Beauty therapists have long been recognised as a sounding board for clients looking to field advice around life’s highs and lows.
And while client communication skills are a necessary aspect of any industry role, filtering through oftentimes raw and confidential snippets of one’s story can at times feel burdensome for the therapist on the receiving end.
There are two parties whose mental wellbeing is to be considered – that of the client in question, as well as that of the beauty therapist who supports said client.
Last month, business management software company Timely announced the development of its free virtual masterclass entitled ‘Mental Health Training for Beauty Therapists and Hairdressers’. The four-pillar series was developed in partnership with Tom Chapman, founder of The Lions Barber Collective, and serves as a resource for employees to better understand how to navigate concerns surrounding their clients’ mental health.
We spoke with beauty industry veteran and Timely’s Global Head of Strategic Partnerships, Tamara Reid on the initiative:
Timely recently launched its virtual masterclass. What prompted Timely to do this?
“Connecting with our customers, the hair and beauty industry has always been something we’ve put front and center of our business. We feel it’s our duty as a brand who facilitates those appointments through booking software, that we support our customers as best we can by helping them navigate such conversations. Timely has always lived the value of being; more than just software, we are a community, and initiatives like this mental health Masterclass help that vision come to life.”
I understand the program took two years to develop. What were some of the key considerations the business needed to take before going live with the series?
“With many of our customers’ clients facing tough times over the past few years, we’ve heard their stories told through their visits to the hair salon or skin clinic. This experience, while a sacred one, can become taxing on the therapist or stylist performing the treatment. We’ve often asked ourselves, ‘should we wait for COVID to calm or the recession to recess’? However, we realised there has never been a perfect time to talk about mental health, and during these tender times more than others is where this education is the most needed.”
“There has never been a perfect time to talk about mental health, and during these tender times more than others is where this education is the most needed.”
What are some of the key communication skills Timely is seeking to develop in therapists completing this series?
“It’s not been our intention to become experts in the mental health space. Where we are experts, however, is the hair and beauty space. We truly understand the layers of sensitive conversations therapists and stylists unpack in the treatment room and wanted to assist them by being able to navigate those tough conversations with well-equipped conversational tools.
While some clients will openly share their experience by telling you, for others it’s in the subtle behaviour, mood, or the way one carries themselves which might be out of character for them in comparison to their general spirit, which might be the giveaway to a tender time they are experiencing. It’s those cues to yes listen, but also to recognise and monitor those clients, which is taught in the course.”
What are some things beauty therapists can do to keep their own mental health in check, whilst actively supporting their clients?
“As a trained Beauty Therapist myself, I know how taxing treating others can be. We continually give via our physical touch, our emotional energy and our mental load, so it’s important for us to continue to refill our cup so that we can continue to pour for others. Noticing when we are unable to shake a certain feeling, conversation or mood is a good place to start. Perhaps we don’t have the capacity to be the best version of ourselves during tough times and that’s okay too. Let those feelings come, sit with them and move your body slowly by going for a walk, grounding yourself with bare feet on grass, or doing some retail therapy to get back to your natural spirit.”
“It’s important for us to continue to refill our cup so that we can continue to pour for others.”
Watch the introductory episode of Timely’s masterclass series here.
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