Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Child Is Afraid To Get Their Hair Washed/Shampooed. What Do I Do?

I received this note from a concerned parent on another site I have,  in response to a post in this blog titled

My Child Is Afraid Of A Haircut. What Do I Do?

HC: You seem like a really kind person with kids. What do you do when a child is afraid of shampooing? What do you say and do to calm them? That's what scared me as a child at the salon and it wasn't any better at home unfortunately.

This is a tough one. First of all, remember this, I am only a hairdresser, not a therapist, so I can only give my opinion here. 

To begin with, I never wash hair in my salon, I just spray my comb or hand with water, because there is no way kids like to be laid back for a shampoo.

I have always felt that along with kindness and respect, distraction and patience are very important. Young children do not get greasy hair or become too smelly, so I would try not to do the shampoos too often. Baths without shampoos are fine...then eventually just wet your hand and wipe it off on their heads (you can say "Sorry I just have to dry my hand honey," and eventually you can put a bit of shampoo on your hand...it could take weeks of this until you do a full shampoo...be patient!.)

You also might have more luck if you do it all as a game. As an example, my own child would not clean up his room but was happy to do it if we pretended to be construction workers discussing how messy people were because they threw toys into the elevator shaft we were working on. I'd say "we'd better clean it fast!" and "How dare that guy throw a toy train in the elevator shaft...we'd better put it away!" It worked almost every time.

Maybe you can wash the walls around the bathtub...or use bathtub crayons to make a picture, and while you are washing or drawing quietly get your hand a little wet and wipe it off on their head...then a little shampoo, then a little more water...don't worry if you don't get all the shampoo out of their hair...it doesn't really matter.

Maybe you can say you have a special magic potion that only special kids can have before they draw the special spaceship with new glitter you prepared. After all, they cannot be a special astronaut without preparation...be goofy, be crazy! I even do it in the shop...! Sometimes I can see that a parent will think I am a bit crazy...but I get it done (most of the time, not always) without crying.

Put a tub toy in front of them and after you get into a really involved crazy story with it, start playing with their hair with a little shampoo on your hand and then water.  Keep the story going all through.

I think parents often get into discussing things too much...They spend too much time saying "we are going to wash your hair and it will be OK and be brave, etc." sometimes it works with some kids, but if you already know your child is scared...try something different!

After all, why should a kid be brave if it isn't going to hurt in the first place? Distract! You are not trying to teach them a lesson, that is something they will learn over time, you are trying to get their hair washed!

Anyway, this is the way I do things in the shop, I constantly act crazy...quieter with some kids, noisy with some...you have to be the judge...but getting mad never helps. And too much explaining rarely helps. Distraction is good!

Remember, they are really scared, and you are there to be a comfort!
Good luck!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Why Would Or Should A Parent Choose A Hair Salon Just For Kids? Children's Hair Salon/Children's Barber Shop

Why would a parent choose a hair salon just for kids?

Well...Because we specialize in children!  That's why!

People choose my salon for many different reasons. And of course, I can only talk about my salon. Some only come for a first haircut, some come for years. For the first haircut they are not sure how their child will react to the situation and they want someone as gentle as possible. In my case, there is nothing I haven't seen or done in my 25 plus years doing hair and I am a fabulous multi-tasker.  I can play with your kids, walk around following them, crawl on the floor and toss around balls with them while cutting their hair. And gentle?  I am extra gentle, and I throw in a ton of playfulness!

Seems crazy, but I don't care at all how much your child moves during the haircut! I've even done some haircuts on the moving ride outside of the store. That's how much I want to make your child happy!

Some people think all kids of any age should go to a kids salon.  They have seen that at some adult salons, kids are not totally welcome.  Their own hairdressers are happy to do their child's hair as a favor...but it is just a favor. When I do your child's hair it I am not doing you a favor...It is your favor to me.  It is what my business is based on and without you, I wouldn't be here, so when you bring your child into my shop,  you are doing me a favor, and I am going to make sure I do the best job I can, taking all the time I need. That is my thanks to you for doing me this favor!

Then of course there are the kids with special needs. My customers who come in in wheelchairs, with autism, sensory problems, and other things that might make getting a haircut a bit harder.  My main goal is to show respect to you and your child.  I will do what you need. For some kids with special needs, it just takes some extra time to make friends, play awhile, try to gain trust.  It can make all of the difference in the world. Be honest and tell me it might be tough, and I'll book you extra time!

I have been pretty lucky getting difficult kids to be relatively calm for a haircut...and by calm, I don't mean still. I really do not care how much your child moves!

 For some special needs kids it just means getting the job done (if that is what you want.)  I do it fast and as well as I can. But I can't guarantee it will go smoothly! Some children are just to sensitive to deal with the stimulus overload, but I do the best I can so you can walk out of here with a good looking clean-cut kid and know that whatever it takes, I'll do my best. Goodness knows, I've seen it all before!  I've been kicked and pushed...and I am still as gentle as possible and certainly do not take it personally!

My salon, Someplace Special, has now been open for 8 1/2 years and in that time I have done thousands of haircuts. Rest assured that as soon as I look at your child, I can tell what the deal is.

Do they need me to work slowly?  Do I have to work as fast as possible? Should I talk alot, or work silently? Should I mention that I think they look like a princess, or ask if they like french fries? I know all of these things right away.

I also have experience working in the Dept Of Education with autistic children and multiply handicapped children...not to mention that I also know exactly what your child's HAIR needs, and isn't that why you really choose to bring your kids to me?

Those are just some of the reasons that a parent would want to bring their child to a hair salon just for kids. I'd be happy to see some comments from all of you why you choose to do it.

Remember, I love what I do...and I will do my best to make you and your child love it too!

So for all the kids who have come to me short term, and the kids who have been coming to me for years, and even the kids who now bring their kids to me...Whatever it is that you, the parents need me for, or whatever it is that your children need me for...I am here for you all.

Current customers, former customers, and future customers...stop in and say hello anytime...Check out the new bookstore I am sharing space with, at the same address as always, but if you want a haircut PLEASE make an appointment so I can give you all of the time you need and deserve!

That's what I am here for!

(By the way, many boys who used to come to me when they were small are now coming back because they know that I know how to handle long hair!)

Someplace Special, Haircuts and Toys for Kids welcomes children from all over the tri-state area. Inwood, Washington Heights, Hudson Heights, Manhattan, The Upper West Side, The Bronx, Yonkers, Ardsley, Irvington, Hastings, Scarsdale, Westchester, White Plains, Eastchester, Crosby Avenue, Central Park Avenue, White Plains Road...and more.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Someplace Special In The New York Daily News! Justin Bieber Haircuts For All...All Little Kids, That Is!

Wow! Someplace Special, Haircuts and Toys and now Books for Kids was featured in the New York Daily News! Thank you David Yi, for thinking about my small little Bronx store and giving me a call!  I love what I do, and I'm glad it shows...Also, thank you to the great kids who came in for the photo shoot.Without you it couldn't have happened! A ton of great photos were taken, thanks to the great photographer, but only one was used. Believe me, they all were great!
Click here for the story.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


The Bronx’ most child-friendly place just got friendlier!  

A new children's bookstore, The Page Turner, has opened in Riverdale at 490 West 238th Street, which is where Someplace Special Haircuts and Toys for Kids has been for the past eight years.  But not to worry, Someplace Special is still there, too!

“This is a great development,” said Suzanne.  “Children and their parents will now be able to come to one place for haircuts, toys, and now their favorite books!”

“Our new children’s book store is in a place that families are already comfortable,” said Ari Norberto, who with her husband, Ray, are Riverdaleans who will be owners and operators of the new book store.

Picture books, classic picture books, the most recent releases, a lot of series, books for teens, and essentially any and everything that young people like to read are available at The Page Turner. 

“To be sure, any book requested that’s not in stock, we can get in real quick!” said Ray Norberto.

For information about the new bookstore call Ray Norberto at 646-327-1903 or email The Page Turner

For information about Someplace Special call Suzanne Axelbank at 718-432-6622 or email her at Someplace Special

Someplace Special is a fun place for children to get haircuts.  They can sit in red, jeeps and watch video games during their haircut and there also is a Thomas-the-Tank Engine play table to play on.  For information or appointments call 718-432-6622 or email  Someplace Special.  The store’s hours are 10am-6pm Wednesday through Saturday, and 11am-5pm on Sunday.  Check out Someplace Special's website right here!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Anniversary To Someplace Special, Haircuts And Toys For Kids, 490 West 238th St. Around The Corner From Riverdale Avenue, And Now We Are A Bookstore Too!

I am more than a little late with this post...so many things have been happening...But I thought you might  still be interested, so here goes...With a bit more added in of course!


I can hardly imagine eight years have passed since I opened Someplace Special!  Yes, April 3rd 2010, was the 8th anniversary of when the store opened.  There have been ups and downs, and many changes with the store,  but to this day, I still love going in to work and interacting with all of my wonderful customers and their parents who come in to my shop.

Who could be as lucky as I am!

Someplace Special has established a reputation as a great place to bring all children as well as kids with special needs, and although I can never guarantee that a child will not cry, I can guarantee that your child, and you, will be treated with respect, and I will do EVERYTHING I can to make the experience as comfortable and as positive as I can. There is VERY LITTLE I haven't seen or done when it comes to cutting a child's hair! You might think your child is tough, but I've seen tougher!

In my quest to make all children happy,  I have worked for the board of education in special ed., read countless books, had many talks with OT's, PT's special education teachers, and even had a chance to ask Temple Grandin a question or two at her book signing.  With all of that,  the quest to make haircuts for children with special needs, and all children, as easy as possible presents a puzzle with some kids,  and every time it doesn't go as easily as I'd like for the child, I feel bad.  On the other hand, I have total respect for the child and the parent, and if it helps, I will play with a child, crawl on the floor, and stand on my head if I have to.

The one thing I will try my best not to do is let you walk out of my shop thinking that there is no place you can go to get your child a haircut!

And for the neuro-typical child...again, I will stand on my head if I have to to get a good haircut done!  And I LOVE DOING WHAT I DO!

After 35 years total of cutting hair,  five at a famous Madison avenue, Amsterdam avenue, and Lexington avenue children's hair salon, and now eight at Someplace Special, I have come to realize that this is what I do...This is what I am...a haircutter for kids, and I love it.

If you choose me, you get a relativly quiet, non stimulating place to have an expert cut your child's hair. So PLEASE call and make an appointment to see me...otherwise I might be too busy to see you! I want to give all of my wonderful customers all the time they need to get the best haircut possible!



That's right, as I write this, the whole front of my store is being redesigned with shelves and being turned into a bookstore...FOR KIDS!  It will be ready for your browsing and buying pleasure around the end of June/ beginning of July with books, and toys for kids from baby to young adult.  So gear yourself up for our grand opening...to be announced, and become part of our community.  

As always, I am still selling Munipal subway trains, some sweet dolls (all on sale)  and will soon be stocking up on beautiful creative hair bows and hair accessories .
So please pay us a visit...now for more than haircuts, Someplace Special is a great place for kids!

One again, Riverdale, a section of the Bronx, will be getting its own independent bookstore, a place to hangout, browse, and buy books and toys for your children, and gifts for all!