There is a silent consensus amongst app reviewers and parents that whenever Toca Boca releases an app, we should pay attention. As one of the biggest names in the children’s apps scene, Toca Boca has a knack for producing high quality apps. Their latest offering, Toca Hair Salon 2, is no exception.
Toca Hair Salon 2
Toca Hair Salon 2 is the sequel to Toca Boca’s bestselling app, Toca Hair Salon. The new app builds upon the original and improves it by adding new characters, new tools, and enhancements in the visual and technical departments. At the core though, the app feels as fun and creative as its original.
To begin playing, kids simply tap on the big Play button and choose from four completely new customers to attend to. The selected character will then take a seat, and they can start styling his/her/its hair.
Kids can cut, comb, or color the customer’s hair any way they like using various tools such as scissors, electric hair trimmer, and color sprays. They can wash their hair with shampoo, and dry it off using a towel or a hairdryer. If they accidentally snip off too much hair, they can grow some of it back using the miraculous G.R.O.W potion.
By popular demand, Toca Hair Salon 2 introduces several new tools that were not available in the original app: a curling iron, a straightener, a hair crimper, and a razor. There are also new accessories such as hats, glasses, ribbons, and other ornaments.
The app also made improvements on older tools. The trimming and cutting tools are now more precise, and kids can swipe to snip more hair. The color sprays were also tweaked, so kids can now dye each hair strand in beautiful gradient effects.
Visually, the app has crisp graphics that look good on retina iPads. The animations are smoother and more realistic. The background image, static in the original app, now changes to reflect the different parts of the salon interior as kids swipe on the screen to change tools.
The new app also adds a feature for taking photos of the styled up characters. There is a simple photo booth at one corner of the salon, which kids can use to snap a photo of their customer and his new hair.
Like all of Toca Boca’s apps, Toca Hair Salon 2 is an open-ended toy that encourages juniors to experiment using different tools and effects. While juniors are encouraged to explore the app freely, I thought it would be nice to include several tips to help them get started:
- One of the most anticipated tools in Toca Hair Salon 2 is the curling iron and the hair crimper. Try curling some parts of the hair to add texture.
- In Toca Hair Salon 2, you can now bend individual strands of hair. Using the comb, smudge the areas that you want to bend and create different shapes. I found that it is easier to control the shape of the strand when you smudge from the stalk and move towards the tip.
- The new color sprays create a lovely gradient effect. For a bold look, try creating a rainbow gradient.
- With the addition of the razor, you can now trim the hair down to the last stubble. Try going bald!
- While free play is good, you can also have fun by trying to replicate a certain hairstyle. Ask your juniors to recreate a friend’s hairdo. Don’t forget to compliment them on a job well done!
Things That I Love
I’m a Toca Boca fan. I admire their excellent eye for design, and their consistency in producing high quality content. It’s an incredible feat, considering the large number of apps in their portfolio. They also get better with every release -- Toca Hair Salon 2 is a testament to that.
Like all Toca Boca apps, Toca Hair Salon 2 is incredibly detailed. The characters are expressive, and the salon is lovely. If you take a look in the background, you can see random vehicles passing by and the original Toca Hair Salon building right across the street. The clock on the wall shows the current time on your device.
I also love the theme of the app. Hairdressing is not a common topic for a children’s app, but Toca Hair Salon 2 is a fun environment for kids of all ages. I like how the app encourages children to be creative, imaginative, and artistic.
Toca Hair Salon 2 is a great sequel to an already excellent app. It improves on the things that we love about the original Hair Salon, and adds new features for a fresh experience. Even if you already have the original Toca Hair Salon, I think the improvements in Toca Hair Salon 2 justify the purchase.
It is also worth noting that Toca Hair Salon 2 is the first ever Toca Boca app to land on Kindle Fire. If you know anyone with a Kindle Fire but not an iOS device, this might be the perfect time to introduce them to Toca Boca. Here is the link to download the app.
Finally, if you like the Toca Hair Salon series, you should also check out Toca Hair Salon - Christmas Gift. In this festive app, you get to style Santa Claus or a cute Christmas tree. It is available for free, and would make a great gift for this holiday season.
Get Toca Hair Salon 2 on the App Store.
App was provided for our honest review.
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