Hide the scissors! Instead, play "hairdresser" with kid-safe chopsticks
Veteran Parenthacker Hedra has come up way to keep pretend haircuts fun without sacrificing anyone's actual hair:
Pretend play is loads of fun, but there's one kind of pretend that just makes me twitchy - hairdresser. Especially if they grab the real scissors. Shades of one of my sisters cutting off half of another sister's long, beautiful hair. That scarred my mom for life, I think, and it passed on to me (even though I wasn't born yet).
But without scissors, the hairdresser game isn't much fun. Maybe if you have nice pretend plastic scissors, you're all set. We don't. No other toys we own make good pretend scissors, either.
Solution found by my kids (who hack themselves all the time): Kid-style chopsticks. The ones that are already attached at the tail end, and are kind of springy. The ones we have are bright colored plastic with animal ends. They make perfect pretend scissors - they can capture a lock of hair and make a satisfying 'snik' sound when clicked together. That and a comb and a small hand mirror, and they're all set.
Now, if they'd consent to hair combing under any other conditions ...
Editor's addendum: we should all be so lucky to have kids who hack themselves.
Related: Teaching kids to use chopsticks