As more and more children pay visits to specialised salons and spas, Nikita Wadhwan wonders if this fad of young-age grooming is here to stay
It’s not easy being a baby. So much crying and burping, pooping and running surely exhausts them and just like us children too need to relax their nerves. After all, why should parents have all the pampering? As peculiar as it may sound, many salons and beauty centres are opening their doors to customers of unprecedented age group. Both parents and children are enjoying spas and beauty treatments at these salons. Looking at the popularity of children beauty treatments, salons have started giving services like manicure, pedicures, hydrotherapies, and relaxing massages to their young customers.
India’s first baby spa not only caters to tiny-tots but for mamas as well. Walking into the salon is like entering into fairy tale, filled with shades of blue and pink. Massages that supposedly stimulate the child’s brain and help in physical development and aquatic physical therapy are conducted in a pool by trained physiotherapists. It also caters to pregnant women and the new-mommies with activities like foot massages, full body massages and Lamaze classes. However, many people are perplexed as to how a baby who is just few days or just few months old would swim. “People misinterpret it as swimming. It is actually aqua therapy. What it actually means is that when a baby is in the mother’s womb it is surrounded by amniotic fluid. So as soon as babies get into the pool’s warm water, they relate it to being in their mother’s belly which makes them feel secure. This calms them down and is therefore therapeutic,” explains Dr Priyanka Bhoir, owner of Baby Castle.
Just a fad?
Doctors, however, have refuted claims of these spas calling them as fad. Dr Kamlesh Haria, a city-based paediatrician, ridicules and dismisses this aqua therapy and warns parents not to fall prey to such gimmickry just because they find them hep and happening. “If proper precautions are not taken, it can be extremely hazardous for their babies. Parents incidentally are unaware of the various precautions that may be imperative in these procedures. Like, how would they know if the water is really clean and not harmful to the child’s health or how much time each child can be exposed to such presumably unscientific techniques,” Dr Haria warns.
Albeit personal experiences are best teachers, so far the parents who have been actively involving their kids in aqua therapy have had no complaints, instead they swear by witnessing significant improvement in their babies’ overall performances. “When I enrolled Kabir at Baby Castle he was just nine-months-old and he was not crawling, but after the first class itself Kabir showed significant improvement. After few more classes he started crawling as well,” says Nirali Shah, Kabir’s mom.
Parents too are allowed into the pool with their children which helps them bond with each other. Many parents have observed their children to be much more relaxed post aqua therapy; apparently they claimed that children tend to sleep for longer hours post such sessions.
Groom ’em young
Only-for-kids salon may be one of the fad here to stay. Bathing children and getting them dressed can be a task for new parents. Grooming is something we all associate with grownups, but in reality grooming starts right from young age. “Mothers used to tell us they were unable to find a salon that can cater to their child’s demands. Moreover, kids are very fussy when it comes to grooming. So we came up with this idea where we offer services to kids according to their fancy. We give them customised haircuts, nail art, manicure and pedicure which is largely chemical free and much more fun,” says Preeti Harkare, co-founder of Starfish Salon.
“My child adores Messi and wanted a hairstyle just like him but we were unable to find someone who could cut his hair that way. Now he is happy with his hair plus he gets different kinds of haircut during the summer as he sees other children experiment,” says Sakshi Gupta, mother of 10-year-old Messi fan.
But what is the reason for the growing demand for such services, some people have been quick to dismiss it as a fashion whim which Preeti dismisses. “The awareness in grooming has increased, children see their parents get all these services and now they want it too. Moreover, with the internet, kids are becoming more self-aware. Every kid has a style of their own and especially in summers children have an opportunity to experiment with it,” adds Preeti.