Some of us are born to nurture, some of us to create. I, in a combination of these characteristics am both. At around the age of three I had a tactile affinity for hair. I loved to brush it, stroke it, twist and braid it. I don’t remember much about my mother’s mother other than her long beautiful black shiny hair which I loved to brush. Perhaps my grandmother is the reason I became a hair stylist.
This is my 40th year as a stylist. 40 years of haircuts, color formulations, foil applications, updos, finger waves, pin curls, zulu knots, flat ironing, braiding, curling with rollers, pencils, rubber twisties, permanent waving, blow drying, moussing, gelling, dippity doing, taping bangs, pinning curls, and hairspraying. 40 years of listening, sharing, advising, directing, hoping, celebrating with, crying, losing, leaving, and gaining from behind the chair.
The hairstylist/client relationship is special. It is different than a patient/doctor, student/teacher or even a mother/daughter relationship, for a few reasons. The time frame of an average appointment is 45 minutes so everyone knows this is a limited conversation. Long enough to state the hair needs than move on to what’s happening in your life. 45 minutes is long enough to discuss relationships, the boyfriend, husband, the new job, the upcoming vacation, the economy, the fashion of the times, the newest restaurant, what to wear where, the kids’ lives, how to get the best deal where as well as dish on last night’s reality stars. This goes on about every 5-8 weeks, a good 4-6 times a year. Generally more time than we see a doctor.
Speaking of doctors, did you know we the stylists (including manicurists, estheticians and massage therapists) are the only profession outside of medicine licensed to touch? This is a huge responsibility for the stylist. We pass on energy through touch. What if I am not feeling well, or am angry or sad and I touch you, will my energy rub off on you? Oh I hope not. I try as most of us do to touch with care and nurture while creating. We stylists love our clients, customers, guests, patrons, all of the people that come in and out of our chair every day. You nurture us, you bring us tips, food, coffee, cookies at Christmas, you entrust your image to us, you ask our advice and you feed our souls. The ultimate payoff for a stylist is hearing three important words… I love it! When we create and you love it, we are fulfilled, it is that very magical moment of your approval of our work that completes us. We live for those words and that result. We miss you when you leave and love it when you return. We thank YOU for coming. See you in 6 or so…