We spoke with three salon owners who are going the extra mile to connect with clients and forge a bond that runs deeper than hairdressing.
We’ve heard it all before: A hairstylist is like a client’s therapist. But all jokes aside, it’s kind of true, right? Clients will often divulge to you their most personal and vulnerable life issues. So it should come as no surprise that some salon owners are beginning to offer alternative services, such as energy treatments, to connect with clients on a more spiritual level.
“It’s transformative. Not only do I have the opportunity to transform someone’s outer look, I also have the ability to transform their inner light,” says Adina Doss, owner of Adina Doss Mastery, a Salon Republic suite in Santa Monica, Calif.
Adina Doss is the owner of Adina Doss Mastery, a Salon Republic suite in Santa Monica, California, and has been an international artist for Redken for more than 20 years.
For the past five years, Doss has been offering, customized energy services, including guided meditation, chakra balancing and reiki services, which have helped her forge deeper connections with clients. “I don’t tap into this space unless they invite me,” she says. “It’s when they do that we’re able to get into intuitive communication.”
Doss also performs sacred hair ceremonies, which include sage, a scalp massage with essential oils, hair treatments with crystal combs and ritualistic haircuts. Also, she is a certified crystal reader and offers angel card readings, which focus on spiritual guidance from higher powers, and cord-cutting rituals to help clear away negative energy from people. “Some people tear up,” she says. “It really lets go of a lot of things for them and they feel lighter on the inside and outside.”
These types of practices aren’t limited to American salons. North of the border, Janalyn Renée, owner of Saskatoon- based Soul Salons, has found energy services to be helpful with her own struggles. “I was having a lot of anxiety and depression issues in hair school and as I was healing myself with energy services, I started to see how it blended into the hair world,” she says.
Katie Thackeray is the owner of Vivid in Lloydminster, Alta., a family-owned business she shares with her mother and two sisters. Vivid is a Green Circle salon carrying Aveda and Schwarzkopf Professional products.
In addition to offering reiki and wellness treatments, Thackeray also offers astrology readings. “Being open to trying something different can really encourage a lot of self-healing,” she says. “It’s not something we push on people. For us, it’s just about opening the door and finding out how we can help them be well within themselves.”
And while each of these salon owners have had their share of skeptics, they haven’t let that stop them from offering these energy services in addition to traditional hair services. “One will not replace the other,” says Doss. “I’m still a hairstylist who’s passionate about hair and providing services. But another part of me wants to give this to people. Taking them through the journey and still doing all the things that I do for a regular guest is just adding that extra little bit to make them feel safe in making and creating change.”
Janalyn Renée is the owner of Soul Salons, a Saskatoon- based Green Circle salon with a wellness approach, carrying Neuma and Kevin.Murphy products.
For Renée, it began three years ago during a trip to Maui, where she discovered crystal combs and the eye-opening book Awakening Hair: Caring for Your Cosmic Antenna by Laura Sullivan and Linda Deslauriers. “I really believe that hairdressing is a lost healing art,” she says. “Your hair is like spiritual antenna—it’s an extension of ourselves; a sensory tool we don’t even know that’s there.”
Renée shifted her business from a traditional salon space to her home, where she’s created an intimate environment to offer energy healing services for her clients. “People aren’t just coming to me for a physical transformation; they’re coming for a physical, mental, emotional, energetic, spiritual transformation,” she says.
Setting aside specific days for these services, Renée offers spiritual cuts featuring energy and reiki treatments, cord-cutting and crystal comb- outs before a zen head massage and a purification hair wash. “I just take all the stuff that’s coming up to the surface and wash it down the drain,” she says. “I prefer to do a more natural haircut that’s slower and has a more yin-like style; not rushing through the hair so it’s very relaxing for the client. Sometimes I’ll incorporate hair balancing—a more precise, sacred, geometric haircut. After styling, I do a little grounding ceremony at the end to wrap it all together.”
After experiencing physical and emotional struggles behind the chair, Katie Thackeray, owner of Vivid in Lloydminster, Alta., began offering wellness services to clients.
“As hairstylists, I truly believe we are in the industry of caregiving,” she says. “I feel that my job has given me the opportunity to have deeper conversations while learning how to release energy from other people. I’ve also learned different ways to shake off that energy from myself as well.”