My name is Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka, and as a clinical psychologist and hairstylist, I’ve always believed in the power of nurturing both the mind and body. 

I recognize the unique position hairstylists have as caregivers in facilitating healing conversations. 

Our hair salons are sanctuaries, spaces where the act of hair care often blossoms into deeper emotional care. 

When a client shares their trauma or distress, it’s crucial we, as hair stylists, handle these moments with grace, empathy, and professionalism. 

I want you to transform these vulnerable moments into opportunities for healing and connection with your clients.

Here, I want to share some thoughtful scripts that can help guide these delicate conversations during hair appointments. 

Feel free to practice these before your appointments or with other stylists.

You can also bring these scripts to the larger hair community conversation. 

They could help others behind the chair handle these sensitive moments and connect more deeply with their clients. 

What to Say if a Client Shares a Traumatic Experience

Thank you for trusting me with your story. I’m here to support you, not just with your hair but as someone who cares. 

While I’m not a therapist, I believe in the power of listening. How can I make today’s appointment a comforting space for you?

This script is designed to acknowledge your client’s courage in sharing their experience and to

reinforce your supportive role as their hairstylist. 

It’s important to maintain professional boundaries while offering empathy and a listening ear.

What to Say if a Hair Client Shows Signs of Distress

I can see this is really affecting you, and it’s OK to feel this way. 

Is there something I can do right now to make you feel a bit more at ease? 

Sometimes, a little change in our environment can help. 

Would you like me to adjust the lighting, play some soothing music, or maybe we can take a few moments of silence together?

This approach helps to validate your client’s feelings without pressing for more details about their trauma or distress.

It offers immediate, gentle solutions to comfort them, emphasizing your role in creating a safe and calming atmosphere in your salon or booth.

What to Say if a Hair Client Might Need Professional Support

I’m really moved by what you’ve shared with me, and I’m here for you. 

It also sounds like speaking to a professional could offer you additional support. I can provide you with some contacts if you’re interested. 

Remember, taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your hair.

Here are a few resources and open helplines to contact:

By suggesting professional support, this script gently encourages your client to seek further help if they haven’t already, without making them feel pressured. 

It’s a reminder of the hairstylist’s care for their overall well-being — beyond the salon chair.

In the intimate setting of hair care, our role as stylists extends beyond creating beauty externally. We have the opportunity to touch lives and offer moments of healing and understanding for our clients. 

These free scripts are just starting points, and I encourage all hairstylists to adapt them to their own voice and the needs of their clients. 

Remember, the goal is to create a safe space where clients feel seen, heard, and valued — not just for their appearance but for their entire being. 

Let’s continue to weave compassion into every strand of our work, creating beauty that truly resonates from the inside out.

Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka is a clinical psychologist, stylist, and global expert on the connection between mental health and hair.

She’s the brains behind PsychoHairapy — a global mental health and hair movement. Read more about it here. Or check out her free webinar with Schedulicity. 👇