Psychotherapist using hairdressing skills to help adults with mental health issues
Dot Prout offers her unique service at Peace Hair & Beauty in Oreston.
A Plymouth psychotherapist is using her hairdressing skills to help improve the mental health of her clients.
Dot Prout was working as an art psychotherapist for adults with mental health and learning disabilities when she decided to enrol on a hairdressing course at City College Plymouth. She initially thought the training would come in useful when she retired and might need a way to boost her income.
But while on a voluntary placement during her Level 2 Hairdressing course she was struck by the close connection between the hairdresser and the customer – discovering the therapeutic potential of a good quality salon experience.
Since completing her course Dot has been working with Peace Hair & Beauty in Oreston to create a weekly ‘quiet’ hairdressing service for people who find salons daunting and overwhelming.
She has started her own hairdressing venture ‘Full Head Esteem’ while also working at Stars Hair & Day Spa at City College Plymouth.
Dot, who previously worked for Livewell Southwest, said: “On my voluntary placement, I was noticing the rapport established within moments of a client taking their seat.
“They reached a level of therapeutic intimacy it would take me, as a psychotherapist, weeks to establish.
“I found myself responding to people in a more honest and real way and I witnessed my clients leaving the salon lifted in mood and self-confidence.
“This led to the idea to create a specialist hairdressing service that would improve access to high street hair salon experiences.
“I felt the balance shift from my hairdressing being a fun thing to do in my spare time to something I felt most passionately about and wanted to be focusing all of my time and energy on.
“In partnership with Julia Calvert at Peace Hair & Beauty, I am creating a ‘quiet’ space for people who find the activities of a hair salon daunting. I will be doing all that I can to adapt my practice, so that people feel relaxed and can fully enjoy the experience at Peace Hair & Beauty Salon.
“Another strand of the work will be to raise awareness and help hairdressers and salon owners to develop the skills they need to adapt the way they provide services and the salon environment.”
To book an appointment with Dot at Peace Hair & Beauty Salon call 01752 402222.