Best Places for Kids Haircuts in Manhattan for Baby or Toddler’s First Cut

You don't have to wait until after your haircut to get a sweet at Milk and Cookies hair Salon.
You don't have to wait until after your haircut to get a sweet at Milk and Cookies hair Salon.
4/18/23 - By Allison

Getting your kid's hair cut can be hard. Even a harmless trim can turn into an ordeal if you have a little one who squirms and squeals and refuses to sit still. Have you ever seen a stylist try to snip a moving target? Thankfully, NYC's top children's hair salons pull out all the stops to turn haircuts into a fun experience for families, plying young clients with balloons, bubbles, cartoons, toys, funky chairs, and lots of coddling.

Why trust us? As native New Yorkers with more than 15 years of experience sharing the best of NYC with kids, our editorial team has tried nearly all these kid salons and more firsthand. Here are our recommendations for the top eight kid-friendly salons where you can take your tot for (hopefully tear-free) haircuts in New York City. Plus some tips on how to pick the right hairstyle for your kid and hair-cutting tips for kids with anxiety or sensory issues. If you'd rather DIY, we've got some tips for at-home haircuts, too


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Top Children's Hair Salons in NYC

1. Cozy's Cuts for Kids – Upper East Side

When it comes to kids' haircuts, this local spot has thought of everything. Children get to pick out a movie or video game to watch or play during their trim, and the colorful shop is bursting with toys and other distractions. Cozy's has its own line of hair products and every kid leaves with a balloon and lollipop in hand. Stylists are used to working with squirmy or crying youngsters and can also check for lice and show parents how to do so at home. There are also cute add-ons like a "braid bar, " manicures, and a first haircut package.

2. Royal Barbershop – Long Island City

Located in Queens, the LIC Royal Barbershop is a terrific choice for a kid's haircut. Boys and girls can sit behind the wheel of a taxi or firetruck as they get their hair cut at this salon. Stylists have TVs at the ready to distract unhappy customers with their favorite shows. First haircut survivors and their parents are rewarded with a lock of their hair and a first haircut certificate.

3. Pinkyz Place – Cobble Hill

Head to Brooklyn for your child's first haircut or a new do. If going to a hair salon has been traumatic for your child, you'll be welcomed into this friendly salon that specializes in first-time kids' haircuts. It's got toys and a play space to help ease the nerves and add to the fun.

RELATED: NYC Stores Where Kids Can Play for Free

Kids haircut: Kidville Salon
Get a cut or a style at Kidville Salon.

4. Kidville Salon – Financial District, Upper West Side

The members-only kiddie gym franchise also offers cuts to anyone at its Financial District and Upper West Side locations. The stylists are patient and used to getting their work done even as their customers duck and weave or just sit in their fun-car chairs staring blankly at episodes of Bluey or Sesame Street. Ask about Kidville membership discounts when booking your appointment.

5. Milk and Cookies Spa – ​Kips Bay

A cookie could sweeten the deal if your little one isn't a fan of haircuts. This kids-only salon offers everything from deep conditioning treatments with scented "hair toppings" to "chocolate milk" mani/pedis. There is even a Dessert Lab where spa-goers can create their own treats and the popular Cookie Café offers free fresh-baked cookies and milk with every service.

RELATED: 14 Fun and Offbeat NYC Stores to Visit with Kids

Kids haircuts: My Little Sunshine
At My Little Sunshine stylist Denni is on hand to make your child look fabulous!

6. My Little Sunshine – Tribeca

Stylist Denni has been cutting kids' hair since the '90s and continues to do so at this independently owned children's store. Tots can sit in a bright-red airplane while getting their 'dos. Since this salon has built such a bright reputation, it's best to call and make an appointment.

7. Sharkey's Cuts For Kids – Upper East Side, Staten Island

This national children's salon chain has one outpost on the Upper East Side and one on Staten Island. In addition to simple cuts, it offers a wide variety of services (extensions, braids, shimmer) as well as a special first haircut package. Children can sit in fun cars, including options such as a Dodge Police Cruiser, Barbie Jeep, Lightning McQueen Race Car, Buzz Light Year Vehicle, Hummer, Frozen Jeep, Fire Engine, or Mini Cooper, while watching their favorite cartoons on Disney+. Kids walk away with a balloon and a lollipop.

8. Kimmiecuts – In-home haircut service in NYC

If you or your child are nervous about visiting a salon for their haircut, look no further than Kimmie's home haircut service. She has 10+ years of experience cutting kids' hair, including working at Cozy's Cuts for Kids. You can book an appointment (including for yourself, if you'd like) and enjoy a new haircut from the comfort of your own home.

How to Pick a Cool Hair Style for Boys or Girls

Your stylist should be able to help you pick a hairstyle that suits your child, but going in prepared can help. Since trendy kids cuts change all the time, you can do a quick Google search to see what's popular now. Letting your child browse through pictures to select what they like may also help them get excited about their upcoming haircut. Make sure to consider your child's hair type, personality, and lifestyle when selecting your child's hairstyle. You can show the image to your stylist who should be able to replicate it.

Tips for Cutting Hair for Kids with Anxiety or Sensory Issues

If your child hates getting their hair cut here are some tips for things that might help make the experience a little bit better.

  • Talk to them in advance to prepare them for what to expect.
  • Read a children's book about getting a haircut
  • Bring a special or new toy along to distract them.
  • Let them pick their own hairstyle to get them excited and involved.
  • Go to a specialized kids' salon. The haircutters there are really experts, have seen it all before, and have lots of tricks up their sleeves.

Photos courtesy of the salons/spas

Originally published in April 2012.

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