Have you ever had an idea in your head that you couldn’t complete on your own? This happens to me all the time, but this particular situation was very revealing for me! I was trying to figure out a way to introduce myself to the blogging world and also open up about why I really do what I do and I just couldn’t quite answer the question on my own. I first asked myself this question in mid July… It's now September and I think I have the answer! The answer came to me in the best way possible…when a client asked me the very question I had been trying to answer myself!
I'm a big fan and advocate of daily journaling and, although I have lots of ideas, sometimes it takes days, weeks, sometimes months for everything to come together in my head. About a month ago I woke up with the idea of writing about what it means to me to be a hairstylist. I figured, if I can identify what it is I do on a daily basis for my guests, from their point of view, it might inspire an idea of how I can let people get to know me. In other words, if I could explain what I truly love about being a hairstylist, I believed I could open up to others much easier on this topic. I went on to write a few keywords that immediately came to mind; therapist, magician, friend, listener, creator, and artist.
The ideas on this topic have been floating around in my head lately and they just hadn’t come to fruition yet. Well yesterday I was helped with the answer. I had a fellow newbie blogger sitting in my chair, we were catching up with the goings on in each others lives over the last 3 months. Laurie was on her 'Nourishing Roots' sabbatical this summer, tracing her ancestry through Europe and I couldn't wait to hear about her experiences. You can hear her story for yourself through her Preaching Life blog right here. We were sharing stories about the feelings of insecurity that come from exposing ourselves to the often judgmental world of social media that blogging lives in. We both agreed that social media, to us, is a great way to spread positivity in a medium that often feels a tad artificial.
When we went to sit down at the shampoo bowl she asked me the $64,000 question… the question I've been pining over for months!
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF DOING HAIR?
I thought for a few moments while taking the foils out of her hair and after awhile I came up with the standard answer, the kind of answer that is often just the coffee shop response or elevator speech to keep people from seeing the real you. My initial response was, "I enjoy the variety the most and there isn't just one thing that I love about being a hair stylist. From the start of the appointment to the end, I love catching up and consulting, tweaking a regular clients' color formula because they want more warmth for fall, the challenge of doing a full balayage and root melt on hair that has grown past her waist since her last visit, to chopping off that long hair and giving someone a fresh new cut. I love it all!"
But, as I stood behind the shampoo bowl giving her a scalp massage I realized that, even after all of that, I hadn't properly answered the question. It was like a switch flipped in my head and I was looking at the question in a completely different way. She wasn't asking "what's your favorite thing to do as a stylist?" She was really asking what keeps me motivated and excited to get out of bed every morning. In essence, 'Why do you keep coming back to the salon to be a therapist, magician, listener, and artist?' So I took a few minutes to ponder the thought.
I realized the answer was actually quiet simple… I LOVE the relationship I have with each client and the people I get to interact with on a daily basis!
Although this sounds very simple I feel the need to explain. First of all, the conversation I was having with Laurie was a perfect example of my daily interactions. We haven't seen each other in months except here and there via social media. I knew she had spent the summer traveling overseas and was eager to see and hear first hand what kinds of experiences she had and what she learned throughout her journey. I was truly more interested in reconnecting with her as a person than her hair. The hair is the easiest part for me! But, for me, my skills as a stylist are simply the medium through which I'm allowed to develop such amazing relationships.
The conversations I get to have all day long are genuine, meaningful connections. We really do care about what is going on in each other's lives and we are able to be raw, honest and in the moment. Just like creating the perfect cut or color, it's so important for me to be present in each moment with my clients. Not just when it comes to listening and interpreting what they want done with their hair, but the entire time I am with them. You see, since the relationship is really the most important part of my daily interactions, the real value is in the post consultation conversation.
Being honest means not only telling your truth but being open to hearing the other person's point of view. This is something that I have struggled with and I'm learning to see things in different ways from different perspectives. That brings me to my next point, I'm constantly learning and growing from my experiences with clients. The range of the things that I learn are infinite! It could be as simple as a new workout, a recipe, inspiration for a new blog, a new series I must see on Netflix, or realizing that I'll actually be 33 in a few months when I've been telling everyone I'll be 32. That one was a doozy! On the other end of the spectrum I might have a realization about myself through listening to someone else's story or experience. Just like talking with Laurie revealed the answer to months of contemplating about how to explain what motivates me as a stylist.
We have all heard the jokes about how a good hairstylist is cheaper than a good therapist, implying that all day long I'm listening to clients and giving advice, as if it only goes one way. This may be true from time to time and I can't speak for other stylists, but my guests are giving me just as much as I'm giving them whether they know it or not. I'm inspired everyday by the people around me and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow. When all is said and done, the conversation turns back to the hair and we both leave feeling fulfilled, not only because their hair looks fabulous but because we were able to make a real human connection. Heart to heart connection is so important to the mental and physical health of every person and I get to experience this all day long!
I look forward to sharing all things from practical knowledge on seasonal cut, color, and style trends, must have products, and styling tools. I also hope that by exposing my personal growth through this process it will enlighten and inspire others on their own journey of self realization!
Hi, I'm Jolene, I started my career in the hair industry over 12 years ago. I have learned a lot along the way, not just about being a hairstylist but about life. I'll keep you up to date on the latest hair color and cut trends of the season, educate you on all different kinds of hair products, styling tools, and everything life!