Parents with special needs children were outraged to hear that a salon canceled a child’s appointment because of his needs.
Katlyn Oelke had an appointment scheduled with A Hair For Kids Salon in New Berlin, Wisconsin for her son, who has Down syndrome, but received a message canceling his appointment, saying they could not cut his hair.
The email to Katyln explained: “Dear guest of our salon, I am Kathleen the owner of the salon
It has been brought to my attention by my stylist that they feel your haircut service you have booked with us is not a good fit for your needs with us. My stylists are not comfortable with servicing your child.
As the owner I stuck to provide excellent service with quality results. It is with great regret we will have to decline your appointment. You will need to seek another children’s salon for your services.
This is nothing personal it is just not a good fit for my stylists. I do hope you understand. Kindly, Kathleen.”
Katlyn shared a screenshot of the message on her Facebook page, writing: “I should be sleeping right now but I’m absolutely outraged by this email that I received from A Hair For Kids Salon in New Berlin. Matthew has been going to this salon for a few years now and this is the email I just received tonight after I booked an appointment for him. Total discrimination! Stupid fu**s! I understand that he can be difficult but I am so hurt and disgusted. The bi*** of an owner could’ve went about it a different way. Ugh!!!!!!! They don’t deserve to get any business!”
Many people who read Katlyn’s post visited the salon’s Facebook page and left comments for the owner referencing her decision to cancel the boy’s appointment. The owner tried to explain, writing: “Our salon is short staffed to accommodate children with special needs that feels comfortable with those needs. Wouldn’t you rather I tell the truth than lie. At this time I don’t have a stylist that would feel comfortable. Now, if any of you know of a stylist that you know is looking for a job that would feel comfortable with children please let me know. I am short on staff I thank you for your help.”
Katlyn explained the situation further to The Mighty, noting that the owner “said she was sorry she was so vague in the email and she shouldn’t have come across that way and been so unprofessional.”
The salon owner, when asked if she would see Katlyn’s son again said, “I will think about it, but at this time, no.”
Further, when The Mighty followed up with the salon for a statement, they spoke with an employee who explained: “The child’s haircutter was not there. We do haircuts for kids with disabilities all the time.” She called the email “misworded.”
In regards to the email that she sent, the salon owner admitted, “It was a mistake, and it was not an appropriate way to handle it.” She did not adequately explain that they could reschedule the boy’s appointment so that he could have his usual stylist, telling The Mighty: “I was too blunt, it was too quickly expressed and the wrong way to go about it. It should have been a personal call. In no way would we discriminate against anyone.”