Harrowing haircut experience: Begone! At the fresh zoey + joey children's hair studio and boutique in Ann Arbor, kids may actually look forward to that dreaded trim – or at least get pretty darn distracted as they chill in cool car chairs and soak up some educational TV.
"When my kids were younger and needed a haircut, I couldn't believe we didn't have a salon for kids in this extremely kid-friendly city," explains owner Ilze Meija Ham, a stay-at-home-mom turned business innovator.
"After much research and determination" – and deciding franchises weren't right for her family and two children, Teddy and Grieta – "zoey + joey was born."
Since kick starting around the holidays in 2012, the salon has gained fans with its clever features. The slide in the waiting room is a hit with kids of all ages – and takes their minds off the impending snip-snip. Once in the seat, there's more fun: They sit in Mini Coopers while watching kiddy fare on a countertop flat screen, all while getting their little locks trimmed (if they even notice, that is).
Got a too-cool-for-cuts adolescent? Ham has you covered here, too. On the other side of the room – the "teen salon" – she pairs the TVs with snazzy white upholstered chairs. They're welcome to play the latest games on PlayStation 3. Girls can get mini-manicures with their friends. And there's hot chocolate on tap, too.
Meanwhile, parents-in-waiting get to enjoy a comfy perch, as well, while getting a java or tea fix at the nearby coffee bar.
Green stuff, great staff
But, perhaps best of all: All products used on your child's gentle hair and skin are non-toxic. zoey + joey commits to "green" beauty items from companies like Original Sprout and Keeki Pure & Simple – the latter of which is based in Michigan, on the state's west side near Grand Rapids.
The crew is carefully picked, to boot. "Our stylists are patient and attentive, eager to work with children of all ages," notes the zoey + joey website. "Our goal is to make your child's haircut experience a great one."
Parties and prices
If you've got a little Rapunzel (or Samson?) with a big day to celebrate, check out the party room. Decked out in bright, fun colors, it's open to rent for a 1 hour and 30 minute party (cost is $225). Choose from a mini-spa day, princess party or tea soiree. They're perfect for a child and five guests. Goody bag included – just bring your own cupcakes or cake, and zoey + joey handles the rest.
For "ordinary" ol' haircuts – if you can call this place "ordinary!" – prices are $21/boys, $23/girls, $25/adults, $7/bang trims, $25/wash and style, $10/thermal add-on and $15/baby's first hair-cut package. Nails need some love? It's $9 for a mini-manicure and $30 for a mini-manicure bundle, which features a girl's cut and mini-mani.