Posts filed under Inner Strength

Liberation

I'm convinced that cutting my hair off is not only allowing me a certain kind of freedom, but evokes a discomfort for some clients, and the hope of freedom for others.  I knew when Savanna left, I would cut my hair.  Something about her leaving the salon, and moving to the UK that set in motion a personal change within myself, an affirmation that when one person changes-everybody around them does as well.  The minute some of my clients have entered the salon and they see me, they gasp, do a double take, blink a few times, the words tic-tac across their forehead, "No, you didn't, did you?", like clouds moving across the sky. 

My change affects them, whether they like it or not.  Their reality has shifted, and I see how they struggle to find the old me to relate to, searching for our connection, as if it lies in the hair.  As if that weren't enough, my new cut reveals the grey hair I've been coloring for a long time for reasons of fun, beauty world infused ideas that grey hair just makes people look old, and I'm a hairdresser after all.  Some clients inquire if I'm going to keep it grey, asking, "You want to show the grey?"  As if to say, why would you want to.  Some people jump into defending their color and why they do it, and my grey hair clients, say why fight it, let it be.  There is plenty of conversation in the chair about why women should color their hair, why it's nice on some, but not everybody.  So who decided when and if it is okay?

Frankly, as a hairdresser it is absurd to possibly turn away hundreds of dollars, if not, thousands, by setting the example of how a woman can grow their grey hair out.  And, I am aware that to encourage clients to show their grey hair goes against most beauty industry professionals out there.  But truth be known, after 26 years of doing hair, I can operate my buisness as I see fit.  I want clients to see what they look like without color, at least once in their life.  Why not?  Then they can make a concious choice based on what they see and experience.  Then color can take on a whole new meaning.  Is it for fun, or is it stale?

I stopped coloring my hair because of the maintenance, and I felt ready to see the real me.  What do I look like at 48, and as my acting coach use to say, warts and all?  The freedom of cutting the dead, dark hair off, made me happy, and yet vulnerable.  I wanted to see what I had underneath all the dark hair, and have my look on the outside mirror the change going on inside.  I don't always love the way it looks, but I didn't the other way either. 

Some clients look at my hair, and say, "Wow, I want to do that!  Can I do that?"  Their tired of being slaves to color for all sorts of reasons.  They are terrified to see themselves without hair color.  They say, "You're leading the way. " I don't know about that.  What I can say is that I feel completely at home with it, and I love how bold it is, both energetically and visually.  Although, I have never felt I needed hair to make me look feminine, shorter hair does move into the sterotype of the older and less feminine realm.

And yet, this shorter, new, grey look makes me feel better.  I wish this feeling for every client, every person.  Right, or wrong, fashionable, or unfashionable, I love it.  Every woman needs to decide for themselves what is right for them, regardless of what others say.  If your hairdresser is stuck on you coloring your hair, than I would find someone who is willing to take you through the process.  Take the leap!

Photo:  http://search.creativecommons.org/mag3737's photostream

http://search.creativecommons.org/Magic Lantern Shows' photostream

http://search.creativecommons.org/angusf's photostream

Posted on July 15, 2008 and filed under beauty industry, Femininity, hair, Inner Strength.

Nobody is Brushing Their Hair

It came to me yesterday that as the world becomes more intense all the time, with people killing each other, starving in most of the world, and holed up in their homes craving touch, I had solution to the ills of human nature.  Brushing your hair.  Nobody is brushing their hair anymore.  When did it stop?  The stress goes right to the scalp.  In fact, I will start polling scalps and give you an update of how many people have tight scalps, and how many people brush.  I can guarantee you this, most people do not brush their hair.  I touch scalps all day long, and at least 75% are tight. So, now we have tight scalp, and more people not brushing their hair because of hair color, hair products, and then we go to bed with unbrushed hair(yuck!), then we wake up and do it again.  More product, more air pollution, more stress, and no brushing, then back to bed again.  Then we do it all again.  I wonder what goes on for our skin too, resting on that yucky pillow case over and over.

The perfect anecdote is to BRUSH your hair!  Not only does brushing feel good, it relaxes every part of you, but all the toxins, and tension gets brushed away.  And as if that wasn't sweet enough, the oils get brushed out to the ends of the hair, which mostly are dry.  The softness starts to permeate everywhere.  You can't just use any brush...you have to check out the Mason Pearson brushes at www.masonpearson.com.  These brushes feel so good, and last a lifetime they say.   You will never need another brush, nor will you want one.  These brushes get right down to the scalp, without digging in, and without little plastics tips coming off.

While your at it, brush right down over our body, with your clothes on.  Brushing in downward strokes the arms, the sides of the body, your legs, your back, your legs, right down the feet.  You've never felt anything like it.

When you brush away your stress, you are tuning into your own body, you can feel your own energy again, you are tending to your self.  Isn't this where world peace begins?  Maybe you will want to do it for someone else.  We wil have hair brushing parties...we will do it for our kids...

Posted on July 1, 2008 and filed under hair, Inner Beauty, Inner Strength, Politics, Self-care.

Hair Can Undo It All

Over a bottle of Chardonnay and a seafood platter at the Martini Oyster Bar in Sonoma, three of us couples talked about everything.  We laughed so much my cheeks hurt, and my eyes watered.  One couple are a husband and wife team that are clients of mine.  I commented on the fact that Joanie is a dream client.  She is a client of Julie Schindler's as well, she knew exactly what I meant.  Julie is a wonderful fashion designer and designs most of what Joanie wears.  They have known each other for a long time now.  And what we love about Joanie is her ability to trust in, and pull forth the best work of those who provide a service for her.  She loves to turn it over.  When I pull of the cutting cape and she goes to the dressing room to change, I wait to see the finished look.  She walks out looking stunning every time.  Why?  Because she dresses, and her hair always looks good. There are people whom I have never seen dressed in their best, and yet they may wear great hair.  But then, some dress well, but never make changes with their hair.  We all agreed that the hair can undo it all, the hair is the crown and glory. It must come down to fear.  Fear of looking good, fear of not looking good, fear of change, fear of attention.  I know women who can spend thousands of dollars on a wardrobe, per season, who refuse to dress when they come into the salon. They wear sweat pants, and Ughs.  But not Joanie!  She is confident in who she is, she doesn't need approval from anybody... but she receives more postive feedback where ever she goes.  When she walks into a room, people look, because everything is congruent.

Every designer I know works very hard, and deals with quite a bit of stress, every designer needs to find what they love in what they do, and not waste time doing all the other stuff.  Julie loves designing for Joanie because she is appreciated, and Joanie wears her clothes with ease.

Julie's designs are fabulous!  Classic with a twist;  beautiful fabrics, lined slacks, interesting shapes, detailed finishing.  Julie has class, and provides quality fashion, for a modest price.  She unfortunately doesn't have a website yet. The success of her business manifested through word of mouth.

I wished I would have brought my camera with me.

Take Note Fashion World

Andrea, at Serrahna's, held another wonderfully colorful fashion event at Khana Peena on College Avenue, in Oakland today.  We had a great time.  The models were fabulous, all five of them...I lost count.  I was completely absorbed with each one of them, applying makeup and styling their hair.  The makeup application went it a bit easier than last time, even though I was moving from the moment the first model showed, to when I left about, 2:30 pm.  The real proof is what comes through in the photos. What I love about Andrea, is that her heart comes through in her clothing designs, she is able to articulate her passion through fabric, and design. Beautiful!  I also love the fact, once again, (I'm sorry if you've already heard it), she celebrates,and honors every woman who steps into her business.  She helps them move in new directions, and helps them become more feminine.  I love that the models are all sizes, and all ages.  How refreshing is that?  The fashion world take notice!  You don't have to be 16, skin and bones, and flawless(yawn!), to be a woman.

I also loved how the models took on the divine feminine as they transformed before our very eyes.  Oohs and ahhs fell out of the mouths of the audience.  Queens!  It was such an honor to bring out what was already there, waiting to be drawn out.  They would walk back into the store, and say, "that was fun/"

Andrea and I walked over when the show was just about over, and with the grace of the Queen herself, introduced me to each table of quests.  Thank you Andrea.

Upon my return home, my daughter had her own clothing situations to work out.  From showing me new shorts purchased with daddy, to melt downs around not having clean laundry, to questioning the shoes I suggested for our bicycle ride to the park.  I loved every minute of being with her, up till patting her back and saying goodnight.  A nice balance to the day.  And now, a movie with my loved one.

I'll be sure to post the photos the minute I receive them.

Check out www.serrahna.com for Andrea's designs.

Spark a Smile

A new client came in the other day.  Another contact from Jennifer Butler.  Nancy Procurier is her name, and talk about sprite!  More like vivacious, fun, good hearted, attractive, a great smile and laugh.  Spending time with Nancy was like dancing the cha cha cha, we laughed, we shared business ideas, stories from our past, back and forth, step, step, step. She came in with long, heavy mid blonde hair, with highlights, pinned up.  She wore high heels and shorts, and large sunglasses.  Hip, with a desire for change, for more femininity.  This woman is busting out of her comfort zone, and what better set up could a hairdresser ask for.  She was respectful of my ideas, and we were able to build rapport with a snap of a finger.  I suggested she bring up the length to at least mid back, shape it around the front, and release the crown.  I wanted to see more movement to match her energy, and size of her facial features.

As we layered, and lengths flew to the floor, we went for getting in as much as we could.  Her business is brilliant!  It's based on fostering contact between aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc, and the kids in their life.  She sends them mail for you.  That's right a bright envelope, with big letters!  The envelope contains different fun things based on themes she creates through the year.  I love it! Not only is her service fostering contact and connection with those little loved ones, who may live miles away, but it's fostering letter writing, a lost art.

Check it out!  www.sparksprite.com

It takes a lot of courage and inner strength to make change.  Beautiful job Nancy.  Thank you.  Stayed tune for make up and hair photo.

Romance Helper

Sierra Faith is a new acquaintance.  We met at Jennifer Butler's follow up event.  She came to me with long, lackluster hair, all one length.  She said she was ready to shed some of it.  I suggested bringing up the length, and layering.  At the last minute, I asked if she would mind if we cut and styled her hair, then applied makeup, and then took a before and after picture.  She said please do.  See what you think.

As we started talking during this, what I think she would call a transformative afternoon, she revealed that she was an online dating coach, hence her url of www.onlinedatingcoach.com.  She loves this work she is doing with men and women, about dealing with what is in the way of them not only meeting people, but walking the dating course with them.  They look at, and talk about what worked and what didn't.  She said, "Women don't know how to recieve from men."  I've been pondering that statement ever since.  This woman knows what she is talking about.

As I put the finishing touches to her hair, I could see tears trickling down her cheeks.   "This is who I knew myself to be."  This kind of transformation takes being ready inside. to let go of who we thought oiurselves to be.

Thank you Sierra.

Posted on May 2, 2008 and filed under Beauty, Hairstyling, Inner Beauty, Inner Strength, inspiration, Salon Life.

Delfina Piretti

juchitan_market_place1.jpgyoga-edit.jpgdelfina-na-marcilena-edit.jpgShe is one of the most lovely, beautiful, talented people I know, and she is a client.  When she sits in my chair, I know I am in for a rich time.  She is an artist, and just returned from Xuahaca, Mexico, and other small towns, like Juchitan. She loved it, walking the streets, going to local markets, and seeing how the women dressed.  The land is barren, and yet the women wear the colors of a rainbow.  You won't see them wearing jeans and tennis shoes, but rather, embroidered dresses, ribbons and flowers in their hair.  And if they are feeling down, they will be sure to dress in the brightest colors.  And, as only traveling to another country can do, she was led inward to her own soul.  Delfina offered, ""Chronicles of travels through the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (which Juchitan is a part of) inevitably speak of fascination. Oddly enough, however, rather than express their wonder at the place, the architecture or the natural surroundings, chroniclers confess to having fallen irremediably under the seductive spell of the women." (La Tehuana /Artes de Mexico)

Juchitan is known for being a place where the woman are a cultural phenomenon in and of themselves, with their bodies, their clothing, their community rites and everyday activities, they create an environment, and rhythm of life that is unique to it. They are mythical in the most classical sense of the word, because their worldly existence and living rituals sustain and reproduce that myth. Thought these women are clearly Mestizas, the mythic voyage toward the Tehuana is a voyage to the roots,to the origins. An awed leap not only into the cultural wellspring constituted by the idea of Mexico, but to the buried mythic foundations of culture where matriarchy was apparently the rule. 

When i asked Na Marcelina about this she said it shouldn't be misunderstood that the women 'rule' the men. It's a place where the women are equal to the men, and mostly hold the position as the  primary  breadwinner.  When i asked Na Marcelina about this she said, 'It shouldn't be misunderstood that the women 'rule' the men. It's a place where the women are equal to the men, and mostly hold the position as the primary  breadwinner.'"

The land, the color, the people, the conversation, hearing another language, eating the food, all of it stimulating the mind, the psyche, and remembering what has happened before, and seeing, for brief moments, what the future holds.  Delfina is an artist, and is open to what life brings her, and is not afraid to go after what she wants.  By being open, she was led to an 78 year old Shamana, a wrinkled-faced woman with eyes full of life. She gave a healing, and repeated several times, ""you are the architect of your life".  She then fed her soup, and shared her own story, and gave her a healing.  The "session" lasted four hours and left Delfina changed.

Delfina added, "I needed to hear this for my own healing.  In shamanic tradition they teach that we co-create the universe.  For women it is important to feel empowered to realize our dreams against all odds. This is my wish this for all people. In my work as an expressive arts therapist, I use many mediums to assist in healing and finding greater ease and clarity on the journey called life."

Changes can be hard, and painful, and not to be taken lightly.  Delfina is brilliant at being right where she is, and feeling.  By telling me her story, I feel changed and open, and was reminded, our soul takes us on a trip we can't always understand.  Somehow though, I believe we are led to what we need and ultimately desire.  Upon returning home, and feeling a bit blue, and getting a haircut, she said, "Maybe I will go get a flower and put it in my hair."

Thank you Delfina.

To see some of Delfina's art, check out :  www.delfinapiretti.com/painting.html

Alopecia

I pass up most Google alerts, but this one caught my eye.  A premature bald woman takes her mother into a salon for her 77th birthday to have her hair and nails done.  A situation that would have traumatized her before.  In fact, she gave up going to them, thinking they were places for people with hair, and she didn't belong. I am moved by her courage, and the inner work she must have done on herself to be confident enough to walk into the salon.  A situation that could have turned heads. 

 Although, I like to think of hairstylists being sensitive to all types of people with all sorts of obvious physical differences, it depends on where you go.  Not all salons are friendly, and in fact, are quite full of themselves and give the profession a bad reputation.  Salons can intimidate and make people feel unfomfortable.

As I read Cheryl Carvery's post, I recalled a client I once gave a haircut to, rather, I gave her very expensive wig.  I worked in one chair salon.  It was private, and I know she appreciated the quiet.  She developed alopecia right around sixteen years old.  She too, seemed to have courage and an inner strength that I felt moved by. 

The wig sparkeled with a level 7, a mid-blonde, with honey highlights.  We were about to shampoo, she held the sides to keep it one her head, and it slipped off.  Her pale, bald head exposed, she reached for the wig with a quick hand and put it back on.  The moment seemed longer than most, discomfort made me tighten and want to take care of her.

As I combed and cut, she shared her history.  I felt honored to be with her.  So much wisdom wrapped up in one woman, who I thought was attractive with, or without hair.  We cut a very modern shape into the hair, long strands fell to the floor.  It was then that she decided to tell me that this beautiful wig was $2000.  I trembled at the thought.  One wrong snip could drain my bank account.   What if she didn't like the cut?   The pressure felt heavy on my chest, until I realized I could sink or swim.  My choice.

We dried her hair and she loved it.  I felt I was given a gift of tenderness, a rare opportunity to expereince her vulnerablity, and therefore experience my own.   I had no choice to look at my own discomfort, and own fear at seeing baldness. 

I think the more women like these can enter salons, own their baldness, and allow us into their human condition, the greater the healing.  One act of courage after another frees us all.

Posted on February 14, 2008 and filed under Beauty, Definition of Humility, Inner Beauty, Inner Strength, inspiration, Salon Life.

Not a Simple Cut: Tales from a Hairdresser

The reading date is set.  It will be the first public reading, in a very long time, from my book.  I've been working on this project for10 years, and I'm focusing in on the first 100 pages to get it to an editor.  Although,I am thrilled to have the date set, and sure it is time to start building energy around the book, I am terrified.  The material has become much more personal than I ever thought it would, and richer because of it.  Do I really want my clients, who will fill the audience, to know me that well?

Ugh.  Self-doubt would like to settle in my body.  My brain wants to think it has control, by saying nasty little things to me, like, "Maybe it's too soon."  "You're getting ahead of yourself."  "You're diffusing the energy of the book, so it will be anticlimactic when it gets published, if it publishes."  Dealing with the demons are a full-time job these days.

Even so, I find myself talking about the date, and letting clients know. I've invited some friends from the Squaw Valley Writer's Conference to read with me, their company and support will be a great help.  You know sometimes you just have to do what you have to do, regardless of the fear that is the size of football in your gut?  This is one of those things, I've just got to do.

Oh, yeah.  The date is February 28, 2008 at Keter Salon 1815 Suite A Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA  94710.

Posted on January 12, 2008 and filed under Inner Strength, inspiration, Introduction, writing.

Community

Yesterday was a most challenging day.  Total chaos in the salon--loud, bad 80's music all day-Donna Summer, Duran Duran and, and, and, oh well, I just tuned it out.  Eight chairs packed, every stylist had two clients going at at least once throughout the day.  Our new receptionist that just started this week, gone, and we were short assistants.  I felt fragile. Then, Betty walked in.  She was visiting from Boston for the holiday.  Within moments she revealed her age, a surprising eighty one years did not show.  She stood about 6'3"years old, and  wore a wide, beautiful smile.  She was stylish and well-dressed, in a Chico's kind of way, she made the clothing look classy.  Drama was written all over her, however, not yet expressed in her hair design. 

She was scheduled for a blow dry.  And, when I set the dryer down, I asked, "How long has it been since you had a cut?"

She said, "Just last week.  But you may do whatever you want."  Music to my ears.  As I nipped away, creating some asymmetry in the fringe area and taking weight of the top, she opened her heart, by telling me a difficult story, obviously one that changed her life forever.  A story that required an indomitable inner strength to survive. 

She talked about her community of friends and how they have been there for her.  And then we came back around to her hair.  She said, "I have been with my stylist for thirty eight years, even when sometimes I'm not happy."

"That is loyalty." I responded.

"Yes. I wouldn't think of changing, we have a relationship.  He's part of my community," she said.  And because I am a friend of her daughters, she treated me as if I were a member as well.

As she waved goodbye, she remarked, "This is the cut I have always wanted.  I'm going to have to move here now."  We both laughed and knew that would never happen.  I walked into the break room with the feeling I had met somebody with a kind heart, a sense of humor, and a deep soul.

Posted on November 18, 2007 and filed under Inner Strength.