NHF survey challenges uniform thinking
A recent poll conducted by the National Hairdressers’ Federation quizzed its members about the merits (or otherwise) of a staff uniform - and unexpectedly stirred up some heated debate and major differences of opinion.
Of the more than 330 members who responded, 32% said that everyone in their salon/barbershop had to wear the same clothes in the same style (usually trousers and tunics) whereas 39.5% left it to their staff to choose what they wore, so long as it adhered to the salon’s general dress code (usually something black).
That left 19.5% of respondents, who largely preferred to ‘encourage employee individuality’ and let their staff wear whatever they liked, and 9% who said that although their beauty therapists wore a uniform – no doubt to give a cleaner and more clinical appearance – their hairdressers did not have to.
For salons and barbershops that did require a uniform, 82% of employers provided it to their employees themselves, although the cost of the uniform, either to the salon or their staff, was another important consideration: 21% said that it is expensive providing uniforms, and 21% also stated that staff did not want to pay for their own uniforms.
Among the pro-uniform comments were claims that staff felt more professional wearing a uniform and that it saved wear and tear on their own clothes. However, included in the anti-uniform comments was the mention that, since hairdressing is a fashion industry and fashion tastes are always changing, uniforms don’t work out very well.
“What next?” asked one respondent, “All the same hair do’s, face masks and rubber gloves? Long live fashion and creativity.”
And whatever side of the argument you’re on, we are sure that – in that last comment at least – none of us could agree more.