A survey from Booksy, a beauty and wellness booking app, found that 43% of hair professionals feel that they act as both a hair dresser and unofficial therapist. The same survey found that that the most popular topics discussed with hairdressers which include Covid-19, family, work, personal relationships and physical and mental health – subjects you would speak about in therapy. Furthermore, 37% of people surveyed would act on the advice of a hairdresser – higher than other professionals.
When you think about the relationship you have with your hair dresser those findings are hardly surprising.
Finding a good hairdresser is no small feat – you need to not only like the way they cut your hair, but also like them as a person. After all, hair is an incredibly personal thing. A good (or bad) haircut can make you not only feel like a new person, but also look like a new person. A haircut is simply transformative – there’s something about going into a hair salon that feels akin to a caterpillar going into a cocoon and emerging as a butterfly. Maybe it’s because of the possibility of change that makes us open up to hairdressers and use a hair appointment as a therapy session; or maybe it’s because of the environment of a hair salon. Let me explain…
1. Touch – your relationship with your hairdresser is based on touch. The first thing a hairdresser will do when you sit in the seat is touch your hair, which many people are not comfortable with just anyone touching. Physical touch instantly creates a bond making it easier to open up.
2. Physical positioning – you don’t face the hairdresser, rather the client looks into the mirror and can see the reflection of the hairdresser behind them. This creates the illusion of distance and makes it’s easier to open up – much like how it’s easier to talk to someone in a car when you are looking forward and not directly at each other. The position also makes questions seem less intrusive.
3. No pressure – unlike when you talk to a therapist are family or friends there is no pressure to follow the advice a hairdresser dishes out. You can share intimate details of your life without worrying your hairdresser is going to hold you accountable.
4. Familiarity – when you find a good hairdresser (something Booksy makes easier) you tend to stick to them, visiting them every few months and developing a familiarity with them. This makes you more comfortable sharing and because they lie outside your friend and family group it often leads to more freedom to be able to talk openly.
5. Good conversationalist – let’s be honest, hairdressers have a knack for conversation. Whether it’s because it’s such a big part of their job or a requirement, hairdressers know how to make conversation. They’re also usually more open minded which makes it easier to feel comfortable with them.
Is your hairdresser your unofficial therapist?
This article was sponsored by Booksy – Booksy makes it easy to find appointments with local beauty, wellness and health professionals. Simply sign up, enter your location and the type of place you’re looking for (hairdressers, nail salons, spas, barbers and more) and Booksy finds the best locations near you. You can also directly book an appointment on Booksy and receive reminders so you never forget when your next therapy, sorry hairdressing appointment is.
Zissy is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to make things, do things and wear things.