Searching for a kid-friendly stylist can be discouraging when you discover that not all stylists and barbers service children. We asked our StyleSeat Pros, Sophia Jimenez and Aiise, for advice when selecting a kid-friendly stylist and what questions parents and caregivers should ask to see if the stylist is a good fit. Sophia Jimenez is a cosmetologist located in Valley Stream, NY. Aiise is both a barber and natural hair stylist located in South Orange, NJ. Feel empowered when booking your next appointment by asking these questions.
Is my child ready for hair salon services?
Ready to schedule an appointment, but you’re not too sure if your child is too young? When consulting with your prospective stylist, be sure to share your kid’s age and ask if that will interfere with the service. Our StyleSeat Pros recommend that three is the magic number and is the average age for children to receive salon services.
“It really varies on the child. I have cut one-year-olds that have been cool and just sat there and sucked on their lollipop, I’ve braided their hair up, I’ve given them their first cut, it really just ranges,” says Aiise. Aiise shares the average age for a child’s first haircut to be three years old because they can voice what’s bothering them or if they’re uncomfortable.
“Depending on the service, I’d say a three-year-old if a parent wants a good wash and making sure they’re not getting dry scalp or cradle cap,” says Sophia. Sophia prefers to start braiding hair for children between the ages of four and five. When styling her clients between the ages of five and six, she will add a small number of hair extensions for length or make their bun/ponytails look fuller.
Do you have a kid-friendly salon space?
When visiting the salon, take a look around to see if it caters to children. Our StyleSeat Pros, Sophia and Aiise, make sure to have their space ready for their kiddie appointments. “For children, I have washing capes with characters to make it cool and distract them. I have a professional booster seat to make it comfortable for them. I have a TV with an iPad set up to make it a comfortable environment,” says Sophia.
Aiise rewards clients with first haircut certificates and is currently working on a rewards program for outstanding school performance. “As adults, we like rewards, so why not treat the kids just as equal and allow them to feel like this is a space that I’m comfortable in and a space that’s promoting me to do something for myself,” says Aiise.
Do your salon polices cater to parents?
Do you have salon polices that allow parents to stay during their child’s service? There are a variety of reasons for salons implementing a visitor policy. Some salons prefer not to have extra visitors due to the size and limited accommodation. As a parent, having the option of staying during your child’s appointment may put both you and your child at ease. “I don’t have a strict policy on whether it’s that they can’t. I do have seating because I like a conversation where I can talk to the parents about the kids’ style or having a nice personal conversation,” says Sophia.
How can I prepare my child at home for salon services?
Are you hesitant to bring your child for a hair appointment because you’re unsure how their experience will be? Or did they recently have an unpleasant experience at a salon? It’s best to take a few steps back and take time to prepare for a salon appointment at home.
Aiise recommends eliminating triggering words such as “cut” when informing your child that a haircut appointment is approaching. “When you say certain words, in their lives they associate with hurting, something hurting them, they’re not coming in to have an experience,” says Aiise. “I always tell the parents, you know we’re going to have our hair looking nice, we’re going to style it, we’re going to have fun.” Aiise also recommends daily brushing your child’s hair at home so the experience won’t be traumatic for them.