The beauty industry has seen a veritable explosion of unisex products in recent years, from Rihanna’s Fenty to Harry Styles’ Pleasing – and now Perth has gotten the gender neutral treatment.
Megan Solomon opened Self Care Salon in Maylands in 2020 to create a safe, pampering space for people of all genders, abilities, races, ages and sizes.
“It’s definitely a very intimate space,” Solomon told PerthNow.
“So make it as comfortable as possible and ask people if they need anything else to feel comfortable . . . it makes it less intimidating . . . make your treatment menu gender neutral in your forms of consultation, also adding a pronoun option, telling customers your pronouns to have an open conversation and dialogue there.
Soloman has over 15 years of experience, but oddly the impetus for the studio came when she was a teenager.
“When I was about 19, I had a friend who was trans who hadn’t come out yet. So we used to have little private sessions at home where we played and talked about different treatments, basically letting them explore their femininity in a beautiful, safe space,” she said.
Self Care’s customer base has grown steadily through word of mouth and being “explicit” about providing positive experiences for underrepresented people, and now even its staff are seeking out the salon.
When Solomon first opened, she held a contest for a customer to win a treatment. About a year later, the very person who won, Talei MacBeth, emailed Solomon about the impact it had on them.
“They said, ‘I didn’t realize there were studios like yours that weren’t sexist.’ And they themselves being non-binary, didn’t think it was a space for them, even as a career option, but since they arrived they have gone to study aesthetic therapy. And they asked me if I would be willing to give them some work experience…and now they are part of my team,” said said Solomon.
“It’s most rewarding to have someone in the space who understands (customer) needs on such a deep level.”