The necessity of going to your local hair salon is not only therapy for your hair, you get a great service whether it is in the form of a cut, color, hair style, or just general hair care advice. Going to the hair salon is also the best psychological treatment for your soul. Let me explain: whether you know it or not your hair stylist is an expert in the art of listening, it is what they do best. For example, when you approach your stylist with any number of questions from, why is my scalp dry, what shampoo really works the best, or do you think that my boyfriend / girlfriend is cheating on me, your stylist will do his or her best to help you find a solution to your problem. When I say, “Find a solution to your problem,” I am really saying help you work through your pressing issue in most cases by being a great listener. I feel I am an expert at this subject because for over 15 years I was a hair stylist / non-certified therapist. I now have my Bachelors in Psychology and realize that before I knew what I know now, I had this valuable skill (gift), as do most people; however, not everyone knows how to unlock this precious commodity.
I realize that each and every day I sat a new or different client down in my stylist chair some new or different topic would come up, and every day I would either try and find the best possible resolution or connect in the best way I knew how with the subject matter. To be very honest, many people that came into my salon really just wanted me to listen. They wanted someone to pay attention to how their day played out at work. Whether it was their boss who had yelled at them, or whether they had relationship issues, contemplating a divorce, or who the new person was they were dating was at the time. Most importantly they wanted me to listen objectively, offering minimal advice, to be that extra shoulder for them to lean on when they were feeling sad, or depressed, appreciate them for who they were, and to share a fabulous moment in their lives which made them happy.
I think most people would agree that a huge part of being successful when you work with clients in any profession is listening.
You don’t have to be a hairstylist to suddenly be in tune with other human beings. I am not saying pull up a couch in your office place and pretend you’re Sigmund Freud, I am saying that, a warm smile, and kind word s go a long way to improving your office atmosphere. For that matter, any encounters throughout your day. How often do we take the time to truly listen to another human being unless that conversation has something directly to do with ourselves? I will tell you, I have been a very self absorbed individual at times and I know I listen for those breaks in conversation which give me time to discuss an accomplishment or two of my own. My clients were not sitting in my chair to hear about me, they wanted to talk to me about themselves. Often, when we were finished with whatever service we were working on at the time, (hair, skin care, nails), afterwards my clients would say, “Here I am going on about myself, how are you?!?”
I can remember one busy saturday at work, it was clearly a turning point in my life and career as a hairstylist. I remember this vividly because a young client of mine was going through a particular rough event in their life which required some serious life changes. I could tell that this young lady was wrestling inside with a very difficult choice and my allowing her the ability to release just a bit of it, without begrudging her, helped her feel better about the whole situation. The best advice I gave was for her to think about all of her possible solutions and only she could come to the best resolution. It wasn’t great advice, but it was a positive response, to let her know I really did care about her feelings. All of this happened while cutting, coloring, and styling her hair. After about ten minutes more at the make-up counter, (with a bit of foundation, mascara, and lipstick), my sad, depressed client walked out a beautiful, more emotionally confident Giselle. I believe it was all due to the fact she had an objective individual to share a few moments with. This time spent is priceless and you don’t even have to go to an expensive therapy session to gain it. I honestly believe my clients felt more comfortable sharing part of their lives with me because I did’nt understand the deeper psychological aspects of their issue, and I offered a realistic approach to their problem due to the fact I could Identify with them, “Priceless!”
I cannot say that she left and immediately made all the right decisions in her life, but I can say with certainty she left feeling emotionally stronger, lifted and smiling, much more so then when she had walked in and that was what mattered most. How often can we change another human beings perception of how they view themselves? I think we can change perceptions every moment of every day. I have been fortunate in my life and career to have the ability to interact and through time have come to understand these dynamics. My advice would be to think about your interactions that you encounter every day. The next time you visit your stylist, watch and listen to all of the conversations around you, it will be interesting to note how refreshed and vibrant a day with your stylist can actually be. Remember to linger at the make-up counter that extra few minutes, or ask for that deep conditioning treatment. You will walk out a bit more renewed in more ways than you can imagine. A day at the hair salon is excellent therapy for your hair, as well as psychological therapy for your soul!