Ever wonder why you became a hair stylist? You can’t find the right shoes to keep your feet from hurting after a long shift, all that training and it didn’t even include learning how to read people’s minds, having to listen to women who probably should be in a therapist’s office instead of in your chair. And now you have to wear a mask and wonder if you’ll get sick while you’re struggling to pay your bills, wondering if you’ll get enough clients now during a global pandemic.
While the glamour of hair salon life may have first attracted you, it is now for that woman that walks in hesitantly, anxious about getting a haircut. She lost her hairdresser eight years ago. He was her fiancé. The first time he touched her hair it felt magical.
That woman is me. It started with a haircut.
He invited me to sit in his comfy vintage barber chair, rich red worn leather and shiny chrome, a work of art in itself. His touch shot through my russet locks and went straight to my heart. Watching his adoring eyes in the reflection of the hand crafted wood-framed mirror as he cut my hair, I felt uninhibited, excited, alive.
He asked, “So what do you like to do?” I heard my flirty voice say “I like tequila!” And our threesome (with tequila) began. He adored me from the minute he laid eyes on me and I felt it every minute.
He was an artist, a sculptor, a craftsman. He could fix anything. He made the world a better place just by being in it. He made beautiful and intriguing things. He said hair was just another medium for him to sculpt in.
He had a wonderful smile and a twinkle in his eye. He was attentive and helpful, always ready to assist with his strong hands. Always helping someone carry something or fix something, or sharing his knowledge so someone else could accomplish what they desired. He encouraged me in so many ways.
An amazing soundtrack of cool music seemed to follow him. He would play me records and sing along. He filled the whole room, the whole world, with his wonderfulness!
And he cut my hair.
And he struggled with addiction and depression. And it won. He took his own life eight years ago.
There’s still a big gaping whole in the world, in my world, where he used to be.
Yesterday I walked into a new salon in desperate need of a haircut. I went to a friend I felt I could trust. And I could. She was warm and wonderful and caring. She seemed to know exactly what I needed. She made me feel good and strong and brave again.
With “just” a haircut.