Children – some hairdressers like cutting their hair, most would rather eat ground glass. Children wriggle. They wail, shed tears and sometimes bite. This market is one in which many salon owners/managers fear to tread. But let’s face it. Children do exist. They also have parents – some who are good patrons. What do you do?
Most hair salons are not made with children in mind. The colour of their walls, the equipment they use and even the hairstylists are not child-friendly. They may bore or even frighten them. In response to the need for children to have haircuts and for their parents to be happy while they do so, some salons have gone to the kids. Others have decided upon another option – a corner in their shop specifically for children.
Children’s salons are a trend that is growing in popularity. Many major cities now have them. They are hair salons built totally around children with seats designed to suit their needs. Some such as the Karissa Kiddie Stool are simple but effective while the Hydraulic Race Car feeds into a child’s fantasy.
Children’s talons offer children toys to play with. They have video games, books and toys. A child can watch a DVD while they get their hair cut. It is all about entertainment as much as hair cuts or styles. These salons hire stylists who know how to work with kids. The hair equipment and salon furniture all addresses the perceived needs of children.
If you have a salon, you may want to consider designating a corner for children’s haircuts and styling. This section need not be large, but it needs to be bright, colourful and feature hairdressing supplies and salon equipment made for children. Children’s favourite cartoon characters may light up the walls while DVDs and a portable player can provide them with the right kind of distraction while you wash, shampoo, cut and style their hair.
Be sure to place a “parent’s chair” nearby. Keep it close enough to be there for the child but not so close as to interfere with the hairdresser’s work.
Yet, it is not enough for you and your salon to have all the right stuff. This is only half the battle. You and your team must also have the right attitude. You must be able to handle the needs and demands of two: the child and his or her parent. You have to do so with skill, diplomacy and and with relative ease. Remember, while the child is your client, the parents may become ones if they are not already.
Children are known in the business to be difficult clients. They wiggle, squirm and loudly complain. They cry and even throw hiss fits. If you offer them a bribe – a treat, for good behaviour, it might well cut down on the histrionics. Small toys are fine. Even candy is acceptable – just clear it with the parent first. The last thing you want are two clients that are not happy with the situation.