WAUWATOSA, WI – People cringe when they think of DIY hairstyles in the 1970s or 1980s when a mother put a bowl on her child’s head to cut their hair.
Melissa Murray, owner of a local Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids franchise, recalled the days of feathered hairstyles.
“My mom cut my hair and it was a disaster. You had to go to the salon and get it fixed,” she said.
She signed up to run her salon to persuade other moms to put the scissors down.
Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids, a Utah-based company dedicated to making kids’ haircuts stress-free and fun, is coming to Wauwatosa.
The franchisor has more than 100 locations. Wisconsin’s first location is slated to open at 12132 W. Capitol Drive in January.
“It’s a really fun experience for the kids,” Murray said.
As a mother herself, Murray visited many salons with her daughter and found a kid-focused barbershop a good deal for the area. The Cookie Cutter’s caring environment gives parents a sense of ease, she said.
“It can be very traumatic for a child to have their hair cut,” she said.
Children are upset by the noise of lawn mowers and some children are afraid of scissors, Murray said.
“A lot of kids just don’t want to sit still,” she added.
To make the experience less scary, Cookie Cutters offers a range of activities to distract children from the haircut.
The living room has TVs, video games, a playground, balloons, bubbles and lollipops.
The Wauwatosa Lounge will feature five fun-themed chairs. Kids can choose a race car, train, fire engine, patrol car, or airplane.
“If mom comes with siblings, there are other things for the kids to do,” she said.
Every child is different, with different needs, said Murray. In other salons, a child was running around and the stylist would let the child play and cut a small part of the hair at a time.
“It depends on the kid. Some are going to sit down and just watch a show they like,” Murray said.
The show targets children up to 12 years old. For a baby’s first haircut, parents receive a certificate with a lock of hair and a “front and photo”.
The experience can sometimes be more traumatic for the parent, Murray said. But there are ways to make them feel better, such as letting the child sit on their parents’ lap.
“Sometimes a parent likes a pacifier or likes to blow bubbles on their child,” she said.