I've been at war with what I do for a long time. The beauty industry can seem so shallow, and full of itself, everybody taking themselves much to seriously. At times, it can feel as though I am participating in the this large web of nonsense, which can make most women feel like they are on the outside. And yet, for 27 years I've been standing behind the chair, helping women feel good about the way they look, is a very powerful act. Because some of these women don't get approval, or made to feel beautiful at home, or at their work, it's vital to their self-esteem that they get it somewhere. And if I haven't achieved this one thing for my client, than I have failed at my job. I had a client come in the other day, who I've seen for a couple of years. She's made a couple of changes with her style, usually encouraged by her. And when she does, she is firm about it. The last style change, she brought in a picture of herself, long ago. Her hair just sat in a long, bowl shaped, heavy look, almost looking like a wig. "Outdated." I thought to myself. But I went with it, knowing I'd be able to update the look by letting her know it would look that much better if we made some adjustments. The idea of growing her hair frizzy, curly, hair out was unappealing. But we began a six month process of growing it out. We have achieved what she was going for, a feeling of more femininity. We continue to talk about cutting off the medium brown, colored hair and letting her white hair show. The color is pretty, I just wonder about the texture and being white. I would like to see it.
The other day, I decided to flat iron her hair. She has so wanted straight hair, and yet, she has only chemically straightened her hair once. I'm relieved, perfectly smooth hair has always been difficult for me to accept. Well, you would have thought I had made her world perfect. She loved it! Ohhing and ahhing out the door.
Then the calls started. One the next morning, one that afternoon. She could only speak to me. I called her back and got her machine, after a couple of rounds of calls, we spoke. "Rebecca, I love my hair." I laughed, and said, 'Great!' "No, you have to understand. I feel pretty. I have never felt this way about the way I look." Her husband dropped his jaw. Men are looking at her. The calls continued about setting up appointments to flat iron her hair, and then having to change them.
She feels conflicted about this, and I do to. Her hair needs to be cut, if she is going to be wearing it straight. Will she do it? And, she feels at some level, she is fighting her hair. And, now with all the phone calls, it's a lot to manage if I have to be the one to make and move her appointments. Regardless, the fact that she feels pretty, makes it all worth it.