SOLON — A little boy sits in a chair shaped like a police car, nibbling on a green lollipop as he watches a cartoon, as a woman snips his hair with kid-sized scissors.
As the boy starts to fidget, the stylist patiently tells him, “A little bit longer, Gavin, and you'll be done.”
This is not a scene from someone's home.
This is one example of what takes place every day at Cuts N Curls for Boys and Girls a hair salon for kids as well as grown-ups where founded 11 years ago and recently taken over by one of its stylists, Lindsey Terry of Twinsburg.
Cuts N Curls is not a typical beauty shop. It has all the color and vibrancy of a daycare or indoor play land, and each of the seven stylist's stations is equipped with a special salon chair modeled after a cool car or truck or a cute cartoon character. Customers can enjoy Playstation or DVDs while they're in the the chair. There are also toys and games the kids can play while they wait their turn. There are no outdated Good Housekeepings or National Enquires lying around this shop.
In addition to the colors, movies and toys to make kids comfortable, Cuts N Curls stylists have learned how to effectively meet the needs of children with autism.
“We've been trained by Autism Speaks, so we're very familiar with how to deal with children with special needs,” Terry said.
Terry noted that not all special needs stem from a physical or mental issue.
“Every kid has special needs,” she said. “They all have different personalities.”
Livespecial.com, a website focused on children with special needs, recommends Cuts N Curls, she said.
Dan Publicover of Solon was in the shop on Friday with his 3-year-old son, Nicholas. Publicover said he brings him to Cuts N Curls because of the fun atmosphere. “It keeps him distracted while they do their work,” he said, adding, “the staff has always been great to us and they do a fantastic job.”
“We've been coming here for five years,” said Jennifer Fitchko of Aurora, who was in the shop with her sons Davis, 4, and Gavin, 2.
“It's easy to make an appointment and the staff is so friendly and they save all the details about your child's haircut so when you come in it's so easy; they know exactly what to do for your child,” Fitchko said, adding she loves the cars the kids get to sit in.
Stylist Renee Todaro said she loves her job. “I enjoy the kids. It's a good time,” Todaro said. “They're fun and you've got to realize they're just kids. Some of them cry. You've just got to be patient. You can't get frustrated. Just be calm because if you get excited that makes them worse. But they're all basically good.”
A graduate of the Paul Mitchell school in Twinsburg where she received her cosmetology license, Terry had worked at Cuts N Curls for six years, serving as store manager the last five years. When owner Deborah Gideon retired, Terry bought the business. Terry said Gideon was a “huge help” through the transition and they have remained friends who get together from time to time.
“I've always loved working here,” Terry said. “It's a fun atmosphere; upbeat and friendly. The staff is great. I love working with all the girls I work with.”
While she is the shop's owner now and has taken on additional duties running the business, Terry is still a hair stylist and continues to cut and style for a variety of clientele.
“It's always different,” she said. “I get the best of both worlds with children and adults.”
The variety doesn't end with the customers. Cuts N Curls offers a plethora of products and services. Inside the shop is a boutique where hair accessories, organic hair products, toys and clothing can be purchased. Terry said the clothing and hair accessories are made by local moms.
In addition, Cuts N Curls offers packages for birthday parties, play dates and “Mom and Me” beauty days, as well as camps and trunk shows. Stylists offer gloss, fantasy color, manicures, waxing, braiding lessons and ear piercing.
Terry and her husband, Matthew, have a 7-month-old daughter, Rosalie who will be coming into the shop in the not-too-distant future to get her first haircut, by her mom. Mom said she may get her daughter's ears pierced, too.
Cuts N Curls has seven stylists, four of whom are full time, and six event planners. The shop is located at 6025 Kruse Drive. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Appointments are recommended but not required. To make an appointment, call 440-542-1750. Find them online at www.cutsncurls.net or on Facebook.
Reporter Steve Wiandt can be reached at 330-541-9420, firstname.lastname@example.org or @SteveWiandt_RPC.