SILENT appointments have been introduced at a hair salon to help clients with mental health issues and disabilities. 

Christina Brasilevsky is the owner of The Salon by Christina B and came up with the initiative, which means both the stylist and the customer stay quiet so that everybody feels at ease.

The salon in Royal Wootton Bassett was taken over by Christina in October and she had planned to introduce her idea before lockdown put things on hold.

She said: “I have PTSD and when I came to the salon a year and a half ago, I really struggled to talk to people. 

"I took over the salon in October, and I realised that some customers also didn’t like to talk. I had a customer turn up once, and I asked him how he would like his hair done, and he told me ‘in silence’, which has always stayed stuck in my head. 

“I did a survey on Facebook to see how others feel and the majority of them said they wanted it to be in silence. Since I announced that we will be doing these appointments, the response has been huge. 

"I find the whole small talk hard work myself, so to have that response is phenomenal.”

Customers who want to book an appointment in silence can request it over the phone or send a message to the salon on Facebook. They are then being asked to bring a photo to show how they would like their hair, and an ‘s’ is put in the diary to show the staff they want their hair done quietly.

“We work hard to make the customer feel special because you don’t want it to be an awkward silence, we want it to be comfortable for them,” said Christina. 

“It’s to help those with mental health issues and disabilities or even those who don’t like to talk. 

“I used to be a Reiki master and to become one, people have to be very broken, and I’m very open that I have mental health issues and PTSD. I understand how things can be too loud, too much, and too bright.”

Christina has had a traumatic past but will have been sober for more than a decade in May. Now she wants to help others who are struggling. 

She said: “As a teenager I was groomed and date raped, which caused me to have an addiction for many years. When I had my old salon, I had a meltdown because I hadn’t dealt with my past. I lost my business, my home, everything. 

“The hardest thing I have found getting back to work is talking to people, I’d forgotten how to talk to people. I understand mental health issues better than most because I’ve had it.

"It’s okay not to be okay, it’s time to take the stigma away.”

To find out more about silent hair appointments search The Salon by Christina B on Facebook.