Space Coast Barbers Give Men Room To Talk 

By  //  June 3, 2021

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We all know that looking our best helps us to feel our best but, in 2021, Florida barbers are going one step beyond for the wellbeing of their clients.  

How Florida barbers are helping to tackle male suicide rates

In 2020, 2,975 people in Florida took their own lives, according to statistics from the Medical Examiner’s office.  In a year like no other, isolation, stress and financial uncertainty proved to be devastating for a huge number of people – many of whom did not seek professional help for a number of reasons. 

Barbers in Florida are helping to tackle the problem of male suicide by actively encouraging their clients to open up about their issues and to encourage them to get the help that they need for the mental wellbeing.

Therapy is a snip in the Sunshine State

It’s long since been recognized that the barber chair can often represent an informal version of the counselor’s couch and, can provide a vital lifeline to those suffering in silence.  When he had to close his salon for two months due to the pandemic, Victor Chavarria, a barber of 62 years, was worried about more than just his lost income – Victor says, “I can tell you some stories – I’ve seen and heard it all standing behind this chair.  When I had to close the shop for two months, I worried about customers who may not have any other contact with people”.  

In a recent survey by Booksy, it was revealed that 43% of hair professionals see their role as twofold – part hairstylist, part therapist, providing a listening ear for troubled clients.  

While barbers in Florida don’t, of course, claim to be mental health professionals, their contributions have almost certainly saved lives and provide a vital connection for those who may not have anybody else to talk to. 

Snipping away at the silent killer

Florida’s unique demographics certainly add to the mix when it comes to loneliness and isolation.  Across Florida, there are some 4.5 million seniors aged 65 and above, many of whom live alone.  The very real sense of isolation suffered by some of these people was undoubtedly exacerbated by the pandemic due to the need to self-isolate as well as stores and restaurants closing their doors. 

Loneliness can affect your health in lots of ways. You may not be able to get out to buy healthy foods – or you may not have the motivation to cook for one. And not getting enough mental stimulation increases the chance of depression and dementia”.  Dr. Sarah Jarvis

Cutting hair – and blood pressure

A revolutionary new study in Orlando Florida has gone one step further by bridging the gap between the barber and the pharmacist to educate customers about blood pressure issues and to even prescribe medication in the salon.  The results showed that, at the beginning of the study, top blood pressure points fell by up to 27 points in clients and, there are now plans to roll the program out to other states. 

As restrictions finally begin to lift, there’s renewed hope for clients who have been missing out on the company and connection offered by their local barber.  Despite this, some distancing measures are still in place which mean that bookings in salons are more limited than normal. 

A lot of Florida barbers are getting onboard with Booksy’s scheduling and management app to help them make sure that every minute counts when it comes to seeing their clients.  The Booksy app allows customers to book and manage their own appointments – and salon owners to easily manage their scheduling, inventory and marketing; leaving more time to spend with their clients. 

Beauty is more than skin deep

With barbers and hairdressers once more open for business, many are looking forward to unlocking their doors – and their customer’s tongues in a bid to bring issues out into the open.  Faith Coleman, stylist at Mystic Hair, says, “You help people feel beautiful inside and out and you are able to connect with them”.  For a large number of people, that connection may just turn out to be a lifesaver.