Posts filed under Personal Questions

Obama vs Clinton

Three out of four of my clients polled on Wednesday said Obama was the man for the job.  A couple of Hilary voters, are disgruntled with her old style politics and have moved over to the Obama side of things.  The fourth client was a Hilary supporter and has not decided to give up until Hilary does. We all agreed nobody is perfect.   Not one of my clients is looking for perfection.  They are interested in diplomacy, integrity, and intelligence.  We all agreed whoever gets the job will have a mighty task ahead of them.  Nobody cares for the classic style of politicking, in fact, everybody I talked to, four out of six clients, were ready for somebody very different. 

Is Obama that remains to be seen.  We would like him to be, not only because of his potential, but because the alternative, McCain, is dreadful.   Everybody I talked to was sickened by McCain, and seemed to be worried more about who would he bring along as Vice President.  May it not get to this point.

I've heard a lot of people talking about Obama's message of hope, more than actual talking about a plan, or course of action.  Frankly, I feel that I'd rather not have the promises.  Hope is not a bad word, hope is what people need to rise above their situations in life.  Somebody needs to say,  peace is possible, this is how we will do it.

Posted on May 22, 2008 and filed under hairstylist, Personal Questions, Politics.

Obama or McCain

Instead of interviewing clients on their thoughts, feelings and reactions to color, I want to know which candidate the Democrats are going to vote for and why.  At this point it is a little frightening to think that if the Democrats in America can't get behind Obama, and they decide for malicious reasons they will vote for the antiquated McCain, a guy that even the Republican party doesn't like, we are heading down further into dark times.  Maybe it's too late for this sort of inquiry, but is it?  Shouldn't we fight with determination in the ways that we can to affect those around us, to have dialogue about what matters to the final moment? In fact, I need to be recording people's responses, NOW.  What better place than the hairdresser's chair to gather a consensus based on this particular segment of society, in Berkeley, California?  It's a bit intimidating to open up the political conversation in the chair, because who knows what beliefs people have, and if they consider it too personal a topic to go into, and what if they are Republican?  In the past, maybe I would have had a reaction, but now, I think it more important to discuss our viewpoints, especially if they differ from mine, to understand other view points.  I think I could interview clients from a neutral position. 

Mrs. Page in beauty school might not approve, but interviewing clients right now about their political views would bring me satisfaction of a different sort.  I've always been trying to get to the underbelly of the beauty industry, knowing from experience, there is much more than what meets the eye when somebody sits in the chair.  Why not take the opportunity?

Posted on May 20, 2008 and filed under Beauty, boundaries, hairstylist, Personal Questions, Politics.

No Boundary

So, back to the personal question issue, which is inextricably connected to boundaries.  The boundary line moves depending on who sits in my chair, but there is always a line to be found that winds back and forth on itself, building a wall around my personal life.  So, how is it then, that this wall seems imperceptible to some, as if there is no boundary?  About once every six months, for the last fifteen years, a client has asked "When are you getting married?"  She insists that I need to, and now even more so because my partner and I have a child together.  Now she is at least twenty years my senior and works as a therapist.  Even as well as we know each other, I would never say to her, "You need to do this."  Nor would I assume that I would know what is right for her.  This topic feels personal to me.

And so, I answer with, "We're talking about it."  Hoping this will appease her for another six haircuts.  It's awkward every time.  What is my own privacy threshold?  If marriage feels to personal. and I haven't said anything to her, then there is no boundary.   Would a client say, "Hold it, that is too personal, I don't want to talk about that?

Posted on November 7, 2007 and filed under Personal Questions.

Therapy vs Hairstyling

Watching my friend give and give and give as a hairstylist, then burn out, was incredibly painful.  Did he need to do it that way?  Seeing his muddied boundaries was confusing, because he was somebody I respected in other ways, he would do just about anything for me.  In fact, he helped me build my hairstyling career. Maybe it's the only way he knew how.  Maybe it is what his clients expected of him. As a budding hairstylist, I could see the position required building relationships, sustaining them, not to mention having great technical skills, but did it mean I had to give up myself as an offering?

Posted on November 5, 2007 and filed under Personal Questions.


I used to work next to this hairdresser, a very good friend of mine at the time, who never hesitated to ask really personal questions, and he played out the role of psychologist, even though he was one of the most neurotic people I know.  "So how are you two really doing?  Are you having sex yet?"  My skin would crawl, it felt unprofessional.  And yet, he was booked solid.  He was known to be over-the-top sensitive, and a great listener, and he really did care.  And, yet he would get right in your buisness.  He attracted clients who liked that.

He gave, and gave, and gave.  He booked himself tight, haircut after haircut.  Lunch went down in five minutes, usually the fattiest, saltiest of foods, wtih a Coke.  After years of that pace, he vanished from his buisness.  Couldn't do it anymore.  Clients who had appointments, didn't get a call.  Clients of eighteen years wondered why. 


Posted on November 1, 2007 and filed under Personal Questions.

Personal Boundaries

During intermission at a women's event recently, I was asked, "Why do hairstylists assume they can ask you such personal questions?" I failed to ask what kind of questions did she find so personal.  But it brought up for me a couple of things, more than what one post can explore. 

One:   It is a two way street.  When somebody, especially a new client sits in my chair, and they divulge all in the first visit, I'm left with, Wait!  There was no time for the intimacy to be established.

And on the flip side, I would expect new clients to fire me as a hairstylist if I asked too personal of questions.  That's not my job.  However...

Posted on October 29, 2007 and filed under Personal Questions.