Would you tell your hair stylist?

As a hair stylist, I am trusted with things people would never tell anyone else. My clients trust me not just with their hair, but with parts of their lives. I have been the first to find out about divorce, their child’s health issues, even an affair. Part of the reason I love doing hair is the relationships I get to build with my clients. I have been to so many hair trainings and seminars. Any motivational aspect will almost always explain our importance to our clients emotionally. It is why so often clients stay with the same stylist for MANY years.
Recently, one of my clients had come in for her regular appointment. I have been doing her hair for years. Through both our engagements, weddings, and my pregnancies. We are close enough that she has bluntly told me how “hormonal” I was my first pregnancy. I believe many people trust their stylist because it is the only person they get to listen undivided for 30 minutes- 2 hours. This day we were talking about weddings in particular. While she was processing, I checked my Facebook quickly. Her post was one of the first on my feed. Just hours before her appointment she had to put her cat to sleep. I was torn. She seemed so happy sitting in my chair but there was so much weighing on her heart. This isn’t a client who doesn’t share. I just think she didn’t know how.
I don’t know how many times I have been asked “How are you?” on a crummy day. I habitually answer great. I hate complainers. People who always have something wrong. But- there is beauty in the honesty of our emotions. When friends help us carry our burdens they can feel much lighter. I want to be a person people can answer “actually I’m pretty down.”
It’s puzzling how I sometimes know more about my clients than the people closest to me. Maybe it’s the distance between our lives, but I truly think it is my attention. I am there focused on them for a set amount of time. I have no distractions, just them. The people closest to me have to fight over my to do lists, errands, son, and unfortunately social media.
This has all made me realize two things. We, me especially, need to stop living a distracted unfocused life. We need to give our present situation everything we have. Things can wait, people can’t. I especially want people to be honest with me. If you truly are having a bad day the last thing I mistakingly want to do is talk about how great mine is. I want to hold those burdens with you. I want to live in honest emotions. This type of living takes two people though. One living honestly with where they are, and one focused enough to truly hear.
As a stylist I love my role in my clients lives. My hope is that I can start seeing the same fruit outside of the salon doors. That we aren’t a society who can only voice our pain on social media or to strangers but the very people who sit next to us every day. We are all so distant, so connected, yet so distant. Plan coffee today. Turn off your phone, your computer, and just listen. Be honest with your emotions. It will allow the person across from you to do the exact same.


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