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A Good Hair Day: How to Make Mental Health a Priority at Your Salon
By Boulevard Staff
Learn how to transform your salon into a safe space that clients will leave looking and feeling better
The salon is a place where many clients let their hair down — both physically and mentally. From the time they sit in a stylist's chair to the moment they walk back out into the world, they can relax and decompress from the stress of day-to-day life. With World Mental Health Day approaching, this is the perfect time to learn more about how to support and prioritize the mental health of your clients, and how to make your salon a truly healing environment.
Practice active listening
“Active listening” sounds like a technical term, but it can be easy and effective even outside a psychologist’s office. Active listening is simply the practice of listening and responding to another person in a genuine and understanding manner. This doesn’t mean stylists have to pull double duty as therapists; just listening to a client and acknowledging their experiences can make a big difference in how they feel.
Paying attention goes a long way. Reflect on what your client is telling you in a calm but engaged manner. Prioritize the act of listening over responding or providing solutions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as well, in order to understand the client’s situation more fully. This demonstrates interest as well as encouraging the client to look at their problems through a different perspective — which may make it easier to come to a solution all on their own.
It’s often tempting to relate the personal experiences of others to our own situations. Sometimes this can be helpful, but it shouldn’t be your first instinct; what worked for you may not work for someone else. When it comes to providing support, always prioritize listening over talking.
Finally, remember that it’s alright to not know. Sometimes all we want is someone to listen instead of trying to fix everything right away. If you are at a loss as to how to address something, simply say so. Admitting your own uncertainty can validate the discomfort that the other person is feeling in an honest and powerful way.
Helping to support the emotional well-being of others can sometimes feel overwhelming. Making sure to step back and take proper care of yourself is very important in order to avoid burn-out. For more self-care tips, check out our article on managing stress for beauty professionals.
Choose calming decor
Our day-to-day environments have a profound effect on mental health, so putting in a little extra effort here can make a big difference for everyone involved. The good news is that the high cleanliness standards you already keep in place for your salon help make it a beneficial place for mental health. Sitting amongst clutter and disrepair can have a negative impact on mood, so keeping your salon tidy is beneficial for the mental health of everyone within it — including you.
You can make the space even more welcoming by choosing softer lighting and avoiding fluorescents. Aside from the annoying buzzing sound, fluorescent lights can also trigger migraines or headaches in people who are prone to them. You may even want to accent your setup with hanging fairy or twinkle lights.
As another small yet potent touch, adding plants can help make any space more pleasant. Not only do plants add natural beauty to an environment, they can also improve air quality and keep the space feeling fresh and clean. Oxygen is (of course!) essential for the brain, and fresh air can assist with alleviating anxiety and uplifting mood.
Think you know what clients truly want? We surveyed 800+ beauty patrons to discover what matters most to potential clients. Here's what we found