What Would You Do: Kids In The Salon
Where do you draw the line with clients who bring their children into the salon? Whether your kid-friendly biz is running smoothly or you’re ready to make major policy changes—it’s a sensitive subject matter where the “don’t take it personal” approach seems impossible, so one stylist reached out to the BTC community for advice.
“In the past couple of years, our salon has been having issues with clients bringing in their children while they’re getting a service done. We only don’t like this at night time when we are very busy. We are not rude to the children, however we do ask that they stay seated because it’s our busiest time. They’re also tools around that could hurt them. We have gotten complaints from mothers that we were rude to their children, and that we’re not allowed to tell them how to act. What is a nice way to tell or post that we don’t allow children in the salon after 5 p.m.? We want all of our clients that are coming in after work to be able to relax without toddlers and young children running and screaming around them.”
Be Upfront With Your Policies
If you’re fed up with disruptive behavior, safety hazards and liabilities—some stylists say it’s better to be straight up with your rules and policies regarding children.
“Our salon policy states that children are welcome in the salon if the child has an appointment. It is worded this way so that parents aren’t offended by negative language. It sounds better to state when the children are allowed rather than when they are not. I think it’s ridiculous to say that the salon needs to provide anything special to entertain children unless you are specifically a family or children’s salon. It’s far more rude of the parents to assume that other clients should put up with their children because they couldn’t get a sitter.” – @brittp0p
“I started just saying we had a liability issue before with a child getting hurt (which happens all the time in salons), so now unfortunately the salon rule is no kids unless they have an appointment for the child to get their hair done. It’s just not worth the stress and it ruins other clients’ experiences. Even when clients bring an iPad to distract the kid, your’e just dealing with the loud noise from the game or movie they’re watching. – @hayleywiddhair
“‘Dear guests of (insert salon name). We have updated our salon policy and we will no longer allow children in the salon after 5 p.m. unless they are being serviced. We strive to create a peaceful atmosphere for all of our guests who come in after a long day, and we also care about the safety of your little ones. If you have any questions or concerns, please ask! Thank you all for your patronage!’ This can be sent as an email, placed on the front desk or at everyone’s stations. Also a simple notice that says, ‘No children allowed unless being serviced,’ can be placed at the front desk.” – @madammo
“Once you’ve seen a child swallow relaxer they thought was frosting, or grab a hot curling iron by the barrel, you’ll institute a no-child policy.” – @jenniferrosenyc
“Try sharing this message, ‘Your appointment today will exceed one hour. That is past the time we expect children to be able to tolerate being in the salon. We need to reschedule your appointment to a day that you can enjoy your service and not keep your child too long at the salon. However, we will be happy to give your child a bang trim for the experience of being here in the salon today.’” – @studiouptown.abq
Meet Them In The Middle
Some of you said that kids in the salon should be handled on a case-by-case basis, so improvise and communicate with your clients clearly.
“In all my years of doing hair, on average the mom that brings her kids in either has no other option, or the kids are well behaved. I am of the opinion that if you are getting anything more than a simple haircut, it isn’t fair to anyone (kids or other clients) to bring your kids in…it’s too long. However, if they are already there, I just pull out my mom skills and give the little guys a job to do, or pull out the iPad from the back and let them play with that. Everyone will appreciate the improvisation, especially the kids.” – @hairmoxiesalon.fairoaks
“If you post a sign, you’re going to be told you’re rude! If you have toys or stuff for the kids, it’s going to encourage parents to bring them in. When I make the appointment I ask, ‘Should we make it when your kids are in school or is there a day that’s the best for you and your babysitter?’ If they do bring them, that totally good with us. We all have children and sometimes they just have to go with you, but I will (with no fear) repeatedly ask them to stop doing whatever they’re not supposed to be doing. If parents get mad, then I say, ‘It’s for their safety!’” – @mama_heidrich
“I like to remind parents (and my own children) that the salon is a business, not a playground. If a parent (and we have at least one) won’t keep their children occupied or in check during the appointment, we like encourage the kiddos to take it outside. Small town, we can do that. We do have a strong policy about staying off our mats while we work.” – @tre.stokes
“When booking appointments, our clients will ask if it’s OK to bring their children. Our salon is very big, so space is not an issue aka strollers and such. We just mention that as long as they are behaved and sit quietly, they are welcome. If they start running or crying uncontrollably, we recommend not bringing them as we are a spa as well and we offer tranquility to all our clients. It’s a tough call, but at the end of the day as a parent you know what your kid is like. If they are uncontrollable, it’s best to find childcare.” – @ingrid_hairandmakeup_
Create A Kid-Friendly Environment
Other stylists said they accommodate their clients by creating a kid-friendly space that entertains and keeps children in the salon occupied.
“At our salon, we have an extra room with a TV that has Netflix. The kids and parents love that we offer this. The extra room has a door, too.” – @tensdhair
“We have a family-run salon, and to be honest as a mother of three young children myself, I will often have my children present at work. Our feedback from clients is that it’s wonderful and friendly that we have our own children there, and that they feel comfortable bringing their own in too. Not all mothers or fathers have the privilege of having a babysitter or someone to watch their children, and the proof is in the pudding. Where there are children involved, parents will spend money. We offer toys, iPads and TV to the children. Also, when our junior staff are free, they are happy to entertain the children and have never complained. In fact, they find it a pleasure. There have been times when we quietly approach a parent of an unruly child and ask if next time they could not bring them. They are very aware of the child’s behavior and totally agree.” – @jobrooker4751
“Posting no kids is so RUDE! Offer the kids toys, coloring books and crayons, or ask the parents to bring stuff for them. Make a kid’s corner! Never ever say no kids allowed! If you do, I guarantee you’ll lose a lot of clients! Good Luck!” – @alic_85P