‘It is not just about getting your hair cut, it’s about having that bit of time to rest’: salon promotes health and wellbeing

A salon in Lynn is trying to bust the stereotype of a hairdressers being a loud and busy place as it aims to improve their clients’ health and wellbeing.

GH Hair Design on St Ann’s Fort, which has recently celebrated its 12th anniversary, has mindfulness at the forefront of what it does – as well as cutting hair.

The team introduced a relaxation room after moving premises in 2020, as well as the opportunity for clients to receive a number of well-being treatments.

Gemma Harvey in GH Hair Design's relaxation room
Gemma Harvey in GH Hair Design’s relaxation room

Salon owner Gemma Harvey has told the Lynn News about the benefits that these changes to everyday life have had on not just its clients, but staff as well.

Gemma was diagnosed with ME, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, in 2018 and was advised to give up work completely.

However, she decided to take a holistic approach to managing her condition and has since learnt a number of simple techniques she tries to pass onto some of her clients who are feeling tired, stressed or burnt out.

The premises on St Annes Fort in Lynn
The premises on St Annes Fort in Lynn

Gemma said: “I searched up the condition, it’s a lifelong condition, and I’m taking the holistic approach to it.

“Some of my clients are similar in ways they behave and are burnt out, it worried me because you can see it in people.”

The relaxation room gives clients a space to unwind before or after they get their hair cut.

People can either sit and get a bit of peace and quiet or pick up a book or magazine.

“It’s not just about getting your hair cut, it’s about having that bit of time to rest. We are all so busy nowadays, you go from one job to the next,” said Gemma.

“I’ve seen a lot of clients who struggle to relax, who fill their diaries with plans and struggle to find a bit of time for themselves.”

Within its premises, GH Hair Design also offers counselling, yoga, reflexology and reiki – a Japanese spiritual type treatment that flows through the “healers” hands into the recipient’s body.

Gemma said that taking a few minutes out of your day to do simple things to benefit your mental health can prevent longer-term problems such as burnout.

She said: “Prevention is better than cure. Lowering stress levels increases your immune system.”

She also makes sure that staff working at the salon are taken care of and have sufficient break times.

Gemma said: “Hairdressing can be very stressful, there’s a stigma that you don’t have time for lunch and you live off of coffee.

“If you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others.”

Now, Gemma is hoping that other salons will follow suit and take steps to give customers a place to unwind as well as getting their hair done.

To find out more, visit the GH Hair Design website at www.ghhairdesign.co.uk or find them on social media.