Whether it be a hair salon or barbershop, LGBTQIA+ people often feel gender stereotypes can give way to prejudice when it comes to getting a haircut. With more Pride events taking place all over the UK, the experts at Chris & Sons, distributor to the hair and beauty industry, have put together some of their top tips on how to make your hair salon more LGBTQIA+ inclusive.
“Making your hair salon more LGBTQIA+ inclusive involves creating an environment that is welcoming, respectful, and inclusive for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities,” says Andrew Vassiliou, Director of Chris & Sons. “Remember, this is an ongoing process, and it requires consistent effort, open-mindedness, and a commitment to learning and evolving. By implementing these steps, you can create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ clients and staff members.”
Educate yourself and your staff
Take the time to educate yourself and your staff about LGBTQIA+ identities, issues, and terminology. Attend workshops, seminars, or online courses that focus on LGBTQIA+ inclusivity in the workplace. This knowledge will help you create a more understanding and respectful environment.
Review and update policies
Review your salon’s policies and ensure they are LGBTQIA+ inclusive. This includes having non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies that explicitly mention sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics. Make sure these policies are communicated to your staff and clients.
Train your staff
Conduct LGBTQIA+ sensitivity training for your staff. This training should focus on respectful language, appropriate behaviour, and understanding different gender identities and pronouns. Emphasise the importance of treating all clients with dignity and respect.
Use inclusive language
Create an environment where all clients feel comfortable by using inclusive language. Train your staff to avoid assumptions about clients’ sexual orientation or gender identity. Use gender-neutral language when addressing clients or discussing hairstyles and ask clients about their preferred pronouns.
Display inclusive signage
Show your support for the LGBTQIA+ community by displaying inclusive signage or symbols, such as rainbow flags or stickers, in your salon or barbershop. This can signal to LGBTQIA+ clients that your salon is a safe and welcoming space.
Offer diverse hairstyling services
Ensure your salon offers a wide range of hairstyling services that cater to different gender expressions. Train your staff to provide hairstyles that are inclusive and gender-affirming and be open to discussing individual clients’ preferences and needs.
Collaborate with LGBTQIA+ organisations
Establish partnerships or collaborations with local LGBTQIA+ organisations or community groups. This can help you build connections with the LGBTQIA+ community, gain insights, and show your commitment to inclusivity.
Stay updated and evolve
Stay informed about current LGBTQIA+ issues, trends, and evolving terminology. As language and understanding around LGBTQIA+ identities progress, be open to adapting your salon’s practices and language accordingly.
Seek feedback and listen
Create opportunities for clients and staff to provide feedback on your barbershop’s inclusivity efforts. Actively listen to concerns, suggestions, and experiences to continuously improve your salon’s LGBTQIA+ inclusivity.