Parents of special needs children oftentimes struggle to find a patient stylist to trim their child’s hair. Many times, kids with special needs cannot sit still for a haircut; a busy salon can make them feel overstimulated and anxious, and they can be frightened by the noises scissors make. Not to mention, children are just wary of strangers in general. Now, Cookie Cutters wants to make difficult haircuts for kids a thing of the past.
Finding that “magical unicorn” of a stylist with a knack for working with special needs kids is not easy. That’s what makes Cookie Cutters so appealing. It is a salon franchise for all children, where every single stylist is trained to work with special-needs kids. Currently, there are two Cookie Cutters locations in New Jersey; one in North Plainfield and one in Mahwah, which plans to open May 10, 2018. Two additional locations in Spotswood and Edgewater are coming soon.
Known for being stress-free – and fun! – for parents and kids alike, Cookie Cutters is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. The unique store design includes an in-store playground, televisions at each cutting station and fantasy cars to sit in. Not to mention, every haircut ends with a balloon, lollipop and a smile. From the atmosphere to the experience, Cookie Cutters keeps children coming back again and again.
“Since 1994, Cookie Cutters has been providing high-quality haircuts to special needs children,” explains Mahwah location owner Jennifer Pirot. “We pride ourselves on constant communication with parents and child throughout the entire haircut.”
What Makes Cookie Cutters Perfect for Kids with Special Needs?
The stylist’s goal, she adds, is to make sure everyone is comfortable throughout the hair cutting experience. “We also offer parents the ability to come into the salon prior to the haircut to get to know the stylists and provide information on booking appointments during off-times, when the salon is less busy and when there are minimal distractions.”
According to Pirot, Cookie Cutters stylists know different ‘tips and tricks’ to make a child feel at ease; they’ll work around any circumstance to provide a child with a haircut. “We can conduct haircuts standing up, sitting down, walking around the salon, laying on the floor…”
Utah-based Alexis Courtney, COO, says that Cookie Cutters is unique from other children’s salons; each location has an indoor slide, and employees watch a training video conducted by the Autism Society of Texas. This video is specifically made for Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids.
“A stylist once said to me she had no idea this job would be so rewarding. She has one young client whose hair she’s been cutting for 2 years; starting when he was two. His parents come in every six weeks. Haircuts were not easy at first, but over time he became more comfortable and now when he runs right up to her for a hug.”
Philanthropy is also important to Cookie Cutters. Nationwide, the franchise participates in the Light the Night for Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Additionally, individual salons support local charities and causes, and Pirot’s Marwah location is no exception; “Our Mahwah location participated in the Thunderbird Run, which aids the Mahwah Schools Foundation, plus other events throughout the year.”
All Photos: © Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids (Used with Permission)