Canadian hair salon owner, Hannah, brings inclusivity into business

By Hannah Deans on June 2nd, 2023

We reached out to Hannah, owner of Bees Knees Hair Co in Canada to find out how inviting inclusivity into your business can help your existing clients, attract new ones and ultimately grow your salon.

Please note: Salon Gold can only provide cover to Salons based in the UK.

Ever questioned if you are actually doing everything you can to make your clients feel cared for and welcome in your space? Whether you work for yourself or on a team of stylists, there are so many ways you can increase accessibility in your salon space.

Why is inclusivity important?

Every single guest you see has the right to feel that they are in a safe space in your chair. Even small changes can greatly improve your clients experience and make them feel thought of. This might seem daunting at first! You might be thinking that you don’t have the ability or resources to become a more inclusive space, maybe you’re working for a commission salon and don’t have much say in how the salon functions or you’re working with a tight budget and think shifting your space will be too expensive. There will always be something (even if it’s small) that we can do. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

How can my salon become more inclusive?

1. Gender Neutral Pricing Menus

While gender based menus are the norm and have been for years, it’s time to question why we’re still basing our prices on an outdated gender binary. Switching to an alternative method of pricing not only promotes inclusivity, it also helps our clients clearly understand how your prices are determined. You can choose the best method of relabelling and determining the formula behind your menu, personally, I use a hybrid model, meaning I based my prices on time + complexity of service to make up my menu.

2. Customisable appointments

Allowing your guests to customise their appointment to best fit their needs is another simple way we can boost inclusion without making large changes to our space. Appointment modifications like sensory friendly appointments or silent appointments communicate to our clients that we are ready to offer them a safe space. Sensory friendly appointments can be booked at a low traffic time in the salon, lights can be dimmed, and the radio can be turned off or down. Silent appointments allow for your guests who may struggle with social anxiety or just want some quiet time to enjoy their appointment in peace. I offer all these options as a part of my electronic intake forms so clients also don’t have to take additional steps to meet their requests.

3. Making sure your space is accessible to everyone

Look around your space. Are there any barriers to accessibility? Do you need to be able to walk up stairs to enter/exit your salon? Could you successfully complete a service on a client with limited mobility? Questions like this help us get a better understanding of what the problem areas are in our salons in terms of accessibility. In a perfect world every salon/stylist would be able to customise their salon to perfectly fit everyone’s needs, however, that isn’t the reality. What we can do is work towards achievable solutions to any barriers that present themselves. If your space isn’t wheelchair accessible, consider offering mobile services to accommodate those clients. If the chairs at your shampoo bowls don’t move, you could look into alternative options like mobile wash basins.

4. Team Up With Your Community

The best way we can know we are doing everything we can in terms of inclusion is to never have to tell a client that we don’t have any solutions for them. It’s absolutely ok to recognise that there are still some gaps in your ability to offer every guest an inclusive experience. For example; a guest inquires about your salon offering services for textured hair but you don’t have any staff with these skills. Our actionable task here would be having a contact list of other local salons that can better accommodate anyone you aren’t able to. This also helps build a network of salons that all have unique skills and are able to offer everyone a place. Networking like this also allows us to create a community where we discuss new challenges and how to address them.

Overall, if inclusion is on your mind, you’re already helping the community. And while it may seem daunting to start shifting into a more accessible future, these small steps tell anyone who’s watching that you’re here for them.

Check out Bee Knees Hair Co on Instagram

Hannah Deans

Hannah Deans is the owner of the inclusive Canadian salon, Bees Knees Hair Co. Their mission is to create a more inclusive experience for everyone who walks through their doors allowing guests to feel comfortable and welcomed.

All articles by Hannah Deans

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