Choosing a place to get your child’s hair cut can be overwhelming. Small children have a difficult time sitting still, and the typical 24-hour news stations or soft rock hits that play at most regular salons will not hold their interest. The assortment of sharp instruments and strange buzzing tools can be scary for children, especially for first haircuts.
For parents looking for a different haircutting experience, there are children’s salons. Children’s salons are tailored to the needs of children. Below, two moms share their experiences at kids hair salons in and around Columbia.
Small Cuts and Curls
By Allison Linden
My husband has been giving my daughter homemade haircuts since she was about 18 months old (I cut her bangs when she was about a year old and he forbid me to go near her with scissors ever again). Her hair was wild, so I decided to check out Small Cuts and Curls in West Columbia. I messaged them on Facebook early one Sunday morning to ask if they take walk-ins. I soon got a reply stating they do, and they told me the best time to come in. I took my daughter that afternoon.
When we pulled up, a bubble machine was adorning the entrance with hundreds of tiny bubbles. We walked in to discover all of the fun haircutting stations – a pink airplane, a Paw Patrol Jeep, a VW Beetle, and a Nintendo Switch themed chair. My daughter picked the Paw Patrol Jeep – an upcycled Power Wheels that still had working pedals and wheels. In addition, each station had a tiny TV connected to several streaming services. My daughter watched one of her favorite shows while the stylist patiently cut her hair.
At the end of the haircut, she gave my daughter a small braid with a cute flower clip. After the haircut, she let my daughter pick out a nail polish color and gave her a mini manicure (included in the price of a girl’s haircut). My daughter left with a new ‘do, painted nails, and a balloon. I felt like this was a great experience for my daughter!
By Heather Curtis
When it came to nailing down an appointment for my son’s first haircut, his experience was top of mind. Minimizing the potential scare factor and creating a look all his own sent me scouring Google search results and subsequent social media accounts for the perfect fit.
Like most things in our area, it really came down to Columbia options vs. Lexington options … and if you know me, you know I’ll opt to avoid Lexington traffic when I can. At the time, I swear I made an appointment at the Snip-Its off of Garners Ferry Road, a few days in advance. Regardless, the online system currently only accepts same-day scheduling. The location worked; close to Target and World Market, should I have any errands to run that day.
The space was clean. In my two visits there, I’ve seen them wipe the chairs down and sweep the floors consistently. The décor was kid-friendly, as you’d expect. A toy-filled entryway of cars and TY Beanies welcome every child in. The natural light shines through the large front windows. Bright and colorful chairs, a mix of regular and kid-approved shapes adorn each station.
When it came to the cut, either by the nature of my son or the temperament of the stylist, the experience was everything I could have hoped for. With no frills, you can reserve a time for a basic cut or add-on services like a shampoo or special hair care treatment. The first haircut package came with a “framed” picture and a clipping of his straight blonde hair. You know, because it’s a momentous occasion for a sentimental mother like me.
At six months old, my son took it all in. Observation mode activated. The stylist was gentle and patient, frequently checking in with him. He never cried and smiled often. Especially fun to him was the spray bottle of water that would be used to dampen his hair pre-cut.
Our 15-month appointment was very similar, except this time, with his personality more developed, I knew what style of cut he needed. The staff member was very accommodating, gave us a plan for how to style it at home (should we choose to), and when to return for his next trimming.
Overall, I’d recommend Snip-It’s for any same day needs. For a planner like me, I may want to see what else I can find in the area that may be more suitable for advance scheduling needs. Regardless, they’ll certainly remain an option to me.
Other Great Places to Try
If you’re interested in giving a children’s salon a try, chances are there is one a short distance from where you live or work. Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids in Lexington offers fun chairs, “minicures,” and video games. The website for Divine Kidz Hair in Dentsville boasts “kid friendly, parent approved” styles for children between the ages of three and seventeen.
In addition to choosing a fun haircut location for your child, you can also make the experience more pleasant by preparing them for the experience ahead of time. Have a conversation about what happens during a haircut. Show them videos of other children getting haircuts to demonstrate what will happen at the salon. Above all, make sure you look happy when you’re at your child’s appointment. This should be a pleasant experience for both of you.