Quiet chairs—the salon seats in the UK that allow you to get your hair done, sans small talk—are a dream for those who want their locks treated without having to deal with the side order of conversation (hey, it’s a thing). But why not multitask and use the silence to get mindful as your hair’s getting styled/colored/cut?
New York City salon Oscar Blandi has just introduced a collaboration with NYC meditation studio MNDFL that allows clients to opt for a guided meditation (via headphones and an iPad). Not a bad idea, considering the other options include chatting (which you don’t always want to do unless you’re BFFs with your hair person), scrolling through your social media feeds, or checking email (ugh, bringing work to your beauty treatment).
“With the fast-paced society we live in, we sometimes forget the true meaning of what a salon used to be—a time to sit, relax, enjoy, and draw away from other people to focus on ourselves,” says Oscar Blandi, the owner of the salon.
“We sometimes forget the true meaning of what a salon used to be—a time to sit, relax, enjoy, and draw away from other people to focus on ourselves.”
So, what’s this new, mindful way of getting your hair done really like? As soon as I sit down in my salon chair for a single process, I speak with celebrity hair stylist Kyle White—who’s worked with Mariah Carey, Reese Witherspoon, and Jessica Alba (among many others)—about my ideal color, then eagerly put on my headphones. (I haven’t had coffee yet at this point and a heart-opening meditation sounds like just the right thing for me.)
A video of meditation teacher Ally Bogard begins, and I immediately feel the stress from my commute (during which I was, as always, running late) dissolve. I close my eyes and try to listen to the breathing instructions. As I take away the gaps between each in breath and out breath, I sometimes get distracted by the sound of nearby clients and buzzing hair dryers. A hair salon can be a pretty chaotic environment, after all—but I attempt to complete the mindfulness practice amidst the noise.
I don’t regularly meditate, so I’ll admit I opened my eyes several times just to be aware of my surroundings. But I very much appreciate MNDFL’s and Blandi’s goal to create peace during what can be an anxiety-inducing beauty treatment (or at least to invoke a benefit for your mind as well as your locks). “The salon is not a workspace—it’s a living, relaxing environment,” notes Blandi. “We want to separate the two.” If that means I can completely log off and become better at de-stressing while getting my tresses professionally dealt with, I’ll gladly take it.
If you’re eager to work on your own mindfulness game, these are the best meditation apps to download. And feel free to browse these dreamy meditation nooks on Pinterest to inspire your practice.