“Getting a haircut should be fun” Ciao Bella provides haircuts for those on autism spectrum

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – The brainchild of Andrea and Luke Pavone, co-owners of Ciao Bella Hair Salon, Sensory Sundays provide an opportunity for those on the autism spectrum to get a haircut in an environment suitable to their needs. 

The couple’s grandson, Liam, has been coming to Sensory Sundays since the Pavones opened the salon in February. 

Luke said haircuts on the kitchen table just weren’t working. 

“We wanted to be somewhere where he would grow up having somewhere safe if you will in his mind to get a haircut because at home it wasn’t working,” he said. “At home it was almost holding him down, and we didn’t want to do that. We didn’t feel like that was the way to do it, so we wanted to do something a little bit better for [Liam and his parents].” 

Luke said Liam has taken to Sensory Sundays quite well. 

“Getting a haircut should be fun,” he said. “It should be kind of a cool thing. It shouldn’t be screaming and kicking and fighting the whole way through. He seems to enjoy it. He kind of does his own thing. He plays on the phone, he does whatever he wants to do and he gets his hair cut at the same time and looks like a little man, so everyone is happy, and it’s a win-win.” 

The salon provides sensory toys for those getting a trim. The lights are also dimmed to reduce stress levels. 

Andrea gave her advice to parents when it comes to getting their child’s hair cut. 

“One of the most important things that I like to stress to parents is once you and your child find a hairdresser that your child is comfortable with getting their hair cut, stay with that person because they develop a connection,” she said. “That’s what it is, it’s all about the connection that you develop with that child.” 

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