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Industry • Inspiration

5 Ways to Celebrate Your Stylists in 2021

It’s National Hairstylist Appreciation Day! Here are five ways to show your staff some love.

Take a moment to consider the impact of having a good hair day. There’s something about well-styled hair that makes us feel more confident. According to psychologist Vivian Diller, a good hair day even has legitimate emotional benefits, so it makes sense to recognize the important role stylists play in our everyday life by honoring Hairstylist Appreciation Day on April 25. Here are five ways you can let your stylists know your salon just wouldn’t be the same without them.

1. Get personal with hand-written thank you notes

It sounds old-fashioned — and to be fair, it is — but a hand-written note is still a lovely way to give someone a bit of praise. The bespoke nature of a thank you note lets the recipient know you took the time to create something just for them, elevating its message. With a little bit of prep on your part, you can craft elegant notes that knock your stylists’ socks off. Don’t worry too much about your handwriting, even if it’s not that lovely; in a world of texts and emails, pen and ink make an impact no matter how crooked the letters are.

2. Treat them to a delicious meal or gift basket

To be honest, “food” is almost always an exceptional gift, especially when it comes to letting folks know you value them. Food is also one of the most flexible ways to thank your staff, as it can accommodate all schedules, tastes, and seniority. It may not make sense to have so much food brought into your salon, but you can team up with a local eatery to provide a meal to each person on your team at a time that fits their schedule. Grocery store gift cards aren’t as flashy, but you can be certain they’ll get used (just make sure to get them from stores your stylists actually visit). If none of that works for your team, it’s hard to go wrong with a luxe gift basket from a company like Harry & David.

3. Create a space just for them

When it comes time to show appreciation for your staff, don’t forget the salon itself. They spend a lot of their time there, so think about what makes that time more enjoyable for them. We often neglect the break room and bathroom because they’re not seen by clients. Freshening them up signals to your stylists that their comfort is important, too. Think beyond a simple coat of paint to make those spaces inviting. Add a little library to the break room, or add a TV with Netflix. Install a line of sockets at table height and purchase a set of device chargers to keep plugged in. Even if your salon doesn’t have a break room, you have options for how to make your stylists feel more at home. Think about what your team would enjoy most — or better yet, ask them! Then make it happen.

4. Find out what speaks to them

It’s not always possible to know your stylists on a personal level, but if you do, select tokens of appreciation that align with their interests. If they’re an artist in their free time, hook them up with some supplies. If they love to cook, consider a selection of spices from Penzey’s. For an exceptional show of gratitude, buy a personalized message from their favorite celebrity on Cameo. If you want to demonstrate appreciation for a particular stylist but don’t know enough about them, ask the other stylists! It’s nearly impossible to spend that much time next to someone and not learn at least a little about their lives.

5. Give small, give often

Thank yous don’t have to be huge to be meaningful. Smaller gifts, like candy bars, Starbucks gift cards, or even getting to choose the salon music for the week can be bright spots in an otherwise ho-hum work week. Keeping token sizes small means you can give them spontaneously and often, rather than waiting for a special event to call out achievements. It can build team morale to let your stylists nominate someone each month as being most deserving of recognition.  

However you choose to thank your stylists for their hard work, do it sincerely and when you can, be specific about what you’re grateful for. Did someone stay late to squeeze in a last-minute client? Are they excellent mentors for new hires? Do they make sure the coffee maker always has a fresh pot? Thanking them for something specific makes your appreciation feel like an authentic acknowledgment rather than just good manners.

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