“In my hair salon there is ‘the hour of quiet’: I cut the hair of children with autism. Now I aim to build a network of supportive colleagues”

A network of hairdressers to welcome people with disabilities. To guarantee them a peaceful, comfortable, quiet environment that protects them from sources of stress. It’s called “Scissors in the Heart” and is the idea of Christian Plotegherowner of a hair salon a Rovereto, in the province of Trento, to create a nationwide network capable of welcoming customers with autism spectrum disorder and with particular sensitivity and need. “There’s nothing more beautiful than seeing a smile on a parent’s face,” he says. It all started 3 years ago, after meeting Tommaso, a 2-year-old autistic child, who arrived at the salon with his mother Barbara. ‘From that day I decided to insert’the hour of silence‘- remembers Christian al Fatto.it -, a time completely dedicated to haircuts for autistic children“.

Christian has been a hairdresser since he was 16. Three years ago, at the age of 44, the decision was made to start his own business and open his own salon. After meeting Tommaso, his business has become a point of reference for families with autistic or disabled children. Initially, it was decided to dedicate one day a week, Tuesday, to people with disabilities. But as demand increases today, ie cut downs I am guaranteed every day, “usually before opening or after closingin such a way that avoid confusion and make them relax “.

There are those who come from Milan with their family, like Lara, 10, “with whom a relationship of infinite love has been established,” says Christian. There is Carlo, who also arrived, with his family, from Milan. “Taking Carlo to cut his hair means throwing up all weekend and even more – his mother wrote in a blog post dedicated to Christian – I felt welcome, I felt like my child was welcomed, and I know, that only a parent of an autistic child knows what it can mean.I want more Christians in the world – he adds – more people who are not afraid to change mentality and ways of doing things.I want more people ready to dedicate an hour of their week to others because it makes them feel happy. ”There are those who move to Rovereto, makes the incision, sleeps one night and then comes home. “When these people travel so many miles for me, I feel like I must not let them down.”

The next step now is the creation of the hairdressing network supporting. “The idea has matured day after day as one sees the increasingly important reaction from families – he says – one of my clients gave me a hand with the bureaucracy.” Christian, who in 2020 receivedHonour from Knight to the merit of the Republic by the President of Republic of Sergio Mattarella “For his commitment to creating an inclusive environment even for children with disabilities in his salon,” he dictates times and methods: “We will follow a standard protocol from Catania to Bolzano – he explains – we will all be geolocated so that the needy know where we are and depending on where they live, they can choose the salon that is closest to them, ”he adds.

The association is entitled “Scissors in the heart” and will be officially launched in the coming weeks. The goal is “to expand the offer to the world of disability in general, with greater attention and special sensitivity where needed.” We want to do at least one thing really normal for everyone: haircut, “smiles the founders. How? Thanks to listening, understanding, sensitivity and professionalism. The association now consists of a chairman, Christian, a vice-chairman and 2 founding members. There is a contact person for each area in Italy, and already 30 have joined. “For the logo, I asked my youngest customers for help I wanted a simple idea drawn by the hand of a child walking in the salon “, smiles Christian. The first calls arrive from all over Italy, arriving on average 4 a week and small customers moving from nearby towns: from kl. Trieste, Lugano, Gorizia, Turin. The members of the new association will recognize each other on a sticker with the logo in the window: There are also courses for hairdressers who would like to join. “A message that I would like to convey to my category? It’s great to have a full house in the salon and make fashionable cuts – Christian concludes -. If we also welcome people with disabilities, the world will be a better place ”. No electric shaverdim light and radio off: the rest – he smiles – “we do it, pamper our children”.

The picture is by Michele Lotti

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