Getting your nails and hair done is some of the most relaxing time you can spend in a week (or month, for that matter). The special pampering break is dedicated specifically to you—no disruptions or stress involved. But, what happens when the sitter cancels last-minute and you’re forced bring your little ones along? We spoke with celebrity manicurist Ami Vega and Rita Hazan hair stylist Jennifer Matos for expert dos and don’ts of bringing your kids to the salon, to ensure that you—and everyone around you—is granted the relaxing experience they deserve.
There are many reasons why children shouldn't visit salons—everything from impacting the relaxing ambiance to issues of liability (think: hot tools everywhere). “I don't like the idea of small children or babies being in a salon at all, specifically due to the sorts of chemicals and dust that is found in the air inside a salon,” Vega tells InStyle. “If the child is old enough, perhaps include them into the nail spa day and offer them the opportunity to get a manicure for themselves.”
Even in situations where children are welcome, first reflect on how well prepared your child is to behave. “Consider your child’s level of patience and their ability to sit still for the allotted time needed for your service,” suggests Vega. That said, it’s crucial to make sure that the tot is occupied in some capacity—try bringing their favorite book, toy or tablet.
Matos recommends leaving your child home if you expect that your service will take more than a few hours. But, if you're left with no other choice, try a little positive reinforcement. “Give them a reward after for behaving well, such as ice cream or a toy,” she suggests. “If the child knows they will be rewarded for good behavior, then they will behave.” In addition, Matos emphasizes not turning the stylist’s assistant into your babysitter. “This tends to happen sometimes, and you never know when the stylist will need their assistant,” she explains.
First and foremost, consider the other clients—and your stylist's personal preferences. “The only time it's disturbing is when the child is not behaving and is on the parent while getting a haircut," says Matos, "because it’s not safe and it makes it difficult to concentrate.” Vega also points out that some technicians and clients do prefer to have a serene space to work and be pampered in, so take that into account before bringing your kids along.
Related Video: Get Jennifer Hudson's Pixie Cut