Hairdressers have the potential to be gatekeepers for their clients. They are placed in the role of informal helpers because clients often raise personal and emotional problems with them during appointments. In the current study, 136 hairdressers completed self-report surveys about the types of problems raised by clients, hairdresser responses, ability to select appropriate helping responses to disclosures, interest in training, and preparedness to help. Of the problem types discussed, 43% comprised moderate to severe problems. Greater years of hairdressing experience were related to a better ability to identify appropriate responses. The multiple regression model found that 44.8% of the variance in hairdresser preparedness was predicted by whether substance use and violence problems were raised, supportive responses, unhelpful responses, and supportive emotions. Results provide support for hairdressers as potential gatekeepers and identify areas of training that may lead to increased preparedness for this role.
Available for download on Wednesday, December 31, 2025