Art or Collaboration

It was a whirlwind day yesterday, double-booked all day, no lunch, and every client a bit intense in their own way.  I worked with a new assistant, which just added to the day feeling it was going to require my rising up to meet the stress level.  Nothing went as planned.  One of my clients was the silver haired client that I added blue accent to her color formula six weeks ago, and her hair came out navy.  This was her second appointment with me.  She offered the things she didn't like first, the bluish tinge in certain lights seems to be the least of her worries.  We got through the list, all of which made sense.  We carried on, and in the process of doing her hair, we had an interesting discussion.  We laughed about how she is quite frank about what works, what doesn't, what she likes, and what she doesn't, about anything.  But her hair for sure. 

She talked about how she made another hairstylist in the salon comepletely nervous when they attempted to give her a haircut and color, so much so that the stylist's hands shook.  I said, "That must have not been very much fun." 

"Have you ever had a client that just said, afterwards, I don't like it, when you are finished, and they can't articulate why?"   She asked. 

And, "It's your fault." is the tone in their voice, yes, of course.  I'd rather know as I'm going, if there is something that doesn't feel right to the client.  It's a living, breathing, collaboration in my opinion.  It's like Jazz.  Nobody is wanting to upstand the other, it's more about, how do we create with what we are offered, i.e., the client's hair, her desires, etc.  Working with hair is my art, but it has to fit for the client, and only she can know what that is, and it's muich easier for me to hear it as I am working, than when I am finished, and have to move on to my next client.

The color was much better.  She said she loved it, and gave me hug on the way out.  Even though nothing went as planned, everbody left with hair that looked good, and they seemed happy. 

Posted on March 8, 2008 and filed under Creativity, Hairstyling, Salon Life, self-expression.