While moms may find a trip to a salon luxurious, young kids often have a different attitude about getting their hair cut. They squirm and squeal and refuse to sit still. Have you ever seen a stylist try to snip a moving target? It's not pretty—and the resulting 'do isn't either. Thankfully, children's salons pull out all the stops to turn haircuts into a fun experience for families by plying their young clients with balloons, bubbles, cartoons, toys, funky chairs and lots of coddling.
In the past, we've posted about kids' haircutting places in Brooklyn and Queens. Today we're focusing on kid-friendly Manhattan salons. Here's where you can take your tot for (hopefully tear-free) haircuts in Manhattan.
Apple Seeds – Chelsea
10 West 25th Street Between Broadway and Sixth Avenue
Although this state-of-the-art play space is only open to members, anyone can book an appointment in its kids' salon, which is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Tots park themselves in a retro convertible while their hair is snipped, and a flat-screen TV with DVD player, toys, bubbles and lollipops keep them happy.
Cozy's Cuts for Kids – Upper West & Upper East Sides
448 Amsterdam Avenue at 81st Street
1416 Second Avenue at 74th Street
When it comes to kids' haircuts, this local chain 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" and manicures, and a first haircut package.
Doodle Doo's – West Village
11 Christopher Street between Greenwich Avenue and Waverly Place
Your kids can sit behind the wheel of a taxi or boat as they get their hair cut at this children's salon. Stylists have bubbles at the ready to distract unhappy customers. First haircut survivors and their parents are rewarded with a gift bag. There is also a toy shop in case parents want to buy little bribes to keep their kids still.
Kidville Salon – Upper West Side & Financial District
205 West 88th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue
40 Gold Street near Edens Alley
The Upper West Side location of the members-only kiddie gym franchise moved to a new space in September 2014 but the salon still offers the same old excellent service. The stylists are patient and used to getting their work done even as kids duck and weave or just sit in their fun-car chairs staring blankly at episodes of Dora or Sesame Street. Kidville members get 15 percent off cuts. Appointments are recommended, especially on weekends and you can book online. Meanwhile, the Financial District Kidville has a similar salon, complete with whimsical chairs, DVDs and experienced stylists. In fact, Suzanne Axelbank, former owner of the Someplace Special kid salon in the Bronx, is cutting hair here Wednesdays through Fridays. A mom herself, she has extensive experience with children with special needs as well as typical kids.
My Little Sunshine – Chelsea & Tribeca
177 Ninth Avenue between 20th and 21st Streets
145 Hudson Street near Hubert Street
Stylist Denni has been cutting kids' hair since the '90s and continues to do so at both locations of this independently owned children's store. Tots can sit in a bright-red airplane while getting their 'dos. Since she shuttles back and forth between locations, it's best to call and make an appointment.
Sharkey's Cuts For Kids – Upper East Side
1359 Second Avenue at 72nd Street
This national children's hair salon chain has one outpost on the Upper East Side. In addition to simple cuts, it offers a wide variety of services (extensions, braids, shimmer) as well as a special first haircut package.
Supercuts – Citywide
Visit the website for locations.
This national chain is aimed at adults but knows how to deal with kids. You can find a Supercuts in just about every neighborhood in Manhattan and beyond. Walk-ins are welcome and children's prices are available up to age 12.
Get Coiffed – Citywide
If going to a hair salon has been traumatic for your child, you may wish someone could come to you. Well, your wish is granted. Get Coiffed does at-home cuts and specializes in kids. Discounts available for multiple children. The company also caters to children with special needs.
Check our our roundups of kids' haircutting places in Brooklyn and Queens.
Photo courtesy of Shira Kronzon
This post was originally published in April 2012.