Kid clippers

Diana Devine

Photo By Tom Angel

A salon like Kid’n Around Hair Design can mean the difference between a screaming, fussing fiasco and a scrapbook-worthy milestone experience. The stylists at the shop in Raley’s Skypark Plaza have little heads in mind, focusing on a pint-sized clientele. For $12.50 (adults are $15), kids can get their hair cut while watching Dora the Explorer, Blues Clues and similar fare—a welcome distraction for the child who equates the barber’s chair with the dentist’s seat. The day we visited, Ruby Lundberg (pictured with mom Jennifer in the background), who just turned 2, was getting her very first haircut. Manager Diana Devine did the honors before presenting the little girl, who chose to have Bert from Sesame Street join her in the elephant chair, with a certificate, pink helium balloon and lollypop.

Why kids?

I have young kids of my own, and it’s just so much fun to work with little children. Everything is just so new to them. To play with them and talk with them is a lot of fun.

What styles are popular right now?

For 90 percent of boys, it’s a clipper cut around the sides and ears and a trim on top. Little boys love their hair sticking up, and sometimes we use a colored gel that washes out. For girls, the bob is starting to come back again.

Do you get many unusual requests?

Not really. It’s mostly buzz cuts—what used to be called butch cuts. One time, a mom wanted to know how to start dreadlocks on a little guy. He was about 2.

Many meltdowns?

First haircuts usually go really well. We try to make it so it’s not scary. It’s not until they’re 21/2 or 3 years old [that they freak out]. It’s usually boys.

What’s the problem?

Personally, I think it’s a boundary thing. With the clippers, I take their hand and show them that it tickles. You have to know how to make a child not afraid and make it fun for them. If you tell them, "It’s not going to hurt," they don’t understand that. Also, usually kids don’t like to be covered up [with a smock]. They feel trapped somehow.