Cut above the rest

Kristian Dunnage introduces his bespoke hair-cutting service for children and adults with special needs

Kristian Dunnage, also known as 'The SEN Barber'
Kristian Dunnage, also known as ‘The SEN Barber’

Having a child with autism can mean a trip to the barbers can be very traumatic for both parent and child.

My business, SEN Barber, was set up out of necessity. Over all the years of working with young people with special needs, it became apparent to me that many were cutting their own hair, having a parent cut it, or just having it all shaved off.

Getting a haircut should be a pleasurable and enjoyable experience. SEN Barber is a bespoke barbering service that caters solely to those of all ages with special education needs (SEN) and autism. If you have personally struggled to visit a traditional barbershop, or have struggled to get your child’s hair cut, then this service is for you.

I have more than ten years of experience working with young people with SEN and autism, it being both a passion and a calling. In that time, I came to one simple conclusion; that people with additional needs have to truly trust you. Trust is at the very heart of the SEN Barber service.

My home studio, affectionately known as ‘The Barber Cave’, is an unashamedly dedicated SEN space. The studio can be adapted to every client’s individual needs, meaning the lighting levels, music and refreshments are all down to the user’s individual needs. It is an absolutely bespoke service.

Animal-assisted therapy is also a big part of the SEN Barber service. I keep chickens which some clients enjoy feeding and holding prior to their haircuts in order to help them acclimatise to their surroundings. And users always go home with eggs!

I also offer a mobile service meaning that those who find travelling difficult, or who have mobility issues, can enjoy a haircut in the comfort of their own home.

For more information about SEN Barber:
Instagram @the_sen_barber