For some, having to keep up chat about mundane topics that don’t veer into ‘risky’ territory (politics, religion and health are common matters stylists try to avoid) can make booking a visit seem more daunting than it should be.
While many stylists pride themselves on ‘reading the room’ and knowing when their client is less keen to converse, one salon chain is formalising an approach that is increasingly popular overseas.
Rodney Wayne has introduced a ‘no small-talk’ service across its salons nationwide for clients that want to preserve the time to wind-down and relax without needing to carry on a conversation. The option can be selected discretely online prior to an appointment.
The salon says it has been introduced to better serve the needs of its clients, particularly those with social anxiety, and to ensure everyone finds getting their hair done a positive experience.
Of course key details will be communicated – you won’t walk out with a big chop when you were only after a trim! – but otherwise you are free to unwind and recharge according to your comfort level while having your hair attended to with the same level of professional attention as usual.
In a statement the salon says they understand social interactions can vary significantly from person to person.
“While some find small talk enjoyable and energising, others prefer a quieter and more contemplative environment. At Rodney Wayne, we always aim for a balance of 95% professional and 5% personal when speaking with our guests. In determining the exact proportion, we take our cue from you.”
The service was created after salon staff were approached by TV current affairs show Paddy Gower Has Issues. The show was researching the story of someone whose social anxiety makes them nervous about going to the hairdresser because they are worried about having to hold a conversation. Paddy Gower and reporter Karen O’Leary were interested in the hairdressers’ and stylists’ perspectives.
“During the filming it became clear that Rodney Wayne could provide an extra service to make visiting the salon a more comfortable experience for people who may otherwise have been hesitant.”
The option can be prearranged by selecting the service online and your salon will be notified prior to your appointment with no explanation needed.
“Whether you want a moment to catch up on emails and messages, enjoy a little quiet time, or whether you prefer not to feel the need to engage in conversation, you are most welcome to select this new appointment option. No judgments are made, and there is no need to explain your choice.”