The service is open to individuals who require additional time and support when visiting the salon. For many a trip to the hairdressers is a treat but to someone with autism it can be a daunting and overwhelming experience.

A new salon created especially for people on the autism spectrum aims to make it easier for them to go for a makeover and pave the way to a mainstream hairdresser.

Kustom Kuts, at The North East Autism Society’s Thornbeck College, in Newton Aycliffe, opened in December.

East Durham College, in Peterlee, teamed up with the charity on the venture and two of its qualified hair and beauty students will work alongside Thornbeck students to run the salon.

Trained staff will support clients, take into account any particular needs and book them longer appointments to deal with any problems that arise or allow for breaks as needed.

Vice Principal at Thornbeck College, Chris Surtees said: “A lot of our learners have difficultly accessing mainstream hairdressing salons because of the environment.

“They are often vibrant, noisy and fast paced, there might be too many people or images on the wall and some people might like or absolutely hate certain products.

“But this is stripped back and calm, there will be enough time to give someone a break if needed and everyone will be treated as an individual.”

Christine Dempster, Director of Education for the society, said: “Following feedback from individuals with autism, parents and carers this social enterprise will have a very positive impact in the region.

“This development demonstrates the college’s relentless drive to continue to expand the range of meaningful employment opportunities for learners with autism learning difficulties and/or disabilities.”

For a full list of the Salon prices please download the flyer, the salon is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10am - 3pm.

To book an appointment call Thornbeck College on 01325-328088 or email