All you want is a haircut. But a trip to the salon usually means getting more than that. Unless you're meeting up with a hairstylist who doubles as your BFF, the expectation of chitchat at the hair salon can mean plenty of awkward, forced and unenthusiastic conversation between you and your hairstylist. So why not set some ground rules to avoid the situation altogether?
That's what a salon in the United Kingdom is trying to do with its new "quiet chair." Clients at Bauhaus, a salon in Cardiff, South Wales, now have the option to book an appointment free of any expected conversation.
"Most of our clients love a good chat, especially our regulars, but we knew of people who had been put off having a regular hair stylist because they worried about the expectation of conversation," Scott Miller, the owner of Bauhaus, told Mic via email.
The quiet option is available to customers at the salon's two locations in Cardiff, according to a press statement from the salon. The idea for a "quiet chair" arose when some clients said they knew people who struggled with or didn't like small talk, Miller said in the email.
Hair salon chitchat is widely disdained and even feared by the awkward, sullen or anxious among us. "Does anybody else here feel awkward going to the hair salon to get your hair done?" is a common sentiment, as there seems to be two anti-social salon-goers for every chatty, confessional "I use my stylist as my therapist" one among us.
"Some clients worry they aren't good at chatting, some just don't want to do it at all and would rather relax with a magazine," Miller said. "We hope the service will give everybody exactly what they want and make for a pleasant, comfortable experience for everybody, however chatty they're feeling that day."
As someone brilliantly put it on Reddit, "I found a hairdresser where if I go in on a Saturday morning he is visibly hungover. He's not into making small talk. And it's like a dream come true."
Preach, say we — and all the other people booking the quiet chair.