Expensive Haircuts for Your Little Shit

March 7th, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  7 Comments

Just FlowBee the little fuckers

As our little buddies over at Gawker pointed out–is this the kind of scoop that Nick Denton redesigned for?–some children get very expensive haircuts. They quote a particularly odious example in Los Feliz called La La Ling Salon, which advertises “trendy designer haircuts, hair styling (think spray-on hair color and hair tinsel) and kiddo-friendly beauty services, including funky nail design and glitter tattoos.” From La La Ling’s website:

Getting a haircut is a momentous experience for any child… and it doesn’t have to be mayhem and tears. Rest assured, crying is sparse, and mullets and bowl-cuts forbidden at La La Ling, a salon that is happy, bright, modern, and most of all… fun!

These businesses aren’t necessarily news to me, as I live in occupied Cozys Cuts for Kids territory. There are three of these $50-a-pop cutcutters on the Upper East and Upper West side. I’ll say this for them: they manage to look enough like a toy store from the outside that my kids actually beg to be let in when we walk past.

But we do not go in. My children may be on the path to yuppie ruin for a thousand other reasons, but at least they get their hair cut where a kid should: in the fucking living room.

I mean, seriously. Have our relationships with our kids become so distant, so mediated by commerce, that we can’t even groom them ourselves? That’s what a haircut is for any kid who’s not actively trying to get laid: grooming. It’s like cutting fingernails, making sure they wash behind the ears. Should we say fuck it and start looking for a baby-bathing salon?

I can see the ads now: “Does your child fidget in the tub? Are you tired of all the tears and screaming when you wash their hair? Well, now you can just bring them down to BabyBath salon, where bright, modern stylists will bathe your child–no tears!–while they watch all the latest Nickelodeon hits on Hulu!”

I know there are some of you out there who think that children need nice haircuts. And my wife, who does the cutting, spends a fair amount of time making sure her work is at least symmetrical.  But in general, the nicer your kid’s hair, the bigger an ass they look like. Because no matter how spiky/glittery/Biebery your little kid’s hair, they’re still going to stick their fingers in their nose, and run around in public places shouting MY BUTT ITCHES. Your dreams of creating a perma-chic kid are doomed from the outset.

Besides, in your vanity and foppishness, you’re really no better than the parents of those kids with the permed mullets–the sorry kids whose pictures go viral every once in a while. Sure, those kid-mullet photos are funny in a hey-lets-laugh-at-poor-people way, but they’re also funny because you know that the parents really cared about how their kid’s hair looked, because you know, that mullet and perm takes time. Just like little Declan’s faux-hawk.

The part that I find most odious about all of it is that it tries to push up the age where kids start being valued for aesthetic reasons. I mean, I am no fan of the awkward teen. They should be shunned and mocked. I was an awkward teen, and I accepted my ostracism like a man. But the awkward four-year-old with the shitty haircut? That’s different. They’re worthy of love. I mean, four years is not that far removed from those amazing newborn months where you love this incredibly weird looking pupae based at least 50% on its musty little newborn smell.

That’s my big problem with beauty salon for kids. Children are beautiful as they are. Leave ’em alone.


  1. SCOTTSTEV says:

    March 7th, 2011at 9:09 am(#)

    There are definite areas of parenting where personal choices intersect with our values, and we must resist the temptation to judge one another. This is not one of those cases: Nathan, you are a flint-skinned crank. You set up this false dichotomy between some tasteful urban-nightmare parents in a complete flame-bait “rising trend” piece, and humble rugged DIY’ers such as yourself. Not realizing that there is a sensible middle ground, and that middle ground is “Divas and Dudes” where I just happen to take my kids.

    My kids get to sit in a fucking toy airplane or toy Barbie jeep while they get their haircut, at a reasonable price well-below a grown-up rate, I might add. They can watch cartoons during the grooming, and my oldest gets colored gel for his bad-ass faux-hawk. Just because we never had it so good (sneaking peaks of Playboy at my dad’s old-school barbershop notwithstanding), doesn’t mean we should deprive our kids. This is a golden-age for childhood, let’s not deprive them out of some misplaced Puritan scruples.

    PS- My etched-in-stone decision to forbid go-karts because I never got to have one, is a completely different matter and further proof of my good sense sound character.

  2. Nathan says:

    March 7th, 2011at 9:21 am(#)

    Agh Steven! I thought we saw eye-to-eye, and now you’re telling me the great Scotts go to Midlothian’s evilest purveyor of child mani/pedis? Whoa. Woe.

    [However, any keen observer will notice the rank hypocrisy in my stance, given that I don’t actually CUT HAIR MYSELF. I leave that to my wife, and I can’t really say what I would do if she couldn’t or wouldn’t do it]

  3. Tim says:

    March 7th, 2011at 9:28 am(#)

    There’s an enormous middle ground somewhere between the $50 salon experience and ineptly hacking at my kids’ heads in the middle of the living room, no? Same with a perfect trend-cut that requires styling w/ “product” vs. an uncomfortably asymmetrical train wreck.

    Every 3-4 months, I take my boys to our local old-school mens’ barber. For $20 total, including tip, both get a conventional little-boys’ haircut and a lollipop. They’ve got the routine down pat, so there’s no drama or need to cajole. All I have to do is quickly scan the waiting area to make sure the Playboys are covered up and sometimes fake cough when one of the salty older customers is cursing.

    I have no problem with homecutting, but for us it just falls into that life’s-too-short/outsource-it category. The mere existence of the $50 kids’ haircut is indeed vexing, but in the city of the $1,000,000 600-sq-foot studio apartment, it was inevitable.

  4. Matt says:

    March 7th, 2011at 10:11 am(#)

    Damn, I wish I’d known La La Ling was a rock-star hair-cuttery when I was out in L.A. last December. We’d’ve gotten Sasha’s first haircut there, just to piss Nathan off!

    Instead, we waited till we were back in Brooklyn and got it done at Lulu’s on Fifth. It cost $25, and Sasha didn’t cry—she watched an Elmo DVD the whole time. Money well spent, I’d say.

  5. Cool Dad says:

    March 7th, 2011at 10:34 am(#)

    We’re lucky that Cool Baby’s hair is curly, which buys us an extra 6 months as it grows in on itself until becoming a wild tangle of ringlets which has an endearing/disturbing look to it.

  6. emilyhall says:

    March 7th, 2011at 2:52 pm(#)

    I’m just too afraid to go near my insane little perpetual-motion machine with blades. There’s a guy who comes to our apartment and cuts my hair and his hair for $55 plus tip. I consider that a bargain!


    Little Brawler | DADWAGON

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