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TODAY

Wednesday, July 17

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Airbags

The way I see it, my mother took the easy way out. Not wanting to deal with hair cuts every few months or so, she let my hair grow and grow and grow. Soon it was below my waist and all she had to do was trim the ends, braid my hair and send me on my Crystal Gayle way. Having a boy, however, it isn't as simple for me. Sure, letting his hair grow wild until it resembled Ashton Kutcher's Nicholas Bradford-inspired 'do could be an option, but 1) I loathe Ashton Kutcher and 2) didn't Nicholas turn out to be a pot head?

So my kid's hair grew and I grew impatient and when he was about 8 months old, I decided to take matters into my own hands. While he was zonked out taking a nap, I cut his hair with my manicure scissors. Thanks to my skillful handiwork, my son was now sporting a mullet. Good god, what had I done? As the months passed, I was able to comb it into a sporty faux hawk but I knew it was time to seek professional help. Vincent's days of "business in the front, party in the back" were over.

Having driven by on many occasions and even seeing a man standing outside in a giant monkey suit, wielding scissors, Snippets Mini-Cuts lured me in. I was wondering if he was old enough to go to a salon for a haircut, or if he even had enough hair to cut, but their FAQ put my mind to ease: "Some children have more hair when they are born and begin receiving services in their first year. We've performed services on kids that are only weeks old... It is entirely up to you!" After having read about the different services they offered (including a "ceremonial" first hair cut package) I thought "Why not?"

As the kid and I walked in, we were greeted by a very friendly receptionist, toys, video games and an all-around playful vibe. Little cars and buggies are at each station in lieu of the traditional barber's chair. TVs featuring cartoons and Sesame Street are playing everywhere. The entire place looks like a magical monkey-filled forest. Sheesh, I wanted to sit in one of the teeny cars.

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While Snippets recommends you book an appointment, they also stress that they happily accommodate walk-ins. There is one stylist on staff specifically for walk-ins. Vincent and I showed up at the Clybourn location on a Thursday afternoon around 2pm and he was immediately seated.

Although it wasn't technically his first haircut, I still asked for the first haircut package. It is quite the production. The tiny shorn locks are placed in a see-through box as a memento and the haircut is recorded on a VHS tape whose label reads "MY FIRST HAIR CUT." Not the most scintillating viewing — really akin to watching paint dry — but as a parent, I felt obligated to get that tape. (And let's not bring up the fact that I've already watched it three times. Yes, I am officially embarrassed.) Our stylist was very quick, very good and had the patience of a saint. Patience must be paramount when working with kids...and scissors! I know I couldn't do it.

So the whole experience went something like this: the kid sat down, had a cape put on, she sprayed his hair, snip-snip-snip, she buzzed the sides and he was done. Not much different than an adult haircut but the end result was way better than my hack job. We were in and out of there in about 15 minutes.

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Do I recommend Snippets? Sure! It was a little pricey for a child's hair cut — hell, it was more than what I pay for mine — but considering how infrequently my kid will be getting his hair cut, and how entertained he was by the process, I think it was worth it. His mullet days are officially over. Besides, where else are you going to be able to drive a car while getting your hair cut?

Snippets Mini-Cuts
2154 N. Clybourn Ave.
773-755-1000

2240 Northbrook Court
Northbrook
847-498-4543

Yorktown Center
Lombard
630-827-0300

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About the Author(s)

Alejandra Valera is a new mom and writer. If there's a baby- or kid-friendly place, product or event you think she should cover, email her at .

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