Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Extreme fear of haircuts

Hi Sam,

I am 17 and I am ashamed to say that I have a severe fear if getting haircuts, to the point I haven’t had one for four years.

I decided that if I passed my driving test, which I did, then I will get a haircut on the 15th March (I know its a long way away but its affecting me already).

I booked an appointment online and it all became very real. I am debating telling my best friend, who is quite a bit older than me (she‘s 23) but everything she knows so far she has been very supportive of. I know I can trust her its just what she will say and how she will react that worries me, also telling her would also mean I have to actually admit that I am scared.

I have a feeling that if I told my friend then she would say that she would come with me, however, I know on the day that I wont want to talk to anyone intil after, let alone let someone see me in that mess.

My new years resolution is to face my fears as 2018 is my year to change but its just a lot harder than I expected, especially as they are all irrational.

Any tips?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Facing a fear can be really scary, but it's something we all have to do from time to time. It doesn't matter what the fear is about - it's real to you and that's what counts. But there is a good way of building up to facing a fear that might help you.

One of the first things that you can do is try to understand more about what it is you're afraid of. With getting a haircut you could be you're afraid of being hurt by the scissors, afraid of telling the hairdresser what you want or perhaps afraid of what people will say about the style you choose. Whatever it is, having a better understanding will help you to face and overcome that fear.

A good way of facing a fear is to slowly work towards it in a way you can control. So it might help to start by looking at photographs of people having their haircut first, then watching videos of people having their haircut. You might then visit a salon and watch other people getting their haircut in person before finally going for your haircut yourself.

It can help to keep a diary of each step and say how it feels before and after. If you feel anxious or panicked it would also be useful to know some techniques for coping with that anxiety. You should only move on when you've become comfortable with each step. You can make your own diary or use the mood journal available in your locker if you make a Childline account.

I hope this has helped. Remember that it might take time for you to build up to getting a haircut - and it's okay to get as much support as you need. If your friend is as supportive as she has been in the past then it's always good to use that support and let them know how much it means to you.

If you'd like to talk to one of our counsellors some more about how this is going they'd be happy to chat about this. Take care.


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter