At Ottawa salon Chiquicuts Kids Hair Salon, the chairs are always lowered for their best clientele. The children’s-only salon opened in 2009 and has won a number of local and business accolades and is developing a Canadian franchise. President and CEO Fernando Martinez gives his top tips on working on kids’ hair:
1. Break the ice. In their young minds, remember that a haircut can be frightening. Before you start, ask what characters or movie they like and make eye contact as you converse.
2. Don’t use a spray bottle without warning. Warn them in advance and shield their face or use a playful metaphor to alert them, “Here comes the rain, cover up!”
3. Give them something to do. Kids like to be entertained and have a short attention span. Keep picture books or small toys that they can play with while sitting still on the chair.
4. Explain what will happen. Tell them what to expect and show them how the tools work harmlessly on their hair. For example: before drying hair, show them how the air feels by blowing air in their hand.
5. Smile a lot. Children tend to reflect the emotions they see on adults.