October 2012 – Minneapolis, Minn.  – With the help of Krech, O’Brien, Mueller and Associates interior designers, Kids’ Hair – the renowned kid-friendly hair salon company based in Minneapolis – opened two new locations in the Twin Cities metro. In addition to designing new locations – most recently in St. Louis Park, Minn. – KOMA is also working with Kids’ Hair to give many of the existing salons a whole new look.

The development of the new salon prototype was an involved, highly collaborative process. Stylists, corporate staff and customers completed questionnaires in order to gather thoughts and opinions not only on the aesthetics of the current salons, but also on the functionality. Kids’ Hair, unlike other hair salons caters to a very specific demographic of children, who are often accompanied by siblings and parents. The new design required designated seating areas for the extra people, many of whom prefer to gather around the stylists as they work.

One of the features KOMA Interior Designers Cindy Nagel and Angela Rohlen proposed was the addition of ottomans in the center of the cutting floor. “These ottomans provide a place for parents to be on the cutting floor and near to their child without infringing on the stylist’s space,” Nagel says.  Another element of the new design is the addition of mobile tool carts, a current trend in salon design and operation. This feature allows the stylist to move from station to station and relocate when needed. In a salon with young clientele, flexibility is an essential component of design and functionality. The new design also integrates entertainment for the siblings and accompanying children. Rather than the typical toys, which can carry germs and break, chalkboard walls and child-friendly activities such as liquid motion circles were installed to engage and entertain children while they wait.

There were many varied challenges to address in creating a new prototype that worked for the stylists, children and parents, but each was an opportunity for a creative approach and outside-the-box thinking. ”All of it was really fun,” said Nagel. “We worked as a team and Kids’ Hair was ready and willing to be hands-on in the process. We took a lot of what they already had, especially the fun graphics, and applied them with a new twist. In the end we hope that the implementation of the new prototype will really contribute to the growth and promotion of the Kids hair brand – after all – that’s what it’s all about! ”