Hairdresser Kelly Muzio doesn’t claim to be any sort of expert on autism or other special needs. But she does know what has worked for her before, and it seems to still be working. So she’s opened up a new “wing” to her business, if you will, to help keep kids who ordinarily struggle to sit still for a haircut do so with less anxiety and impatience.
In addition to her regular salon, The Crop Shop, Muzio has opened an outdoor hair salon for kids with autism and other conditions or disorders that cause them to feel anxiety when having their hair cut in her normal salon.
But her new business extension isn’t just special because there’s not a roof over it. Hair on the Farm offers special forms of sensory stimulation that tend to make her clients with autism feel right at home. She has a saddle set up on a haybale for kids to sit on while they get their haircut, and it’s perfectly aimed toward the farmyard area where Muzio’s animals roam.
“I’m not an expert on autism,” Muzio says, “but I know that they need something unique to make them feel safe.”
Despite her humility, this creative lady knows exactly the kind of sensory stimulation kids with autism need to be able to sit still for a haircut. Her clients with autism get to feel a saddle beneath them and watch animals, like chickens, turkeys, goats, deer, and even an ostrich, roam the barnyard while she trims their locks.
Watch the video below to see how well a Hair on the Farm haircut works for one precious little girl with autism.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?