Earlier in my career, I did work on infants and toddlers at hair salons. It was
not easy because kids move around a lot. As a young hairstylist, you learned to strategically hold their attention while sneakily doing a haircut. Some kids would not be fooled and follow you wherever you went. Others would stare knowing something was going on but were not quite sure. This was before the new mom generation, addicted to social media and cute baby posts!
Back then, moms came in to get their kids’ hair cut or trimmed to remove split ends. Nowadays, they want to put dreadlocks, long braids and other extensions. When did it become the hairstylist’s responsibility to comb a one or 3 year old child’s hair? A child cannot sit straight for long periods but these moms are expecting the kid to sit for three hours or more for a hairstyle. I have grown women who refuse to do a hairstyle that takes longer than two hours! The best ones are those that expect to leave their child and come back after the service is completed.
Since new mothers are not aware of the norms, here are a few things they need to know:
- Children under four, unless they are tall, are not expected to be doing services that take more than an hour. They have short attention spans which gives you 2 minutes at a time to do a service on the hair.
- If you pay attention, you will notice those people on social media platforms are doing their childrens’ hair, at home. They have unlimited time to do it. The child has unlimited time to stop, take breaks and a wide choice of toys and entertainment.
- No hairstylist wants to work on a screaming child. A lot of parents are taking them to the salon because of this reason but no work can be done if this happens.
- Hair salons are time based, just as a dentist’s office or most service industry businesses. Salons cannot afford to take three hours to wash and comb out your child’s hair and you pay very little money. We will always compare how much we would have made if it were an adult doing the service. Costs still matter even with infants and toddlers at hair salons.
Luckily, I have responsible
clients that I can trust if they have to bring their kids along. Only bring your children with you to salons if they listen to you. Some say you should let children explore and be free but only if they are taught to behave in public.
Call (613) 789-2179 For An Appointment If You Are In The Ottawa, Ontario Area.
While I have nothing against infants and toddlers at hair salons, I have moved the age limit up for those I will accept. The child has to be able to sit to get the hair done. Some pulling is necessary so I prefer the parents to not say “I know it hurts” every time we comb a strand since I look like the bad guy here.
By Paula Barker, Silkie Locks Hair Design
P.S. My new e-book, “Filling My Head” is now available along with “Talking Hair and “Dreadlocks, A Hairstylist’s Manifest” on Amazon. Your support would be appreciated.