The Latest Hair-Raising Trend: Beauty Parlor Birthday Parties

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New Hampshire Business Review, February 2, 1996, p.8

Reprinted with permission of the New Hampshire Business Review

You've heard of birthday bowling parties. Some Y's offer swim parties. How about a beauty parlor party?

Joe and Denise Ardagna's Ashworth Hair Styles and Retail Center in Hampton had been opened for only seven months when they stumbled on the idea, shortly before Christmas.

"We had my daughter, who was 7 years old, have a birthday, and we said, 'Let's bring the kids into the shop.' It kept the kids real amused, and I thought, 'Why don't we advertise?" said Joe Ardagna.

The couple spread the word at a local Christmas parade, and the next thing they knew, they were holding parties nearly every weekend.

They're usually held on Sunday, when the shop is closed, charging $13.99 a child for hairdos. They take their pictures and usually throw on a children's video for the kids while they wait. And the kids leave with a grab bag of shampoos and conditioners. So far, the biggest party had 14 girls. Ardagna figures they can handle as many as 20.

The girls, he said, are well-behaved, "because they are so amazed at what is going on, it actually keeps them under control. Other shops ask us how we could stand it. Most shops don't like to deal with children. But we have our own."

Besides, he said, it's a good business move. It not only fills up the parlor during dead time, but "they all turn into adults eventually. We'd like to turn them into customers while they are young."

Ashworth Hair & Skin is located at 295 Ocean Blvd. in Hampton Beach.

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