Salon Speak: Small Talk, Deep Talk, or No Talk, Which is Best?

Salon speak

Summary: Every time a client sits in your chair and faces the mirror with you standing behind, a choice occurs. Chat, joke, get personal, or “let it be.” How do you know what the best idea is?

First, think about what you, the stylist, prefer when it’s your turn to sit in the chair rather than behind it. How would you enjoy your time for the perfect cut and color? Then think about your clients.

Often, there is a yearning for quiet, but not always.

The norm for communication in salons until recently has often been similar to the powerful movie Steel Magnolias with Shirley McClain, Sally Field, Dolly Parton, and Julia Roberts. (What a cast!).

If you have never seen it, get ready to watch and have some tissues nearby.  

Here, a group of friends talk and help each other through trying times,

Can that caring way still work today in 2023?

Of course, it can.

We are rethinking how to be with clients in our polarized world.

However, the world is conistentious and polarized. Even the slightest disagreement with another point of view can lead to either shutting down a conversation or setting upset in motion.

Is one way better than the other for both you and your client?

There are communication options rather than one size fits all.

Does your salon have a “quiet chair” philosophy?

If not, read on and consider the benefits.

With yoga and meditation gaining more and more focus and mental health now a top priority, people are rethinking what they need to be calmer and more effective in their daily lives.

Of course, it is a basic fact that the beauty and salon industries build on relationships. You can’t order a cut and color on Amazon.

Do your clients sit down with their phones ready for scrolling? Or maybe an older client even brings a book or magazine to read. I know we all remember books!!

You can often tell how much the length requires verbal communication of the responses to your questions about what will make them feel glamorous.

Some want to talk, and others want to relax.

Here is how to figure out what your client would prefer.

The best way to help with the decision is to offer quiet chairs. Let the client decide without feeling embarrassed by saying they want you to make your magic, and let them sit silently.

Have them check off their preference before they even sit down.

Ah, no need to explain. You both know how to proceed and check a mark on a paper.

What do you think? Would this be beneficial or detrimental to your salon?

Here are the benefits of silent or quiet time in the salon.

I compiled a list to help you understand the benefits of silence in the beauty industry.

  1. Silence offers the ability to observe what is going on without the need to judge or interact.
  2. Stress is relieved. Did you know that two, that’s right, just two minutes of silence can calm you better than listening to peaceful music?
  3. You can lower cortisol adrenaline levels which reduces stress.
  4. The time can be used to think out of your traditional box of what needs to be done today. You float on a wave of being tended to for a change.
  5. There is a creative boost since you can look at a situation from a different perspective in the zone of silence.
  6. No need to apologize when you ignore what is said.
  7. There is a double benefit to getting nurtured in silence. You can stop feeling overwhelmed with the need to be polite and please others and take time to daydream and plan for your future.

Here’s another way to decide how to communicate at work

Just one more interesting fact. Women use more words per day than men do. Did you ever wonder how the Chatty Cathy doll evolved? Yup, from women who must get their quota of words out for the day. And some advice, If you want quiet and have a male stylist, book for later in the afternoon. They have fewer words then.

And let me end with something I learned from my granddaughter when she was ten. “Grandmom,” she chastised me. “You are talking too much, and I want to hear the snow falling and the wind whistling.”

We both sat in silence and listened to the sounds of silence.

Here’s to your success,

Sylvia Lafair

PS. My book “Invisible Stress (It’s NOT What YOU Think)” is an excellent guide for handling stress at work and home. You can go to and get a free copy of the introduction. Enjoy.

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Creative Energy Options

Sylvia Lafair

Creative Energy Options