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Navigating Neurodivergence in Hairdressing

Neurodivergence symbol

Awareness means knowing about something, but acceptance means embracing and including it. As a salon owner, to really help your neurodiverse stylists it’s imperative you take measures to understand, support and accept. Making your clients who are on the autism spectrum more comfortable in their experience at your business is not only thoughtful and inclusive, but it also bodes well for your overall success.

Vagaro recently surveyed hair, beauty and wellness professionals on how they navigate neurodiversity in the salon, and here are the results:

  • 50% of participants identified as neurodivergent or on the spectrum
  • 27% of participants said they work on a team with a neurodivergent peer
  • 43% of participants offer services specifically tailored to meet the needs of customers on the autism spectrum
  • 56% of participants said technology and software like Vagaro is helpful in accommodating clients on the spectrum

In short, when you make folks feel welcomed and accommodated for, you become a real and ongoing resource in their life. Here’s how you can do just that…

Top tips for supporting staff

1. Implement Online Booking

An online booking system offers a streamlined process, visual aids and clear descriptions when scheduling an appointment. There are many types of autism, and for some, these are helpful tools to get the task at hand done.

2. Utilise a Check-in App

Having a digital check-in app for your business is a big one, as it relieves the social pressure and offers flexibility for clients who may feel more comfortable bypassing the front-desk situation upon appointment arrival.

3. Go Digital with Forms

When you ditch the paperwork for digital client forms, you’re giving your clients the flexibility to complete them from the comfort of their own place and pace. This can eliminate a lot of potential pre-appointment stress that some individuals on the spectrum may face. This also allows you to ask clients beforehand about any special accommodation requests (if they prefer a quiet appointment or separate area, specific sensory needs, etc.)

4. Embrace E-commerce

Having an online store for your business where clients can browse and purchase from home (or anywhere, really) is the perfect tool for avoiding the potential anxiety of crowded brick-and-mortars or face-to-face interactions for those who don’t prefer it.

5. Lean into Text Marketing

If you want to streamline your customer communication, text marketing is the way to go. It reduces the need for extra in-person interaction for those who prefer to skip it, and it also ensures your clients are getting the appointment reminders, for example, that everyone can appreciate.

Vagaro

What about supporting neurodiverse clients?

Vagaro offers online booking, a check-in app, and features like digital forms, an online store, and ways to market and communicate to clients with ease. These are just some of the ways Vagaro helps your business support neurodivergent clients. Here are some others…

  • Vagaro offers an expansive library of online webinars that users can browse or even join in real time to get the answers they need.

  • Next up in our online arsenal of flexible learning tools are support articles. These lend to the different learning styles of individuals. Fun Fact: Autism is sometimes associated with Hyperlexia, which is a “splinter skill” that’s characterized by the uncanny ability to read at breakneck speeds. It’s often accompanied by a keen interest in numbers or letters.

The customer’s experience is what differentiates a one-time visit from a loyal client. For some individuals on the spectrum, repetition and routine are big strongholds in life, so making them feel comfortable goes a long way for them and can go a long way for your business when they come back time and again. If you’d like more help and support like this, Vagaro invite you to activate your free 30-day trial of its booking and business management app, which will support you at every step.

For more Vagaro news click here

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Respect is a hub for UK hairdressers of all ages and stages to find out what We LoveWe Hear and We See as the best product launches, styling advice, hairtools, education training and seminars and hairshows! Sign up to our newsletter which is sent fortnightly direct to your email, so you stay up-to-date with salon styling information, trends in session work, advice on presenting on stage or progress in educating – whatever your interest, whether you’re a trainee or creative director, an educator or team leader, you’ll find all the opportunities and ideas on www.respectyou.me

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