The role of hair salons when society hits a difficult time
After the shops, restaurants, pubs and hairdressers were shut for the best part of a year during lockdown, the reopening of many of these retail and hospitality businesses have acted as a safe haven for a large portion of the public. They offer an outlet for socialisation and building relationships. Particularly, hair salons have played a fundamental role in helping people regain their confidence while returning to society. Not only do barbers offer the chance to restyle a person’s look, but they also provide customers with an opportunity for a friendly conversation – perhaps the first after a long time in isolation. A national survey by @BooksyApp found that 43% of hair professionals feel they function in two roles, first as a hairdresser and second as a counsellor – supporting the mental well-being of their clients.
The pandemic’s unofficial therapists
Confiding in an unbiased professional is often an excellent way to destress and declutter the mind. However, this doesn’t always have to be a psychologist. People frequently find that the best person to unload their troubles to is, in fact, their hairdresser! Anywhere from ten minutes to two hours with someone the customer is unlikely to see again any time soon can be the perfect occasion for them to get some worries off their mind. Chatting to numerous clients throughout their working day, hair professionals are bound to have heard a multitude of interesting and bizarre stories, making it improbable for them to be shocked or judgemental of a tale.
Covid-19 and family
According to statistics, the most popular topics of conversation with a barber are Covid-19 and family, both at 67%. This could be just general chit-chat and time filler conversations, as most people have families and everyone has experienced the effects of lockdown. However, these discussions could also be more meaningful for the customer, as this may be an opportunity for them to express their feelings and worries to someone who will listen and understand. Over the past year and a half, many people have been isolated from their families, unable to see their parents and siblings or unable to watch their grandchildren grow. Having a chance to discuss the outcome of this seclusion on one’s mental health can very rewarding – perhaps they are excited to finally reunite or maybe they have become so distant they are worried they have grown accustomed to the detachment.
Work and physical health
The results of the lockdown were devastating for many businesses and professionals, with many companies shutting down and leaving their staff unemployed. Work is another popular conversation topic that customers are having with their barbers, at 65%. Having been one of the many establishments to close during the pandemic, hairdressers are almost certain to be understanding of this discussion, as they too have experienced it. As a result of isolation, many people’s psychical health has also been affected as they may have been unable to be active or possibly have spent too much time binging on food and TV. This is another relevant topic at 48% that hair salon workers are sure to relate to and offer advice or emotional support during one’s haircut.
After over a year of loneliness and separation, it can be a great idea to get out of the house, acquire a new hairstyle and have a one-to-one “unofficial therapy” session with a hair professional.
The editorial unit