Getting the silent treatment
KH Hair offering ‘silent appointments’ and the option to bring work into salons in post-pandemic era
During your hair appointment, if you need to work, are desperate to finish that latest page-turner, or simply want to relax in comfortable silence without the pressure of making small talk – it would seem you’re not alone. KH Hair Group has 21 salons across the East Midlands and staff say they are seeing an increase in clients who are opting for an add on treatment – of the silent variety.
At KH Hair in West Bridgford, style director, Jessica Neil, says she has noticed more clients bringing work in with them and that it’s something the salon definitely welcomes. “It’s definitely become a trend since the increase in working from home started and I don’t mind at all,” she says. “I make them comfortable, plug in their laptops, get them a drink and let them get on with it. Longer colour appointments are perfect as clients can fully relax and get stuck into their work without feeling they have to make a conversation with me. I’m just glad my clients seem happy that they are able to bring their work. It enables more time at the weekend with their family rather than having to work hair appointments around their time off, so it makes perfect sense”.
Jessica says the majority of clients who bring work in do so because they no longer work in the office but at home, so as long as their work is done it doesn’t really matter where they do it. “I have had a few clients with earphones in while on Zoom calls but that’s usually when they’re able to just listen to a meeting and not be on camera” she says.
Jessica’s client, Charlotte, agrees. “I love that I can bring my work into the salon, I get lots done while my colour is developing and Jess really doesn’t mind. Being able to work from the styling chair means I have more time in the evenings with my son rather than coming in for my hair in the day and having to catch up with work in the evening. having the flexibility to work in the salon while I’m relaxing is a great bonus”
Salon manager at KH Hair in Leicester, Joanne Roe, says that time has definitely become more precious since the pandemic. “Some people choose to spend their hair appointment relaxing and having some time for themselves, but others do struggle so switch off unless they are able to stay in touch with work.” she says. “I always try to accommodate my clients’ needs and make them feel as comfortable as I can. At the end of the day, I feel it’s the clients’ choice how they spend their hair appointment whether it be chatting, working, relaxing, reading or just being quiet. As long as they leave the salon feeling happy and with fantastic hair, I’m happy too!”
Although she doesn’t take her laptop into the salon, Joanne’s client Jane, says that being able to work while she’s in the salon gives her that extra flexibility to attend appointments during the working week. “I try and ensure that working is not too intrusive on the appointment,” she says. “I use my phone to keep my eye on emails but I don’t generally take calls. Jo and the team are very accommodating and recognise my need to keep in touch with my work. Being able to continue to work whilst at the salon helps me to relax as I know I can deal with anything urgent and am not building up tasks for when I’m back at my desk.”
Debbie McMenamin, salon director at KH Hair in Nottingham has also spotted the growing trend. “We have noticed a lot more people working from the salon,” she explains. “This started during Covid and continues today. The flexibility of remote working allows clients to come to the salon during our quieter times and work away on their laptops, enjoying free Wi-Fi and a choice of free drinks in a warm and welcoming environment. We’ve noticed that students studying during appointments is on the increase too.”
Debbie says, on the odd occasion, stylists have experienced issues with not being able to wash colours off or dry the hair if there is a meeting taking place but, in general, the team works with the client to make the appointment a success. “We do sometimes have to be discreet though if their employer doesn’t realise they are enjoying a pampering session at the same time as working!” she says.
When clients book online at KH Hair, they have an option to add any requests or comments and Debbie says, some clients do now opt for a ‘silent appointment’. “We had a client book in recently who let us know that she was coming in after a therapy session and that she wouldn’t want to talk,” she explains. “We absolutely respect that and we will always follow their wishes. We are certainly not offended. We just want our clients to get the experience they want. In general though, most clients do enjoy the chat as it’s part of the salon experience.”
Managing director of KH Hair Group, Darren Messias, believes that the Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdowns continue to have an impact on people’s mental health. “Coming into a busy salon with the pressure to make small talk can still seem overwhelming for some people as they try to get back to normal life,” he explains. “The silent treatment concept gives control back to the client. They decide if they want to talk or not and we’re absolutely fine with that. It’s our responsibility to make our clients feel comfortable, whatever way they want to experience their appointment. Not everyone wants to be asked how they are, where they’ve been, and where they’re going. Some just want to come in and relax, so, at KH Hair, we make sure that’s exactly what they do.”
Find your nearest KH Hair salon and book online at khhair.co.uk