THE UK'S FIRST LOW SENSORY SALON
Desperate for a low sensory, quieter salon experience?
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A SAFE & STRESS FREE ENVIRONMENT
SUITABLE FOR EVERYONE
Traditional hair salons are not typically a safe space for those who suffer with anxiety, autism, epilepsy or other sensory conditions.
After Lisa was left physically unable to work within the normal salon environment due to being diagnosed with a debilitating Vestibular balance disorder. This highlighted the need for change, and that is exactly what Lisa set out to do.
Lighting is one of the biggest triggers for those with chronic illness, but is also one of the most important factors for a salon. More than 100 spotlights have been removed and the remaining ones fitted with low-voltage bulbs and filters to create a lower level of brightness.
Stylists have softened, but carefully positioned, lighting around their mirrors and use head lamps for close-up colour work. Instead of stark white walls, the salon is now painted a muted grey to further soften the space.
Music can also be an issue for some, which is why the salon now only plays quiet, meditative options. Clients are encouraged to focus on breathing methods and meditation, particularly while their colour is developing.
Refreshments are also considered, with no caffeinated drinks on offer – only decaf options, herbal teas and water. Peppermint – which is great for mind stability – also features in the salon, with candles burning to create a more relaxed and stable environment.
At the backwash, there’s no lighting at all at eyeline. Clients are provided with eye masks and earplugs, so that they can focus fully on enjoying a massage and relaxing.
Lisa’s physio therapist has also visited the salon to train staff in Ayurvedic vestibular and cranial massage, for a truly blissful and therapeutic backwash experience.
The Ayurvedic massage involved a variety of pressure techniques including circular massage strokes that focus on your head, shoulders and neck regions.
LISA’S STORY &
WHAT CAUSED THE CHANGE
In December 2016, Lisa fell ill with debilitating symptoms and random attacks to her balance and headspace. Lisa suffered lasting damage to her vestibular system – the sensory system which helps with balance and spatial orientation.
This meant that salon life no longer felt like an option for Lisa, despite it being the place she most wanted to be. Visual stimulants like colours, light and motion caused intense physical pain, while anxiety and panic attacks also flared up in the now-hostile surroundings.
With a lifelong love of hairdressing and a problem-solving business brain which had already seen her launch smart initiatives like the Color Bar, Lisa decided to take matters into her own hands and radically alter her salon to make it a place where she – and others living with similar illnesses – would feel safe and welcome