MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ever have that awkward moment when you are getting a haircut and the conversation runs dry?
That’s not a problem at Minneapolis’ The Fox Den Salon off Lyndale Avenue.
Amidst the hustle and bustle inside the salon, it was easy to see that Fox Den owner and stylist Sica Dawn wasn’t speaking to client Kendra Powers.
“It’s not about being rude,” Powers said. “It’s about you have something to do, she has stuff to do, you know, you’re both working at the same time.”
Powers, a busy freelance photographer, is sitting in a “Quiet Chair.”
“You know, sometimes when you get your hair done, you feel like you have to make small talk with someone and it’s really nice to think I can get my work done while I sit here and I can get my hair done, too, so it’s really nice,” Powers said.
Dawn first heard about quiet chairs being used at some New York salons. Customers can tell the receptionist they would like a quiet chair and the stylist only asks a few questions and dim the lights.
So if you’re not talking, what do you do while you’re getting your new ‘do? Special see-through capes are part of the deal.
Dawn says it is the sensory experience for her clients who are on the autism spectrum, and those who don’t consider socializing to be fun.
“Anxiety is, it’s nonstop for a lot of people, just to have a place where they can come and zone out and not have to worry about social norms and fitting into social standards,” Dawn said.
For her salon, cutting out some of the meaningless conversation can mean a lot.
“I think just having control over your environment is something everybody wants,” Dawn said.
Dawn and her staff give volunteer haircuts at the Frazier Center, and that was part of her inspiration to start using the special chairs.