Why Salons are Essential to Mental Health During the Pandemic!
Being a hairstylist also means being a therapist. Everyone has heard some version of that before and have experienced it themselves. As a hairstylist, you are in your client's personal space. You are touching them and it is a very personal experience. Clients tend to open up to you and tell you about every detail of their life. Client and stylist develop and deeply intrapersonal relationship. You exchange photos and stories about family and life events and sometimes they even invite you to family weddings and events. This relationship becomes more like a friendship as the client begins to trust you more and more.
The global pandemic of Covid-19 has cause so much anxiety, depression, and has worsened mental health issues. We have become disconnected to our family and friends as we have needed to isolate ourselves to keep one another safe. Being isolated can have devastating effects to our health. In an article by the American Psychological Association written by Amy Novotney, they explain the risks of isolation: "Hawkley points to evidence linking perceived social isolation with adverse health consequences including depression, poor sleep quality, impaired executive function, accelerated cognitive decline, poor cardiovascular function and impaired immunity at every stage of life. "
Ciao Bella specializes in senior living facilities and I have noticed a change in the residents' states of mind since the salon has opened back up. Our stylists are their companions now. Many of them come once per week to have their hair done and to have some form of human connection. It is so important to mental health for a person to have social interactions. Quality of life is improved when a person feels good about themselves, and having your hair done is one of the main ways one can accomplish that. As a stylist myself, I urge all hair stylists to be extra compassionate and more engaging with each client than you normally would be. They are craving interaction and connection and we can provide that for them. It is crucial that right now we are taking extra care of our most vulnerable population; the elderly.
It is no secret, and it has been conveyed by many sources that people over the age of 65 are more susceptible to negative effects of Covid-19. That means you, as the hairstylist need to be more careful in your everyday life, whether it is going to the grocery store, picking up a child from daycare, or even walking your dog. Whatever you come in contact with, your client comes in contact with. Being responsible during these times is apart of your job because you are working so closely with clients and it is your responsibility to keep them, as well as yourself and the other staff in the building safe. As we approach the holidays, it is going to be more difficult, but you can still enjoy the holidays responsibly.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everybody and Happy Holidays!
Novotney, A. (2020, March). The risks of social isolation. Monitor on Psychology, 50(5). http://www.apa.org/monitor/2019/05/ce-corner-isolation