A child-sized airplane, train and car sit neatly parked in front of three mirrors.
“The kids love the car the most,” said Halimeh Zadeh, owner of Cute Kid’s Cuts hair salon.
The styling chairs, which come complete with sound effect buttons, is one reason why children enjoy coming to her salon, Zadeh said.
“They know they belong in this place,” she said. “Before kids were crying, they didn’t want to go to an adult salon. Now moms are saying their daughters tell them, ‘Mommy, it is time for my haircut.’”
Zadeh’s Forest Hill salon — on Eglinton Avenue West, east of Bathurst — offers haircuts and spa treatments for children, as well as haircuts for parents.
In the foyer, candy-coloured plastic chairs are tucked around low-stooping tables, where children’s toys lay dormant, waiting for a child to play with it. Along the windowsill, plastic toy animals stand guard. A flat-screen TV mounted on the wall plays a children’s cartoon.
Since she opened at the end of January, customers have been telling her they really needed a business like hers in the area, she said.
Forest Hill is a good location for a children’s hair salon because it is a family neighbourhood, said Zadeh, adding that it is convenient
for parents to have their hair cut at the same time.
She chose to open a kids’ salon because she felt children didn’t have their own place to go for haircuts, she said.
Zadeh’s haircutting utensils are made for use on children, and she designed her workstations to have the shelves at the back so she can store her equipment out of kids’ reach.
Other salons use the same equipment on kids as they use on adults, she said.
“That environment is not an environment for kids,” she said. “It’s not friendly, it’s not healthy, it’s not safe. Children need their own space.”
Her own experiences with allergies inspired her to use only organic products at her salon.
Zadeh worked as a hairdresser and colour technician for 10 years but she had to leave that job because the chemicals in the hair dyes caused her to cough so much that she would get headaches and earaches.
“I was out of work for seven months,” she said. “Then I decided to do this job and I love it.”
Her organic-only policy means Zadeh doesn’t colour hair or use products with harmful chemicals, like sparkle hair spray.
“The kids ask for it,” she said. “But I say, ‘No. It’s not good for your health.’ What I wanted for my own kids, I want for other people’s kids.”
Zadeh is currently doing all of the haircuts and spa treatments but she is looking to hire a few hairdressers. She brought in a few hairdressers before but they didn’t want to work with kids, she said.
“The problem is they are scared to cut kids’ hair, and they don’t take it seriously,” she said. “As a stylist, they think it’s not professional just cutting kids’ hair. But they don’t know cutting kids’ hair is professional because you’re cutting hair on a moving head.”
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