Stress-free cuts for kids…and moms
by Lauren Dowdle
From the moment families walk through the door at Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids, they’re greeted with an inviting environment and friendly stylists. It’s that welcoming feeling and care for all ages that led the owners to open the first Alabama location in Hoover.
Todd Hengst and his wife, Glenn, own other businesses and were looking at different franchise options to bring to the area. When they first came across Cookie Cutters, Hengst says it was low on their radar.
However, someone told them to go check out a location, so they visited a newly opened one in Nashville, Tenn. After taking their son there to get a haircut,Hengst says they knew there was nothing like Cookie Cutters back home.
“After doing some research, it had gotten more clear that it was something the Birmingham area really needed,” he said.
With younger families in Hoover and stores beginning to open in Stadium Trace Village, they decided that would be a great location for their new business, opening Cookie Cutters Aug. 1.
Although customers of all ages can get their haircuts there, Cookie Cutters is definitely not an average salon. From employees who enjoy working with children to the overall décor, everything is geared toward giving little ones the best experience. There’s a playground area with a slide and video games, and those are just some of the things children can enjoy before the haircut.
Children get to choose which fantasy car they want to sit in for their haircut and what they want to watch on TV. They can also enjoy blowing bubbles during the cut and picking out a balloon.
“They get some ownership in the cut itself. They like feeling big,” he says.
Cookie Cutters sees a range of customers, from ones that are just a few months old up to teens and also parents. No matter the age, the salon wants all of their customers to feel relaxed.
“Younger kids are going to be loud. It’s a judgement-free zone. You can bring them and let kids be kids and get their hair cut,” says Hengst, who has two kids of his own. “It’s an experience that can be fun for the kids and stress-free for parents.”
Not only does the staff do what they can for younger children, but they also work with children with special needs or sensory issues. Haircuts and going to the dentist are two of the hardest tasks for these children and their families, Hengst says, often leading to nightmare experiences. Now with Cookie Cutters, they have somewhere to go.
“We welcome the children, instead of just tolerating them,” Hengst says. “We want kids to come and feel comfortable.”
He says families drive from places like Gadsden, Tuscaloosa and Gardendale because taking their children to other haircut places hasn’t been for them.
“If you want your child to enjoy the haircut, we’re definitely a place where we have all of the tools in place for that to happen,” Hengst says.
From children who maybe don’t like their hair cut to those with special needs, they will all find a welcoming place that will go the extra mile for them.
“We look at the haircut like a whole experience,” Hengst says. “That’s what makes it fun.”
He says they’ve been well-received by the community and have enjoyed being able to offer this much-needed service to the area.
“It was something that was missing, especially for parents who feel like they’ve exhausted every other option,” Hengst says. “We’re hoping to be able to change that and make it a great experience for the kids.”
Cookie Cutters is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and is closed Sundays. They accept walk-ins, but Hengst says they recommend customers make appointments online or over the phone to limit a possible wait time.
The hair salon is located at 1028 Marble Terrace in Hoover [map] and can be reached at (205) 377-2642.