How This Hair Stylist Created a Sensory-Friendly Salon for Autistic People
Stevie Vincent set out to make her salon a place where her autistic clients could feel comfortable while getting their hair done. Vincent understands the value of finding a comfortable environment. She lives with ADHD and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Many autistic people find getting a haircut overwhelming, as the experience can be an almost unbearable sensory ordeal.
"It feels like everything is too much and I'm kind of being swallowed up," said salon customer Bee Strike. “I'm autistic and I have ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). My average experience with hairdressers is generally places that come with a lot of sensory overload.”
"I've spent so much time being uncomfortable. I don't want anyone else to be uncomfortable," salon owner Stevie Vincent said.
Vincent understands the value of finding a comfortable environment. She lives with ADHD and post-traumatic stress disorder.
She’ll switch over from noisy clippers to scissors if that's what her customer needs, because sometime the noise can just be too much. She also offers face shields and lets customers sniff products. She will also describe a product's texture before applying them to hair.
Customers like Bee Strike struggle with the stickiness of hair gel, so Vincent uses alternative styling products.
Sensory overload can also upset neurotypical people so being accommodating can help the wider population, too.
“I want people to feel as comfortable as they possibly can. Being able to find out what someone needs, it's not that hard to cater for it,” Vincent said.
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