.  I do so the next time you witness someone struggling, you don’t judge.

You have no idea what they are dealing with at that time.  Think about your most uncomfortable situation, and be thankful that you can work through it.  That it doesn’t consume your every thought.  And if by chance it does, I understand.  I know, and I don’t judge you at all. 

Because a blonde haired, blue-eyed boy has taught me so much.  To be patient and kind no matter the situation or circumstance. 

And I hope he’s teaching you all the same.

Written by Alison Kacer of Pencils4Lucas

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Alison Kacer

Alison Kacer lives in Minnesota with her husband Geoff and their two boys. Lucas is 9 and is autistic. Drew is 6 and his brother’s fiercest advocate. She writes about her family, acceptance, inclusion and pencil sharpening on their Facebook page Pencils4lucas.

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1 Comment

  1. Duncan on February 3, 2023 at 5:19 am

    Its great that it is better now. Maybe for other readers who still struggle – Did you ever try cutting his hair yourself, at home? For boys, it is surprisingly easy. A YouTube tutorial or 3 will show you exactly how. For girls, who might have a greater range of hair styles, it is a little more difficult to do it yourself.

    I have saved a small fortune in haircut costs in the years I have been cutting my own and our sons hair.
    And I don’t have to book or travel.
    And most importantly here, you know the exact things your kid needs, when and how, so you already have the knowledge that a new person at the hairdressers does not know.
    And you can do it at the most opportune time, when they are in the best mood possible.

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