How I style my little boys’ hair

I got a lash lift and it blew my mind.

I’ve always preferred short little men’s haircuts for my little boys. Not only do I think it’s adorable, but there’s also less risk of it getting in their eyes and MORE IMPORTANTLY… it’s easier to get peanut butter out of shorter hair.

I did hair for about 10 years before having kids and diving full on into the blog, so I knew I would always cut my kids’ hair. I have to say, they have both been excellent clients from the start. Because I started cutting it so early, and it’s always in the comfort of our own home, they’ve never strongly protested. As they are getting older, Youtube + a sweet treat has proved to be an effective form of bribery, which I’m all for when it comes to sitting still for a haircut.

Luke and David’s hair could not be more different. Luke’s is blonde, thick, and stick straight. David’s is sort of like a taupe non-color, which is exactly what my natural color is too. His hair is thinner and fine. It lays more flat without much natural “strength”.

I shared a timelapse video of me cutting David’s hair a few weeks ago, if you care to watch, but I thought I’d share today how I style the boy’s hair, along with some tips!

I don’t like using gel because it’s too wet looking and can be pretty unforgiving. If you mess up gelled hair, it’s hard to fix it.

I’ve been using this clay since I started putting product in their hair and it’s been perfect for both of their textures.

To begin, I sit them up on the kitchen counter and wet their hair with water. I can usually part Luke’s hair with my hands, but I have a comb nearby for parting David’s.

While their hair is still quite wet, I’ll grab a dime sized amount of the clay, and rub it all over my palms.

Next, I’ll rake my fingers through their hair, following the way the hair is laying while it’s wet, and once the direction has been established, I’ll push down on it with my hands and run my palms over both sides.

And that’s it! Their hair will dry within about 10-15 minutes, and the finished look will be more on the matte/dry side versus a wet gelled look.

I follow the same process with David, and sometimes use a comb to push it over a bit more since it’s so fine.

Besides the finish, I love that I can just add water to their hair post-nap or post-crazy outside playing to freshen it up. It doesn’t need more clay!

A few extra tips for styling little boys’ hair:

  1. Let them be “involved” if you can. If they can hold the container of whatever product you are using, they may feel like their are helping!
  2. Don’t style it until they are dressed and you are about to head out the door!
  3. A wet paper towel is a fast and simple way to wet down hair if the spray bottle causes stress.
  4. The more wet their hair is before applying product, the more thinned out and “softer” the product will become. Conversely, the more dry the hair is, the stiffer and stronger the product will be.

More posts about my sweet boys here and here!


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Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says · 05.02.17

Peanut butter out of hair is a great practical reason! Cute photos!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Courtney says · 05.02.17

I have a boy who just turned one and have been wondering about which product to use in his hair. This post was perfect timing- thank you!

Rachel says · 05.02.17

Thanks for the wet paper towel trick!! My son hates the spray bottle when I try to style or trim his hair. I’ll have to try that next time!

Elizabeth says · 05.02.17

These pictures are so stinking’ cute! They look like such little men!
Xo, Elizabeth

Jessica says · 05.02.17

Do you have tips on giving them a trim? I’m tired of it costing a fortune every time my little guy needs a hair cut but am a little nervous about attempting it myself.

Christy says · 05.03.17

We bought hair clippers on Amazon for $25 and buzz my 2 year-old son’s head to a “size 4”. It has saved us tons of $ and my hubby does his now as well. He looks adorable (well, they both do) and it’s minimal stress because you don’t have to really get out the scissors except for the very back. That’s just a few snips to clean it up if needed. For Kate, she’s an amazing hairdresser so she’s more comfortable with the scissors. I’m not!

Sarah O says · 05.03.17

I also purchased a trimmer/clipper set when my first son was almost 2. It’s been about 5 years since then and after awhile you figure out (trial and error) how to use scissors to blend and cut bangs. I can now do a better job than Great Clips and I have no training. lol

Alyssa says · 05.02.17

They’re so sweet!

KellyG says · 05.02.17

It is such a pleasure to watch these two grow up. They are just so dang cute! Although I do miss Luke sayi8ng “PASTAH”!!!!

Melanie says · 05.02.17

While I know the haircut should be left to the professionals – any tips for a quick trim & clean-up of your son’s hair – I hate spending the money to just trim up above his ears and front.
Thanks and your boys are adorable!

Lindsay @ Hot Mess, Cool Day says · 05.02.17

Thank you for the tips! I have limited hairstyling abilities for girls (although my daughter is cool with a pair of french braid which somehow I can do) and even less for my son! I can’t wait to pick up this clay and get him looking fresh!

Jennifer Baker says · 05.02.17

Thank you so much for posting these tips. We have an almost 3 year old and 6 month old boys. My oldest has thick coarse hair (I have naturally curly… poor guy). I am excited to try the clay, you mentioned, to keep it in place. Also, if you have any tips on what to tell the stylist when they are cutting his hair. He’s had a few bad ones that make him look like one of the stooges 😬

Katie says · 05.02.17

Your boys are certainly adorable and very stylish! I especially love how they’ve decorated their socks… I’m pretty sure that was their addition to the shoot! 😉

Whitney says · 05.02.17

Thank you! I have a one year old son and just trimmed his hair last night. Your tips were super helpful and I’m going to have to look into getting some of that product when he has more hair to style. Your boys are so sweet. I love that their socks are sticker covered. My kids would do the same thing.

Alicia @ Turquoise Grace says · 05.02.17

I have 3 (soon to be four!) boys , and I’ve always preferred the short mini-man haircuts also! My problem is 2 out of my 3 boys absolutely HATE getting their hair cut, so I tend to prolong haircuts as long as possible. But I love it when it’s styled like this ! Your boys are absolutely adorable!

Tracy says · 05.02.17

You boys are so adorable! This post made me smile, because my son’s opinion of doing hair has been funny. When he was 8, or so I told him he needed to comb his hair, because it had gotten a tad long. His protest? “But Mum, I don’t know how!” I realised he had never actually used a comb, because his hair was short. Now, as a 16yo, when I asked if he’d like to have a nice hair style like his boy cousins (a year either side of him), he said “Nup. It’s just hair Mum”.

Having said that, I’m the only one allowed to cut that hair. I’m no hairdresser, so I use clippers to sheer it back to looking like a real boy again.

Melanie says · 05.03.17

How old were they when you started using the clay? My son is 8 months and has hair that used to stick up like a faux-hawk when he was teeny, but once his actual hair came in, it lays flat like David’s.

Donna says · 05.03.17

Your little guys are so cute and I love the stickers on their socks <3

Sarah says · 05.03.17

My son has opposite cowlicks on either side of his widows peak. So far I’ve just buzzed him with the clippers but I am wondering how to deal with his unique hairline as he starts to have an opinion about his hair. He’s almost 3.

Katy says · 05.03.17

I have used kids gel and some of my husbands paste in my sons thick straight hair to keep it parted to the side but it never holds for the whole day. Do you think this clay will stay all day for kids with a little longer hair in the front? I am in desperate need because I hate that his hair falls in his face and looks like a bull cut when its not styled to the side!

Jennifer says · 05.03.17

Wow! What a difference. I have a 16 month old boy and things are starting to get unruly…might have to give this a try now (or certainly down the line). I’d be interested in any recos for all-natural styling products, too!

Elizabeth says · 05.04.17

I have a little man & I can appreciate this post! My son’s hair either looks too bed headish or too styled, this seems like a nice n between : )

Brielle says · 10.12.17

Love this post! I have 17 month old twin boys and have had the hardest time styling their hair. Have tried so many gels/sprays but going out and getting this today! Thank you!

Mandy says · 10.12.17

Love this! After learning to give my husband his “army cut” for drill every month, I decided I’d cut my son’s hair too. I have no training but through trial and error I think I’ve gotten his styled cut figured out. I’ve been using some Axe hair product that my husband got for my son but wasn’t super impressed so I’ll have to look for this clay stuff!

Jess says · 10.12.17

Would you recommend this product to help “hold up” a Mohawk? My son is dead set on a Mohawk and we can never get it to stay up using what we have. Which includes a paste, two different super strong hold gels, and Kenra 22. Help! Please.

Sheryl says · 11.28.17

Very cute!
I would LOVE to hear your ideas on what products to use on thick CURLY hair. My kids are not small anymore but they all have thick curly hair that they/I struggle with because it’s opposite of my own. I want them to embrace their beautiful ringlets without the sticky or crunchy wet look. HELP.

Krystie says · 08.27.18

My hair is thick and curly too. I finally found my “Holy Grail” products for perfect curls after years of trial and error. I love the Living Proof no frizz shampoo, Pureology hydrate conditioner, and to style I will comb through my wet hair with a detangling spray and then apply Not Your Mother’s curl defining cream, flip my head upside down and scrunch with my fingers, then let it air dry. Perfect ringlets every time! 🙂

Brooke says · 12.02.17

Thank u for your tips. I am great at doing my little girls hair but am always clueless when it comes to my son. His is extremely fine and blonde so whatever i do to it only lasts about ten minutes tops!

Scissors Paper Stone says · 12.05.17

It is indeed a good article for boys hair styling. Must Read!

Laurien Bean says · 02.17.18

Thanks for this post. I have three little boys and styling their hair is always a challenge for me! My boys hate me using gel in their hair because I have to wash it out every evening – does the same apply when using clay?

Sarah says · 04.15.18

Will this clay work on curly hair? My son’s hair is very curly — which I love! — but struggle to find a product that works in his hair to hold the curls and doesn’t make it frizzy but like you said, gel is very hard to fix after a nap or him touching it.

jessia says · 06.04.18

Hello! its really helpfull, the list-directory with all barber salons! all in one –

Taylen says · 09.01.18

Found this very helpful. I have used gel products, I will try the clay.

Muhammad Shahid says · 06.24.19

Thank you so much for posting these tips. We have an almost 3 year old and 6 month old boys. My oldest has thick coarse hair (I have naturally curly… poor guy). I am excited to try the clay, you mentioned, to keep it in place. Also, if you have any tips on what to tell the stylist when they are cutting his hair. He’s had a few bad ones that make him look like one of the stooges 😬

Mary says · 06.26.19

Your boys are adorable!! Can we get a 2019 update? My boys are 3 and 7 and I don’t know what to do with their hair! Recently saw a meme with pictures of a toddler dropped off at daycare on days that 1) Mom did hair 2) Grandma did hair 3) Dad did hair, etc. — and I realized my hairstyling makes me seem like a grandma 😰

Terrance McDaniel says · 09.24.19

Hi ! Myson has super curly hair & I have no idea how to help him style it. Any suggestions?

Alyssa says · 01.13.20

Love this post, it’s super helpful! Any chance you’d consider doing a post on styling little girls hair as well? Thanks!

Kate says · 01.13.20

To be totally honest, I never did childrens hair when I worked in the salon. I really prefer focusing on Women’s hair. there are so many talented influencers that do little girl hair tutorials that I’m sure you can find on Pinterest!

edmund says · 03.29.20

Thanks for sharing such valuable information I am also impressed by the creativity of the writer. This is excellent information. Thank you for sharing this valuable informative post about Hair Style Boys

Rachael says · 04.13.20

going to try this!! Our little man who is 2 still doesn’t have much hair but it is starting to morph into a butt cut 😉 Definitely need to start training it!

Katrina says · 01.21.21

Love your blog! Thanks for all the very useful tutorials. Needed ideas for my boys hair today.

Angie says · 09.21.21

Thanks for sharing this post. I never quite knew why I didn’t like gel in my two year olds hair. Will definitely be picking up a clay next time I’m at target.