How-To: Ensure Emotional Wellbeing for Salon Staff

Elizabeth Faye explaining the meaning behind emotional wellbeing and how to improve it for you and your salon staff.
Elizabeth Faye explaining the meaning behind emotional wellbeing and how to improve it for you and your salon staff.
Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Emotional wellbeing is key for beauty and wellness professionals. We all experience different levels of sensitivity and stimulus from our client interactions, so take these tips and create emotional wellbeing in the way that works best for YOU. So much of our career is about pouring into other people emotionally, mentally, artistically and technically. Let's dive into what emotional wellbeing is and how we can improve it.

What Is Emotional Wellbeing?

Emotional wellbeing is our ability to handle all the stressors of life and business and being able to adapt and have emotional flexibility. Our emotions are "energy in motion." They are visitors, and to process our emotions, we need space to process and feel them. Having tools for emotional regulation and tools for expressing our emotions in healthy ways is key for emotional wellbeing. This will benefit you as a someone who is constantly in other peoples energetics and emotions.

Emotional Boundaries

This one is for my empaths and those who feel deeply. First off, your sensitivity is actually a super power and we don't want to shove that away. We do want you to not feel drained after working with people day in and day out.

A great way to create some emotional hygiene is to have silent boundaries. These are like agreements with yourself to turn conversations around and not dig or open up an emotional can of worms. Although our client relationships are one of the most rewarding parts of our job, this can be one of the harder parts for those who are highly sensitive or empathetic. Some simple practices to set emotional boundaries are provided below.

  • Not asking questions to dig too deep into conversations.
  • Practicing active listening.
  • Taking conversation breaks by offering clients the offer to have a more relaxing appointment with a book, podcast or magazine.
  • Enjoying the silence
  • Changing the subject kindly if you feel drained or overstimulated.

Emotional Support System

This is important for everyone but is super important for beauty and wellness pros who are constantly creating and giving. I recommend having safe spaces for expression like working with a life coach or therapist, even when things aren't "wrong." This can allow you some space to process and move through anything you are carrying around.

Another practice that I offer monthly inside of my mastermind is a monthly breathwork session. There is so much science that shows how using simple breathwork and mindfulness techniques allows us to discharge emotions and stress and massively improve our nervous system's ability to regulate itself. A more regulated nervous system will change the way you feel and how you experience your day to day life and how you move through emotions on the day to day.

Emotional Hygiene and Agreements in the Salon

This one is for the leaders of salons and spas. When you lead a team, you are dealing with lots of different opinions, personalities, lifestyles and of course emotions. Being more emotionally regulated and intelligent will help you massively as a leader but will also help you as an owner and team leader.

Create agreements within your salon culture of how and where your team can find support and how we can all respect each other. For many years, salons had a "leave it at the door policy," which can remove the human aspect and assume that we can shove things down. I believe with heart centered leadership, there is a middle ground — one where we can serve our clients and be there for them during the appointment and one where we can be honest with our owner and team about where we are emotionally.

There can be grey areas with this, and this is where you have to trust your intuition to lead with humanity and your heart. For me, I would have ways that my team can recognize and share a bit about where they are but also know that it is part of their job to serve.

In my business, it would look like this: 

Support. I would create a culture and environment where my team knows where to go for support if needed and also boundaries of when/where and how to ask for support so it is at a respectful time for all. I would also have an open door policy to allow my team to know I am here and safe to talk about what is happening. I would want my team to be able to share in the back room a small bit of where they might be, "Hey guys, my husband and I are going through a hard time and today I am feeling sad. If I seem melancholy or energetically different, that is what is going on. Thanks for your support."

Respect. I would teach my team it is not our job to do therapy, gossip or fix anything for our team members but rather to just acknowledge, show compassion and be loving. The team might hug or say "We see you. Thanks for telling us. Always here for you." And then we would have a great day. This creates safety with emotions and expression without creating a scenario that is over burdening to the team emotionally but also allows the team member struggling to not have to hide or feel burdened by shoving down their human emotions.

Self Care as a Culture

Create a standard in our lives where we prioritize self care as part of our regular day to day. This may look different for everyone, but make wellness a company value of your brand and beauty business. How can we normalize pouring into ourselves first so then we can serve our clients from overflow? How can we all create small and simple healthy habits that support our wellness and emotional wellbeing?

One of the slogans of my brand is "When we feel good, we do good." So, I invite you today to make space for all of you and bring these tools, boundaries, tips and emotional awareness into your beauty business.

Elizabeth Faye (@heyelizabethfaye) is a certified business/trauma informed life coach for beauty industry entrepreneurs, educators and brands. She has over 10 years of experience and has served thousands of entrepreneurs and over 20 organizations.

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