My 4-year-old absolutely loves to sit her daddy down on the floor and “make him handsome” by brushing out his hair, spraying it down with her little water bottle as she goes to keep it looking nice and smooth. It occurred to me as I watched her do this one day that she is in the height of her pretend play season of life, and that I could easily help support her imagination by providing a few key props. I set out on a quest for great kids hair salon toys and decided to put this list together since the search actually wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be! I hope it helps you as you look for great beauty shop toys!
American Plastic Toys sent us this play set last week and it has been played with every single day. There are a few other salon stations on the market but I prefer this particular one because it is simple in its overall design. The child isn’t supposed to get lost in the details of this particular set, but to use it as the backdrop for whatever her imagination creates. I’ve seen Layah get herself ready for the ball, open a dog grooming station, and experiment with new hair colors (in her mind!) by offering hair coloring services in her sink. She isn’t distracted by a particular theme put upon her by the salon ( as opposed to this set, which looks super cool at first glance, but is actually too limiting on the imagination), and so she just plays and plays and lets her play move organically. I thought the cell phone was an odd inclusion in the set, but Layah seemed to know what to do with it! She takes appointment calls and asks her clients to “text her.” Ha! On the parent side of things, I can tell you that this takes about half an hour to assemble and there are a few tricky parts (be sure not to install the light switch backwards!).
I recommend going straight to the mannequins used at cosmetology school for the ultimate in hair styling fun. I’m going to get something like this (there are many colors to choose from and prices seem to stay under $30, typically). These just have much more hair to play with than the toy hairdressing dolls you can find on the shelves of toy departments.
3. Toy Hairdressing Dolls (for Younger Children)
If you are shopping for a 2 or 3-year-old who might be overwhelmed by 29 inches of hair on a mannequin, there are a ton of toy hairdressing dolls from which to choose. You can go with a licensed character like a princess (Rapunzel, Elsa, Ariel) or Barbie, or you can stick to something more generic. Be sure to read reviews from previous purchasers to get a sense for how good the quality is before you buy.
Love this smock that your child can wear while she works! The pockets to hold styling tools are very helpful. I wish it came in colors other than pink and purple, but so it goes.
There are quite a few child-size hair cutting capes priced just under $10, and this one is my personal favorite. This can add to the fun when siblings are playing together or if your child is having a playdate. Even large stuffed animals can get this draped around them while the hair stylist works her magic!
Find some very easy clip on hair extensions that your little hair dresser can add to her dolls, herself and her friends. I really love the pop of color on these.
7. Spray Bottle
Every good hair stylist needs a great spray bottle. The last time I got my hair done the stylist used a misting bottle and I thought it was SO cool. I recommend going for this style (the price is under $10) but if you want to keep it as thrifty as possible, this one is pretty cute.
8. Neck Duster
After the pretend hair cut is finished, the stylist needs to use a neck duster to get all the stray hair clippings off her client’s face and neck. This one will do the trick and it’s priced right!
As your child creates awesome braids and styles, she will need some tools to hold those styles in place. Clear hair ties are the way to go, and I like this pack because it has a variety of sizes.
10. Sectioning Clips
Hair styling professionals use these as they work on hair, section by section. This is a great tool for your child to use to help her divvy out the work before her!