Kayleigh Dixon worked at a salon and as a stylist for 15 years before branching out to set up her own business in 2020. Kayleigh serves a diverse clientele in Manchester and soon after opening realised there was a demand for 1:1 appointments for neuro-diverse people struggling with extra noise and overstimulation in salons.
She operates a gender-neutral salon where ‘hair is hair’ so prices are based on the work involved, not on the gender of the person. She gives 100% of her time to that client and a completely bespoke service.
We caught up with Kayleigh to learn more about the motivations for setting up her own salon, the importance of cash flow, and how Square Appointments has been a game changer for her business.
On why she started The Hair Witch
I started my little business as I was fed up with making money for someone else whose views and approach to salon life and society didn’t match my own. I first requested to make the move to self-employment to give me more freedom and flexibility for myself and my diverse clientele. Then the big switch to my own little studio meant I could truly embrace and implement my own beliefs for my brand.
On how The Hair Witch thinks about the client experience
I hate the term ‘safe space’. As human beings it should be our right for every space to make us feel safe, the fact that some places don’t do that should be the minority and not the other way round.
My clientele is super diverse and I have a high percentage of neurodivergent clients. This wasn’t necessarily a business choice, it’s just something that happened organically.
I understand the quirks that come out along with being neurodivergent, be that not wanting to be touched until permission is explicitly given, needing to take your shoes off to settle or taking some time to disassociate because you’re feeling overstimulated. These are all ok, and something you should never feel the need to apologise for.
On gender-neutral pricing
So I have always been gender neutral with my pricing. It totally blows my mind that people think it’s appropriate to charge based on gender rather than the hair on the head you are working on. Where do non-binary people fit into this model, if they’re neither male nor female what do they pay?
I have recently changed my pricing structure to charge by the hour (it works for tattooists and personal trainers ) this allows me to be truly inclusive for all genders and budgets.
On the importance of community
The thing that makes me proudest is the fact that people feel like they’re part of something and have a genuinely lovely time whilst getting their hair done. So many of my clients love the fact that they’re part of my ‘coven’.
On the decision to use Square
The instant transfers feature really stood out to me, this is especially important when I know I have a big stock bill coming out or something like that, it’s so beneficial to get your money instantly. I also love that Square allows me to monitor my business growth and compare it year on year
On Square Appointments
Square Appointments is so easy to use! Transferring all of my existing appointments from a paper diary to digital was much quicker and much less painful than I expected.
I love that I can take a bill through my Square Appointments app and then look to see what a client had done last time. It’s a system that works so well and flows in the most user-friendly way! Enabling automatic text reminders has been an absolute game changer for managing my appointments as well.
On what the future holds for The Hair Witch
Well, my little business has grown much more quickly than I anticipated and I am currently on the hunt for another, bigger space for myself and my team to grow!
On recommending Square Appointments to other businesses in the beauty industry
I absolutely recommend Square Appointments to other businesses in the beauty industry! And I have- I know I have got at least 4 other hairdressers onto Square.