Breaking Barriers: How the hair industry can take steps to destigmatise hair conditions

By Alice Dawkins at Milk + Blush

Visits to the salon should be a fun and relaxing time. But for some, it can be a daunting and uncomfortable experience.

From traumatic experiences to self-consciousness, countless people fear the salon.

An estimated 400,000 people in the UK have alopecia and 2 percent of the country’s population suffers from psoriasis. It’s hair conditions like this which often see sufferers avoid hair salons.

But what steps can hair salons and the industry take to remove barriers and make people dealing with different conditions feel more welcome?

Provide targeted training for hair professionals

Specific training sessions for salon employees about recognising and handling different hair conditions can enable hair establishments to create a safer and more comfortable environment for anxious individuals.

Improved knowledge of various hair challenges, including their symptoms, appearance and treatments, can help professionals ensure they approach clients with empathy and respect and use appropriate language to handle different clients sensitively.

Detailed training can also provide stylists with the tools and knowledge to offer personalised hair care recommendations based on clients’ needs by advising about product recommendations and suitable treatments.

Improved salon staff knowledge will help people with various scalp conditions to feel more understood and accommodated in hair salons. This will help them feel more comfortable discussing their hair struggles.

Equally, commitment to specified training by hair professionals will demonstrate their willingness to accommodate all clients, regardless of their hair condition.

However, it is also important to encourage clients to seek medical advice if they have not already to effectively treat conditions.

Promote education and awareness

The stigma surrounding different hair conditions and diseases is predominantly down to a lack of education and awareness about their causes, symptoms, appearance and treatment.

To resolve this, salons and professionals can launch small educational campaigns to draw awareness to and improve understanding of conditions to reduce industry stigma.

For different awareness days and months, salons can display educational materials in waiting areas and in the general space. Not only will this appeal to clients wanting to learn more, but also for people with a hair condition who may feel more welcome in a salon that promotes different hair struggles.

Brochures, posters and digital content on a website or social media can all provide information that can debunk myths and increase understanding.

This is beneficial for hair professionals as these efforts can even increase their client base with people that have hair conditions by demonstrating their commitment to raising awareness.

Increase accessibility

People that suffer from hair conditions can feel embarrassed and self-conscious about the way their hair looks, so salons can be intimidating.

By creating an environment where all clients feel supported and understood, salons can be accessible establishments for all clients.

For example, services and treatments that aim to treat conditions, such as psoriasis and alopecia, should be advertised to encourage people to book appointments for those services. Salons should also offer the opportunity for people to visit for consultations in private spaces to prevent feelings of embarrassment.

Dedicated time slots are another alternative for people who may feel self-conscious or anxious about their hair to come and receive a consultation or service without fear of judgement.

Alternatively, professionals could advertise workshops and seminars online or in person to teach people about improving haircare routines and build a community of clients facing similar hair challenges.

Celebrate diversity

One of the most effective ways to promote inclusivity and reduce stigma in the hair industry is to provide diverse representation in advertisements and marketing materials.

Salons can showcase individuals with different hair types and conditions as models to help normalise conditions.

Diversity should also be increased in the salon with plenty of imagery showing different hair types and conditions to create a welcoming environment for all.

Testimonials and success stories are also powerful tools. Highlighting stories of clients who have been able to successfully manage their condition or treat it will showcase a salon’s dedication to helping clients feel beautiful and can make prospective clients feel more confident about visiting the salon.

The post Breaking Barriers: How the hair industry can take steps to destigmatise hair conditions appeared first on The Salon Magazine.