Editor's comment: why wellness needs to be more authentic

The remit of salons and spas is often underestimated. Clients walk through the door wanting to change their mood just as much as their appearance, whether that’s through an aesthetic treatment to boost confidence, a massage to relax the mind or simply the chance to take a few minutes out for themselves.

The wellness movement is sometimes accused of being elitist, but wellness is about more than organic superfoods and yoga retreats. Sometimes an express mani delivered by a good listener is enough to help clients leave feeling more balanced.

An increasing number of salon owners are going one step further in the pursuit of wellness for the masses, moving beyond the salon walls to influence the wellbeing of the wider community. Following last month’s news of salons offering free facials to encourage women to go for cervical smear tests, this month has seen other beauty pros launch initiatives to help disadvantaged young people locally, with training to help them master new beauty skills that could help them find employment. Find out more in the March issue of Professional Beauty.

The initiatives are born out of a desire to give back to the community without commercial gain, marking a sharp contrast to the increasing number of “wellness without substance” enterprises creeping into the industry. In their haste to tap into a growing trend for self-improvement and empowerment, beauty companies run the risk of appearing disingenuous, a huge no-no for today’s savvy millennial consumers.

While there is undoubtedly a link between beauty and wellbeing, as evidenced in new research from the Global Wellness Institute, wellness is more about helping people feel good about the way they look, rather than seeking to correct “imperfections”. So, while it’s important to embrace the wellbeing trend it’s vital to do it in an authentic way.

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