For 70% of consumers, hairdressing appointments are a top form of self-care, with 58% valuing the relationship they have with their hairdresser. Almost 60% of survey respondents say they feel their hairdresser cares for them as a person, with 40% stating they share a bond with their hairdresser that goes beyond the services they provide. According to L’Oréal, hairdressers spend an average of 2,000 hours a year listening to their clients and providing professional, as well as emotional, support. To recognize the work done by hairdressers and offer them the support that they provide for so many, L’Oréal Professionnel has launched the Head Up campaign, a service providing resources for the hairstylist community.
The campaign comes after a survey by L’Oréal found that 65% of hairstylists have experienced anxiety, burnout, or depression during their professional career. The program is accessible to all hair professionals and is completely free of charge, with four educational modules being offered through L’Oréal's YouTube channel. Module 1: Mental Health ABCs—Learn how to recognize stress, anxiety, depression, and burnout in you and your coworkers; Module 2: Self-Care—Learn how to create a routine that works for you; Module 3: Setting Boundaries—Reduce work stress by setting boundaries with L’Oréal’s list of prepared, professional statements and tips; Module 4: Summary & key takeaways.
The program is presented by Hayley Jepson, a colorist who was previously a therapist, and Daniel Mason Jones, L’Oréal Professionnel Business Coach and mental health advocate.
“Hair Stylists offer a service that goes beyond a physical transformation as they care, listen, and are here for us. At L’Oréal Professionnel, it is our duty to raise awareness on their mental health and give them tools to build resilience. We are proud to launch Head Up and we hope that this long-term program will contribute to help the professional Industry,” Anne Machet, International General Manager of L’Oréal Professionnel, tells BeautyMatter.
The program begins by explaining the typical causes of popular mental health conditions and how the brain reacts to these. Jepson and Mason Jones then go on to explain the importance of self-care, and how this can help to ease symptoms of such conditions. The pair outline how regular breaks for self-care, such as taking time out to eat during work, helps to increase the serotonin hormone that accounts for feelings of happiness, ultimately leading to better work for both clients and professionals. The program also goes beyond the salon, explaining ways professionals can stay on top of their mental health at home, through activities such as exercise. For those who may experience mental health symptoms including panic attacks, the program offers information surrounding breathing exercises that are said to help those in distress regain breathing and find a moment of calm. The final element of the course covers boundaries and how to set these out clearly, ensuring the best results for a work-life balance that benefits both clients and professionals.
As part of the campaign, L’Oréal Professionnel has adopted the “twofold” sign, a gesture that signals hope in sign language and is used in yoga to ground oneself. Images of salon professionals partaking in the gesture have been used to promote the campaign. Through the promotional images, L’Oréal Professional encourages other salon workers and freelance hairstylists to share an image of themself practicing the gesture to social media using #HeadUp, in the hopes to promote the campaign and support a wider audience of professionals.
The Head Up campaign is not the first time that L’Oréal Professionnel has supported the mental health of professional beauty workers. During the pandemic, the company created Stand for Pros, an initiative that supported hair professionals with free e-learning and emotional support services. The campaign saw L’Oréal Professionnel freeze all payments from independent hair salons and stylists until business resumed again after the pandemic. It also featured uplifting elements such as a mental health–benefiting daily exercise routine video, created and presented by host Min Kim, giving those out of work something to keep themselves healthy and in high spirits.
“As a hair pro myself, I know how mental health can affect a professional’s personal and professional lives. The struggles it can cause. So, working to create resources for our community on mental health is a true opportunity for me,” adds Daniel Mason Jones. By the end of 2023, L’Oréal Professionnel’s ambition is to train 20,000 hair pros using Head Up Key’s first module, increasing to 100,000 by 2025. All resources are available to access through L’Oréal Professionnel’s website, YouTube, and on the L’Oréal learning platform, Access.
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