Unless you’ve invested in a 90s-era Flowbee or earned your chops in cosmetology, chances are you have to make at least a quarterly trek to get your kid’s mop trimmed. What’s that you say? The thought of a sharp, moving object anywhere in the vicinity of your child’s writhing body gives you hives? We’ve rounded up 10 salons that specialize in toddlers, children, and teens, catering to even the wiggliest Lightning McQueen fans.
Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids
Whether you have toddlers or teens, Sharkey’s caters to every child. Younger kids can sit in their favorite vehicle (including a Dodge Police Cruiser, Barbie Jeep, Lightning McQueen Race Car, Buzz Light Year Vehicle, Hummer, #8 Dale Earnhardt NASCAR Race Car, and/or Mini Cooper) while watching cartoons or Netflix. Older kids will jump at the chance to play Playstation 3 or 4 or X-box 360 on 40-inch screens while getting a new ‘do—or they can just watch their favorite sporting events or music concerts. Looking for a glamorous birthday celebration? Consider hosting a party in Sharkey’s special ‘Tween Lounge, where each guest will be pampered with a hair style, makeup application, and mini-manicure. And don’t fret: Sharkey’s cuts adult hair, too!
B.R.A.T. Box Kids
Short for “Babies Receiving Attention Too,” kiddos are the priority at B.R.A.T. Older ones can take on the Wii or Play Station games, while little tykes can read books, color, or play board games—fans of dress-up can even don a fancy gown while they get their hair done. A stash of kid-friendly DVDs and stuffed animals are available to distract the smallest skeptics. Parents can take advantage of the Adult Den, where stylists are at the ready to make even the most haggard among us look like a million bucks, too.
3652 St. Barnabas Rd. (Suitland, MD)
The Yellow Balloon
From first haircuts to first fancy updos, The Yellow Balloon serves all your pint-sized grooming needs. And they do it with a keen eye for detail: the waiting area has toys, books, coloring books, and fun rides; each styling station is outfitted with a TV; and customers leave double-fisting a lollipop and a yellow balloon after hairstyling. Your freshly-coiffed little one won’t want to leave.
While we’re a little wary of restaurants that claim to serve delicious sushi, pad thai, AND mapo tofu, there really is a place where your kids can get a great haircut AND take a dance class or romp in an indoor playground. Book online to get your mini-me ready for the first day of school tear-free. Prices are ridiculously reasonable ($22 for a cut), and members receive additional discounts. Services include a bang trim, full cut, and even a matching kid/doll updo. Customers can sit in airplanes, suck on a lollipop, and watch TV while they’re shedding a few inches.
Cartoon Cuts says, “That’s all, folks!” to family hair woes—this is another salon that welcomes customers of all ages. They can host parties, braid to their hearts’ content, fix damaged swimmers’ hair, and even give your little one some scalp therapy if he’s been a tad itchy lately. Tip: Ask for Munaza or Myrna—they’re the kiddos’ favs!
With its whimsical décor, including Ariel and all of her friends from A Little Mermaid, Lightning McQueen, Wonder Woman, and more, Kids Paradise sets the tone for a joyful haircut experience. Little ones will be fascinated with the “ocean floor,” complete with King Triton, personal stools, and tons of books and toys to play with during their visit. Bonus? Adults and wee ones can all get their hair done together. Tip: Looking for cornrows, beads, braiding, or other fancy styling? Yvette (the owner) is a magic-maker.
1215 Brentwood Rd., NE (Brentwood)
Consider yourself warned—you might feel a bit out of place at this completely-for-kids salon. In addition to kid-size chairs, kid-friendly products, and a rolodex of kid styles, every Snip-its appointment (or walk-in visit) includes a welcoming sing-along video to get your child excited about the fun ahead, as well as interactive computer games and movies. Your kid will enjoy it so much they might want to come back for a spa package or their birthday party! Another cool thing is that Snip-its stylists, in conjunction with Autism Speaks, receive special training to meet the needs of children with autism.
10659B Braddock Rd. (Fairfax, VA)
Pigtails & Crewcuts
It happens. Your toddler gets creative with the craft scissors you swore were well-hidden, or decides to shampoo her hair with bubble gum. The stylists at this national chain have seen and heard it all. Just ask them about their disaster relief plans (hint: it’s all about hiding the kid-tastrophy with strategically placed layers). That Flock of Seagulls ‘do your three-year-old is sporting will seem insignificant in comparison. Handling all your hair needs, the crew at the Rockville location is as savvy (and sweet) as they come.
Bravado Hair Design Kid’s Salon
Located just above the grown-ups’ salon, Bravado Kids caters completely to the younger set. While you’re getting gussied up, kiddo can get a cut, trim, or deep conditioning treatment–all while watching TV on a personal screen, doing a puzzle, or burning rubber in a racecar seat.
This hotspot doesn’t just cater to the over-35 NASCAR fanatic or –loving grown-up; it takes rookies, too. Billed as a sports-themed franchise with “guy smart” stylists who will make your dude feel right at home. Got extra time? Feel free to linger and watch some ESPN after a quick trim. Time-crunched parents will be happy with speedy service. Tip: “Lil’ Jess” is amazing with both clippers and scissors if your little dude needs some clipping in the back and shaping on top.
—Katie Brown and Hilary Riedemann