Every salon is looking for new business and niche markets to tap into, and the youth market is an obvious one to target. The question is, how young is too young?
Most responsible therapists will be governed by their insurance guidelines, but for those who have no restrictions, or insurance, there is the option to treat younger and younger children. So, should the dilemma of whether to offer these treatments be a moral one or a business one?
There is more profit to be made on these treatments in certain areas of the country as a gaggle of mothers with more money than sense want to turn their babies into ‘mini-me’ versions of their parents. However, it is not necessarily fair to attack the businesses that cater for this.
The trend started with children’s beauty pageants but has now extended into every day life. I have a young baby myself and his skin is simply perfect as it is so far unaffected by the endless chemicals we are all exposed to. The thought of covering that beautiful skin in spray tan solution simply horrifies me.
Whilst the filing of nails and a dash of nail polish is pretty harmless, the addition of gel and acrylic nails takes it too far. I have ripped a gel nail off by accident before and the words that came out of my mouth were unrepeatable. Children are not noted for being careful and this type of accident is likely to be frequent, causing great amounts of pain. This will also cause large amounts of damage to young nail beds which are still developing.
All this is before we get to the issues of body image. Focusing so much attention on how a young child looks is bound to stay in their heads and could have some seriously damaging repercussions in later life.
Children are children for such a short time, it seems ridiculous to make them into adults before they are ready. Parents should leave their children to get dirt under their fingernails, grazed knees and fantastic childhood memories.
Nevertheless, this is the business of the parent not the beauty therapist. If the parents are going to do this anyway, maybe a visit to a trained and responsible therapist is the best option.