At Philocaly Hair Extensions, we believe in the power of inclusive salons and the importance of creating a safe and welcoming space for all individuals.
In this feature, we'll dive into The Junction Salon's unwavering commitment to embracing diversity and empowering self-expression.
From their thoughtfully designed gender-neutral pricing to their genuine care for every guest, discover how The Junction fosters a sense of belonging and celebrates the unique beauty in each individual...
Tell us a little bit about The Junction!
Welcome to The Junction, A safe space to be YOURSELF.
Hi! I'm Kristina, I am a hairstylist by trade and opened the doors to The Junction Creative Studio in Regina, SK, in September 2015.
How has The Junction Creative Studio evolved?
The Junction is a community focused, creative space that offers team-based hairstyling services, massage therapy, and showcases local arts and handmades.
We surround ourselves with creative folks, new ideas, and aren't afraid to do things a little bit differently. We are a forever evolving, eclectic space, we lead with curiousity, creativity, and of course, love.
How do your values define The Junction community?
I am a morally-driven leader, and very much lead with the heart before anything else.
When building my team, it was important to be transparent about my expectations, and values when it came to people, their comfort, care, and sense of belonging.
The Junction had to be a comfortable and safe space for team members, customers, and community. People who care about people. The Junction is a space that celebrates individuality, and one where everyone belongs.
What is the first step for stylists wanting to create a more inclusive space?
When we make any decision regarding the business, we always take into consideration how things affect our space, the team, and our guests. Without one, we don't have the other, so we are very mindful and grateful for all three.
The first step to being an inclusive space, in my opinion, is knowing that there's always work to be done, and always room for improvement. We have to keep asking questions and remain curious.
We learn so much from the folks around us, being better is all about listening and adapting.
How does gender-neutral pricing redefine fairness in hair services?
From day one, we've offered gender neutral pricing for our hair services. This is a simple adjustment that really makes a lot of sense.
I saw a meme the other day: "how much for a men's coffee"...
I feel that gender-based pricing may not seem strange to some, because it's "how things have always been"... once you re-frame it to coffee, it's like "oooooh kay that doesn't actually make sense does it?"
What small adjustments can make a big impact in creating an inclusive salon experience?
Alongside having gender neutral pricing, some small adjustments that can make a big impact are:
- Having a section for pronouns on online booking forums, as well as a prompt that folks can fill out "is there anything that you'd like us to know to make your visit more comfortable?"
- Welcoming guests into your space, giving them a tour, showing them where your washroom is (gender-neutral washroom signage).
- Asking folks if they are in the mood to chat or would prefer quiet time... reassuring them that there's no wrong answer.
- Pronouns on our name tags as well as our website and socials.
- Using captions for video on social media.
- having chairs without arms in the waiting area.
- Asking for permission prior to touching someone's hair.
- Asking if folks would like to take their hair home with them (this is for cultural, spiritual, creative purposes and beyond).
- Asking if folks are comfortable having their photo taken, prior to taking it.
- Work, volunteer, support, and get to know communities around you.
How can salons build connections and collaborate with local communities?
There is a lot of great education that you/your team can take locally and virtually.
I really believe that we have to hold ourselves accountable for our learning as service providers. It takes time and effort, but we owe it to ourselves, to our clients, and to our industry.
Some initiatives that The Junction has participated in include:
- Safer Space workshop with University of Regina Pride
- Dress Code Project
- Cultural Difference training
- Neurodiversity Consult
- Texpert Collective
- Working with Sask Abilities
- Strands for Trans
It's important to know that hair is a part of self expression!
Folks shouldn't be afraid to ask for what they want.
We, as stylists, shouldn't be trying to talk guests out of certain cut or style, it's our job to empower and create looks that align with our clients’ self expression.
Don't assume someone's style preferences based on what they've always had or what they looked like coming into the space. Beauty standards are made up, honestly. There is no right or wrong way to be beautiful.
Let's celebrate folks for the one-of-a-kind humans that they are, and customize looks to suit their style goals.
How can we connect with you?
Want to connect? Let's!
Visit our website and our Instagram...
Frank aka Fran Gilboy
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