During last year, Sydney based brow queen and salon owner & director Kristin Fisher made headlines when she announced the introduction of a no-children policy. Fisher made the announcement via her Instagram, where she penned an open letter to her clients explaining the decision. “This is a very hard post for me because I hate upsetting people and I feel this may do just that, but we have no other option,” she wrote. “We are imposing a new rule that clients must not bring children or babies to their appointments.”
Her reasoning behind the new policy highlighted the potential dangers associated with children that were repeatedly left unattended while their mothers were receiving treatment. “We have had kids run onto the street, we’ve had clients leave midway through their appointments as they’re too annoyed about the noise being made by children and we’ve had mums call and complain saying their brows are crooked after they’ve been nursing a squirming baby the whole appointment,” she wrote, continuing to argue that it “simply isn’t fair” to those clients that come to the brow salon for a relaxing experience. While the drastic measure was sure to – pardon the pun – raise a few brows, the debate around whether children should or should not be allowed in salons and spas still rings loud and clear for two reasons: first – the child’s safety, and second – the potential disturbance of other clients.
A no-child policy is relatively common throughout hair salons due to the dangers presented by scissors and various toxic chemicals. Some salons explain their policies clearly on their website, for example Texas based Tayler Made Hair, as “No children under the age of 13 are allowed in the salon during the client’s appointment. Please make sure your children have a babysitter the day of your appointment. It is the salon’s policy not only for the child’s safety, but to make sure every appointment goes in a smooth and timely manner for each client.”
An example of a different approach is that of a New Zealand hair salon who recently increased their prices for kid’s hair cuts drastically, “after 24 years of broken tools, snot rubbed into chairs and vomiting.” So what about spas that have a focus on wellness and relaxation? Will their clients ever be able to enjoy a massage/body scrub/facial while their toddler is running around in the treatment room? Should staff be responsible to look after the kids during their mother’s (or father’s) treatment?
Most industry professionals would probably say no, but of course it’s not always black and white. Banning children completely from spas and clinics could quickly see many parents look for a new service provider, either out of principle, or because they aren’t able to, or don’t feel the need to, organise a babysitter when they know their child behaves well. Therefore, a softer approach to maintaining your business’ peace and quiet could perhaps be a ‘supervised children only’ policy, requesting clients take another supervising adult with them if they want to bring their children.
It’s a personal decision that every business owner or manager has to make for themselves, but when we asked Kristin Fisher if she regretted her decision, her answer was clear: no. “Our no-child policy was not an easy decision to make! We had been considering it for a long time for a few reasons. First and foremost it was a safety issue, but we also want to create an environment in which our clients can completely relax. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive from mums and non-mummys alike. I knew that our loyal clients would understand the decision,” the mother of two said. Time will tell if more salons decide to follow suit.
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