Too much too soon?: From cradle to spa is the new formula

Published: March 15, 2013

Mothers are now sending their young ones to luxurious spas for some indulgence. DESIGN: SAMRA AAMIR

ISLAMABAD: 

When expensive toys and latest gadgets are not good enough to spoil their children, some mothers start sending their young ones to be pampered at extravagant spas and salons.

It is natural for every mother to want the best for her child. But when it comes down to giving, how far will she go? Will she spoil her child? After designers catering to children’s clothing or accessories, a new business has entered the market, allowing mothers to flaunt their maternal love. “I take my daughter to the spa,” says Samina Ahmed, the mother of a nine-year-old girl. “I think it’s great to start grooming your children at a younger age. They should always look presentable.”

Behind the famous Nirvana Spa in the capital is the Nirvana Spa for kids. Following a neon-coloured theme, the bright café and spa for children is a famous spot these days. “I love going to Nirvana because they serve my favourite drink,” says nine-year-old Ayesha, who is in the third grade. “I get my hair cut from there.”

Manager at Nirvana, Rana Amir Sohail, tells The Express Tribune that the seven-month-old retreat for kids is the first of its kind in Pakistan. He adds that lots of mothers come to the spa and leave their children at the café and spa which offer facilities for five to 12-year-old children. Services at the spa include manicures and pedicures at about Rs1,000; a haircut at about Rs1,700 and a trim priced around Rs1,100. Blow-dries range between Rs400 to Rs1,100 and nail art is Rs116 per nail. These services can also be given as gift vouchers.

As if one place was not enough, Cross Cuts is another salon that offers services for grooming children — with a huge crocodile face sticking out as an entrance on Nazimuddin Road. Crocs offers grooming, hair styling, nail art, manicures and pedicures for children.

Alamdar Kisat, owner of Crocs, says that the concept behind the salon is that children should be in a comfortable environment that relaxes them before they go in for haircuts. “An underwater themed room with bright, colourful characters embossed on walls and some rides assembled for children, allow them to get their haircut in a fun way,” says Kisat. He says that Crocs get appointments for 10 children a day, which is sufficient enough to get the business running. Crocs also offers haircuts for newborns. Stylists are trained with children to ensure that they do not cry during the haircut and to ensure they feel secure in the environment.

While the ventures are making good profits, teachers believe that such places may not be the best place to groom children. Fourth grade private school teacher Mehreen Khan says the trend of children being status-conscious is on the rise. “Young children are being exposed to too much, too soon,” she says. “They are being treated as subjects of a superficial lifestyle, brought upon them by their status and brand-conscious parents,” she adds. “Children are now more interested in how they look because of this attitude; parents should focus on grooming their child’s personality rather than their looks.”

Ayesha Haroon, a mother of three girls, says that such facilities are just an excuse for mothers to flaunt where their children go. “We need more sports facilities or parks and healthy activities for children, rather than making them sit on chairs and get their nails done,” she says.  “Sadly, it’s all about making a social statement.”

Another mother, Rida Malik, says that her children come home and talk about what other kids have or have not done. “If one child is going to a spa and boasting about it, other kids want to do the same,” she says. “This gives birth to a cultural and financial divide amongst children.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 16th, 2013.                

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Ash
    Mar 15, 2013 - 10:26PM

    What happened to playgrounds and swings and cycling? These parents are NOT doing these kids a favor! I am telling ya!

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  • Parvez
    Mar 16, 2013 - 12:11AM

    Dummies for mummies results in still dummer mummies for the future………..thought that up all by myself.

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  • Loki
    Mar 16, 2013 - 5:28AM

    Grooming children’s look is also very important and grooming their personality should also be done at the same time but parents should not make their children so much beauty conscious at very young age but there is no doubt in this that you should also look good because your looks tells alot about your personality and how clean you are

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  • Nasamajh
    Mar 16, 2013 - 12:53PM

    tobah hai.. “waderay ka baita feels embarrassed” even he couldn’t avail this luxury as a child!!

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  • AR
    Mar 16, 2013 - 1:22PM

    Grooming should be age-appropriate! Children’s hair should be tidy (short or neatly tied), nails should be scrubbed clean and short, their clothes should be clean and pressed, and of course they will exude good health and good spirits if allowed to get a daily dose of sunshine and fresh air. It seems the problem of video-game obsessed boys hunched over in dark corners is mirrored in the little girls who are ‘vamping’ up in spas. Let children have a childhood – it only comes once. There’ll be plenty of time for adult things later.

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  • Tamara Momand
    Mar 16, 2013 - 8:12PM

    Its sad how fickle people have become, what happened to not caring if you got you hair cut from your mom in the bathroom! I wonder what these girls will be doing when they are older!

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  • May 10, 2013 - 12:03AM

    Spas for kid’s & teens is not a new concept in Europe or America- it’s a fast emerging & growing trend, In Pakistan this is a new concept and will take time to accept. It is a difficult topic to define what age is appropriate – It’s like asking what age should a child be when they get their ears pierced? wear make up? use a cellphone? or Ipod? .Kid’s/teens should be taught grooming and to look presentable and to get into the habit of taking care of their hands/feet, skin/hair. Spas should be fun, relaxing & amusing, creative environments and to focus on the health aspects of a spa and to provide a positive self image, spas provide an opportunity to focus on self care that promotes wellness, relaxation both mentally and emotionally through pampering fun. After all Kid’s/teens need a break from stresses of every day life – school pressure , exams, family stress. Spas/wellness centers that provide kids/teen with natural spa services using natural ingredients are the best and if they can provide exercise classes for kids/teens that’s a bonus.It is good news that kid’s/teen spa services are emerging in Pakistan. Soon to be launched is SAMS( Skin Analysis Health & Beauty Medical Spa & Gym) In Lahore – were there will be a kid’s /teen spa menu as well as a mums to be spa menu. check out the website http://www.sams.pk- for full list of services.

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