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A kids' salon is a type of hair styling business that caters to children, instead of adults. Owners of this type of salon differentiate their services by providing a kid-friendly environment and an experience that is specifically designed to alleviate fears. They attempt to make the process of getting a haircut fun, rather than scary.
The typical hair salon experience is designed with the adult female in mind. Traditionally, when a young person needed a haircut, a parent would often cut the child's hair. Alternatively, a parent would take the child to a hair salon or barber, where the child would be serviced using the same equipment that would be used for adults.
Parents sometimes find that their child is afraid of the hair-cutting experience. Often, children will cry and misbehave, making the process difficult for the service provider to manage. This phenomenon is similar to a child not liking to have his hair brushed or disliking baths. There is no reason behind the fear; it is often simply a response to a new and unknown experience involving strangers.
Much in the same way as dentistry carved out a service niche specifically designed for children, a kids' salon is a hair-cutting experience structured to put children at ease. Owners of this type of salon use equipment that is sized for children and products that are safe for young people's hair. They decorate the salon in colors and with images that kids would find fun and interesting. Most importantly, the staff typically has some training or experience working with kids to supplement their functional expertise.
The kids' salon as a market niche is a viable differentiation strategy for salon owners. Even without the fear factor, children do tend to need different things from a salon experience as compared to adults. While adults may want to luxuriate in the services offered to feel they are getting their money's worth, children often have shorter attention spans. A kids' salon often specializes in making the experience into a game or allowing a certain amount of interactivity. The salon also often caters to both girls and boys, instead of honoring the traditional separation of services for women and men.
There is usually no special license needed to cut children's hair. A service provider must often be licensed as a beautician or barber, generally, but the qualifications and training pertain to adults. The way an owner builds a market for a kids' salon is by naming the salon something family-friendly that draws attention to its focus on kids. Advertising is often directed to parents and placed where they would be most likely to see it.
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