Shear Madness: Haircuts for kids

West Des Moines’ Shear Madness just opened its doors on November 29th and, boy, do they have some work to do.

I was anxiously awaiting their opening. I had visited the franchise’s website and signed up for e-mail alerts. As soon as I heard they were about to open, I called to make an appointment for my daughter. The woman who took the call, Tammy or probably Tami, was not only unfriendly but insistent that I misspelled my daughter’s name. When she could not convince me that the name was misspelled, she tried to convince me that I mispronounced it. MY OWN daughter’s name. Despite this super weird exchange, I was excited for our appointment.

Walking into Shear Madness is like entering a cotton candy colored little girl’s dream room. The door opens to a retail area piled high with pastel stuffed animals and accessories and hair bows.  The salon (and the storefront) were empty except for the staff who were gathered around  the front desk. The conversation regarding the belief that I misspell or mispronounce my daughter’s name was revived. So much more fun in person. I have a friend who named her child after the hero of an epic Scandinavian poem. I must remind her to NEVER bring her child here.

My daughter had her choice of many chairs- everything from a convertible to an airplane to a motorcycle. In front of each hair styling station there was a flat screen tv to amuse the child while their hair was being cut.  As my daughter got settled in, I looked around. There were no chairs for waiting parents, not even a place to put our  coats. I stood awkwardly. As the salon was completely empty except for staff, I couldn’t even sneak a peek at where another parent was choosing to wait.

As the stylist started to cut my daughter’s hair, another woman swooped over. She began correcting and assisting the stylist. I soon realized the stylist was being trained as she cut my daughter’s hair.

There is no way you would know this, but my daughter has spectacular, beautiful, mind numbing gorgeous hair. People stop to stare at her hair. Your child has beautiful hair, too. Yep, I know but my kid’s hair is epic. So I was not thrilled to see someone being trained to cut hair on my daughter’s hair.

Neither the stylist nor the trainer asked me how I felt about this odd set up. I certainly didn’t make the appointment thinking that my child was going to be a hair guinea pig. When my daughter’s hair was finished, neither women asked me what I thought or if it was satisfactory. I just stood there. The trainer asked the stylist what she wanted to do with my daughter’s hair. At this point I threw my hands up in a futile “what” gesture. There was some debate. It was styled like the trainer determined. The most surreal part was when the trainer would command the stylist to “interact with the child” and she would make awkward small talk with my four year old.

So when I relayed this story to friends and family…oh I’ve told everyone I know…they all ask me the same thing. Why didn’t I walk out? Short answer…intimidation. It was a salon filled with employees. No customers came in the entire hour we were there, just staff, staring at us. It was awkward, it was uncomfortable. It was weird.

While paying for the cut (their training session) my daughter went nuts in the retail area. “I want this, I want that” It was inevitable. You check out in a toy store basically. Ugh.

I would absolutely not recommend Shear Madness. Did her hair turn out well? Yes. Was it worth the stress of watching someone inexperienced struggle with how to part hair? Hell, no. Still not convinced? Wait it out. Give them a few months to get going. It can’t get worse, right? They need to get some more bodies in their seats. Let them practice on someone else’s kid.

Here’s the basics:


165 S Jordan Parway Suite 130

West  Des Moines

Kid hair cut prices-$15.95

Bang trim-$6.95

They, also, do parties, manicures and pedicures and even adult hair cuts. Proceed with caution. Seriously, I warned you.


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