Avoiding touch was a major theme of 2020. We were told not to touch doors, other people, our faces, and pretty much every surface out there — at all costs — to avoid the spread of COVID-19. That is also why we skipped out on many of our once-routine beauty treatments like manicures, haircuts, eyebrow touch-ups, and facials for the majority of the year. But beyond missing the instant gratification that comes from a salon appointment, losing that one-on-one time with a beauty specialist can have other negative effects that go beyond the surface.
First is the emotional. Getting your hair and nails done or getting a facial doesn't just make you look good, it can make you feel good, too. Then, there's the physical. Whether you realise it or not, there's a lot of power behind the touch and personal connection you share with your aesthetician, manicurist, and hairstylist.
"Getting your nails done, getting a facial, getting your hair done — it all has this therapeutic element for so many people," Georgia Louise, celebrity aesthetician, told POPSUGAR. "Especially with facials; I've heard people talking about how that element of a massage, that element of touch, is deeper than just the skin-care benefits."
After a year of heightened stress levels, self-care is of the utmost importance, but a need for social distancing and keeping ourselves and others safe has barred many from being able to partake in various self-care activities. "In a time when we needed that the most, we weren't able to do that," Louise said.
That desire for human touch amid the pandemic was made even more clear to Louise after she recently saw a new celebrity client for a facial: "I was just touching her face and giving her a massage, and she burst into tears. I suddenly realised, 'Oh, my goodness. She really needed someone to touch her and to give her some TLC,'" she said. "So many people are feeling so isolated these days — they're not getting the hug from their best friend or the handshake from their coworker."
"The world has shifted: mental health has taken on more significance than ever before, and the power of human touch is more precious than ever."
It's not a new concept for hairstylists, aestheticians, and manicurists to also double as a confidante; many of us have found ourselves opening up about our personal lives, good or bad, during a treatment. It's why Dermalogica decided to create a new "Meaningful Connections Course" for its technicians in an effort to strengthen their emotional intelligence and prepare them for deep client communications and provide emotional support to those who need it. The course covers topics like active listening, practicing positivity, and breathing exercises.
"As the leader in skin-care education, one of our core values is human touch," said Tabby Zamani, the head of global education at Dermalogica, in a press release. "It felt natural for us to fill an educational gap in the industry by creating a course that will empower service professionals to navigate emotional, challenging conversations during these unprecedented times. The world has shifted: mental health has taken on more significance than ever before, and the power of human touch is more precious than ever."