It's among parents’ least favourite part of having children – taking them for a haircut and having to wait for an available chair. The kids’ fidgeting as the barber tries to snip around the ears – the crying, fussing and boredom truly tries one’s patience.
Fortunately, Mey Rachna has a solution. She opened a styling salon just for kids, equipped with car-themed barber chairs, a nursery-like decor and toys to distract her little customers as they get their haircuts.
Dubbed Happy Kids Salon, located in Aeon Mall Sen Sok, the shop has been a godsend to parents.
Rachna says she noticed that parents in Phnom Penh often have no choice but to take their children to adult barbershops or salons at which, because there are no distractions for them, they become bored and antsy rather quickly.
“I decided to open a barbershop just for children as it is unique and we don’t have one in the Kingdom. Now, parents who have difficulty in patronising the right barbershop for their children can come to me,” Rachna says.
Happy Kids Salon is uniquely decorated and meant to appeal to children. The barber chairs are designed to look like cars, cartoons adorn the walls and there are a variety of toys, all meant to keep the tiny ones happy as certified stylists work on their hairdos.
Sitting in a small red car chair with the hands banging its plastic steering wheel, three-year-old Heng Kevin seems to be having the time of his life.
His mother, Yim Sokunthea, sits on the other side of the room, shooting the occasional glance at the happy tyke.
“Every time [Kevin] went to a barbershop, he cried and his behaviour was very difficult. But coming here, I let him play,” Sokunthea says.
As she looks at her phone, the mother, in her early 30s, says it’s also a break for her.
“Here there are playthings to occupy the kids and the barbers are specialised in cutting children’s’ hair, so I don’t have to exhaust myself holding Kevin still as the barber does his work,” Sokunthea says.
Mey Rachna is proud of her staff and salon. “My barbershop has stylists skilled at cutting children’s hair. And we have assistants who can distract the more fussy ones during the haircut. Sometimes we give kids an iPad to play with before having their haircut,” Rachna says.
Besides haircuts, Happy Kids Salon offers fashion styling, hair washes, nail painting, hair colouring, and special designs for boys and girls.
While the décor may give the impression that Rachna’s prices are high, she assures that her services would fit right in with the average Cambodian’s budget.
“If we look at the salon from the outside, we might have the impression that it is expensive, but the fact is that it’s just the opposite.
“We charge the same as the usual shops. The prices are determined according to the hairstyle and ranges from $2 to $3.
“However, if a customer needs more stylish haircuts, we charge $5 and up, depending on the child’s age,” Rachna says.
So, parents, let Happy Kids Salon at Aeon Mall Sen Sok take the nightmare out of giving your little ones a haircut. Walk-ins are welcome, but you can also make an appointment by calling 069 808 888.