According to East Kent Mind, men are more likely to discuss mental health issues with their hairdresser than with their GP, so they are running new training for hairdressers in East Kent.

Hairdressers are being recruited across Thanet to support clients struggling with anxiety.

The project is being developed by East Kent Mind, which will train hairdressers to become ambassadors for the charity and identify signs of depression, be good listeners and effectively show where to get more help.

So far, nine hairdressers from seven barbershops have agreed to support the initiative. These include F&S Barbers in Minster, Old Town Barbers and Golden Barbers in Margaret, Chops in Westbrook, and Malcolm’s, The Gents Lodge and Jaxs Barbers in Bradsters.

Project leader Simon Dolby said: “Men are statistically more likely to discuss mental health issues with their hairdresser than with their therapist. This puts barbers in a unique position to help men deal with anxiety and depression. This project aims to make hairdressers feel more confident about talking about mental health and more informed about who to refer clients to for support.’

Hairdressers often observe salon customers – usually every four weeks they attend another haircut – this gives them the opportunity to notice changes in mood or extreme situations, such as too much or not enough sleep, weight loss or gain.

The project’s training will help hairdressers recognize these signs and ask clients how they feel, listen non-judgmentally and learn where to give pointers. Clients identified as in need are given information detailing support from East Kent Mind and other providers.

Barbershops in the Canterbury and Thanet area are eligible to take part and should email or visit