June is Pride Month. The month aims to raise awareness of the lives and rights of the LGBTQIA+ community and celebrate queer love. Would you like to bring Pride Month to your hair salon too? Great idea! But before you hang rainbow flags everywhere and wallpaper your storefront with “Love is Love” stickers, give it some thought. After all, Pride Month is about much more than decorations and colorful street parades. Let’s go!
Rainbow flag in the salon: it’s all about the “why”!
Why would you want to celebrate Pride Month in your salon? If you answer “Because I want to advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, equality, and an inclusive society” to this question, you’re on the right track. After all, you should only bring up Pride Month in your hair salon if you’re honestly behind the cause and it’s actually important to you to bring attention to queer issues. Taking the whole thing as a funny marketing occasion doesn’t really help the community and lacks the necessary respect for a complex issue.
Beware of Rainbow Washing!
By the way, there is a term for such abusive marketing: rainbow-washing. Those who market on queer issues to make a profit, but in fact are not behind the LGBTQIA+ community at all, are engaging in rainbow-washing. On the one hand, of course, this is bad for the company, but on the other hand – and this is even more important – such practices undermine the LGTBQIA+ movement. So if you want to celebrate Pride Month in your salon, you should first question all your ideas to see if they would really help the community or only benefit you.
Rainbow in the hair salon: 7 good ideas
So how can you bring the wonderfully colorful Pride Month into your salon? Below we have listed a few inspirations for you. Important: You can use these actions to create awareness in your salon in the short term – but ideally, of course, you should engage with the community throughout the year. Stigmatization and exclusion unfortunately take place in many places throughout the year.
#1 Rainbow hair
Rainbow in the hair? You’ve got that down pat. Draw special attention to this opportunity during Pride Month: with images on salon flyers, information on your website and social media channels, or even in conversation with your customers.
Pride Month is THE opportunity to organize a nice customer event once again. As part of this, you can provide a platform for one or more members from the LGBTQIA+ community at your salon. For example, invite a queer person to speak about life and challenges in the community. Meanwhile, you can provide your customers with colorful makeup and hairstyling, mix colorful cocktails or paint your customers’ nails colorfully. Temporary hair tattoos are also sure to be a hit with your clientele.
Of course, if you want to celebrate Pride Month properly, you can’t skimp on colorful decorations. Rainbow flags, colorful garlands, stickers and candles in different colors are just a few of thousands of possibilities. With rainbow décor, you’re signaling to your queer clients that your salon is a safe space for them and they can enter without hesitation. Attention: Colorful decoration just for the sake of decoration quickly looks like Rainbow-Washing. So the decorations in your salon should just be the icing on your Pride celebrations.
#4 Social Media
Show the world that your salon stands behind the LGBTQIA+ community! And where better to show yourself to the world than on social media? What exactly you post is up to you: It can be pictures of customers with receding hairlines, information about Pride Month, an appeal for donations or your beautifully decorated salon. This could look like this, for example:
If you want to support the LGBTQIA+ community not only with attention but also with money, you can also start a customer campaign. You can donate a portion of your profits or call for donations. An overview of possible organizations that you can support with your salon can be found here, for example.
#6 Colorful team pictures
How about a team picture in rainbow colors? To make a colorful statement, you can put on colored t-shirts for your pictures, hang rainbow flags around your neck, dye your hair, and and and. Such images can also be used wonderfully for your social media channels or website. The point behind this, of course, is to pay attention to queer issues within your team. This brings us to the next point:
#7 Internal address
Create space and awareness for LGBTQIA+ community issues within your team. Pride Month is a great time to make your point and raise awareness among your team. It also gives you a chance to talk to your employees: Have there been critical incidents with customers or team members in the past where discrimination has taken place in any way? Do you have queer staff:ers who want change? This way you can also find out if you are an attractive employer for members of the community.
Colorful always goes!
Now you may have gotten a little inspiration for what you can do during Pride Month to properly celebrate Rainbow Month in your salon. However, it’s at least as important to create awareness of LGBTQIA+ community issues throughout the rest of the year and show that you are a queer-friendly salon. Here’s what you can do the rest of the year:
- Social media: keep posting on queer issues and make it clear that your salon respects queer people and stands up for their rights.
- Use gender-neutral language: Use language that is inclusive of all your customers. In our article “‘Customers’ gender: Which spelling is correct?” for some suggestions on how to address your clientele in a gender-neutral way.
- Question collaborations: make sure you are not partnering with an anti-LGBTQIA+ business with your salon. If this is the case, all your efforts will become implausible. A first starting point: You can get listed as an LGBTQ+ friendly business on Google . By the way, you can do the same for your salon.
- Donate profit: Making money off LGBTQIA+ marketing smells suspiciously like rainbow-washing. So if you make money from your Pride marketing (for example, through product sales or customer promotions), consider donating a portion of your profits.
Say it with stickers!
To let members of the LGBTQIA+ community know right away that they’re welcome to join you, you can also use colorful stickers. You can put these on your door, window, or anywhere inside your store to show: We are an LGBTQIA+ friendly business and stand behind the community. Where are you supposed to get such stickers now all of a sudden? It’s easy: we’ve put together a little pack of Pride stickers for you to download for free and then use as you please. Happy Pride!