Opinion | Sheryl Nadler: There are hair salons out there where silence is golden

Opinion | Sheryl Nadler: There are hair salons out there where silence is golden

I sat there, turning my phone over and over in my hands, struggling to find something to say. It’s easy, I scolded myself. You’ve been in this situation hundreds of times, just think of something. Anything. Do it now!

“Nope, no big plans for the weekend,” I finally blurted out as I watched her face fall with disappointment. Dammit. Why couldn’t you just lie, demanded the little voice at the back of my head. Other people do it. You’ve been on social media. Couldn’t you just “borrow” someone’s story about their amazing, fantastic life and amazing fantastic weekend?

Because sitting there, in the stylist’s chair in the hair salon, snippets of animated conversation, of knowing laughter, of the sharing of antic-filled stories waft over from all corners of the room. All these clients did their homework, I think to myself. Or they genuinely have fun and thought-provoking stories to share. No, that can’t be it. They’ve stolen stuff from other people’s social media feeds.

But the pressure to be interesting and entertaining at the hair salon is a real thing for some people. Which, I mean, if you’ve met me, you know what a stretch that is on my best days. So, I initially tend to awkwardly search for something to talk about, give up after five minutes, go back to reading my book on my phone.

If you are like me, you might be heartened by some recent news out of London, U.K. Not Another Salon is a London-based hair salon that claims to be the first to offer clients “silent haircuts.” When a client calls to book their appointment, they will be offered the opportunity to opt-out of chit chat while they’re having their hair done.

“While so many of us love a chin wag at the hairdressers others just need some time out and that should be OK to ask for.”

So why is it we feel embarrassed to say we need some quiet time? Why do we feel we need to bury our heads in a book and hope they get the hint? Is it that we are too British to ask?” asks the salon in a recent Instagram post.

The salon goes on to explain that the stylist will obviously continue to communicate anything that is hair-related. And points out that, despite my misguided belief that all hair professionals hope to engage in meaningful conversation with their clients, some stylists might love the break from chit-chat, as well.

The post was met mostly with praise from other salons, a few of which appeared to be based in the United States. One pointed…

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