Getting my hair done is one of the most therapeutic things for me. Not only because of the obvious: that afterward, I’m always left feeling more confident and peppy, but the process itself is soothing for me. I think one of the most important things for me is finding the right hair dresser, someone who genuinely enjoys her work and one I can have a good, honest, and friendly relationship with.
The process of getting my hair done takes three hours minimum, so it may sound pretty obvious that I want to like whoever I’m spending time with. The woman I go to is an expert and lover of colour. You know, I used to walk into any hair salon and have an itinerary of how things are going to go and what I wanted the outcome to be. I always left disappointed but too afraid to say anything that might hurt their feelings. And then something changed these past couple of years when I realized that just like I want freedom with my craft of writing, why wouldn’t anyone else want it with their passion?
About a year ago, when I was searching for a new hair dresser and finally found one, I walked in telling her an idea I had and then said, “But do whatever you think is best. Have fun and just play. Hair always grows back anyway.”
I think that was the moment of liberation that my hair stylist needed. Sometimes when working in any field for so long, you start adhering to the demands. I mean, you can’t exactly say no to a customer when they tell you they want something. It’s their hair. It’s their body. And you are the one doing the service.
So I wanted to try it out. This thing where I let go of my need to control and let her just have fun with my hair; do whatever she wanted with it – with the exclusion of dying it pink….you gotta draw the line somewhere.
She kept checking in with me, asking if it were okay if she were to cut it shorter, dye it darker, maybe do a balayage. I just smiled and told her to do whatever she thought would look best.
And then her shoulders loosened their grip. Her fingers mangled themselves into my hair, brushing the roots to lift them. When I tried talking to her, I realized that she didn’t respond which was concerning until I looked at her face. She was in the zone.
If you’re a creative person, you know the zone. We always want to be in the zone. We live for the zone. We live in the zone and when we’re not, we’re trying to get in it because it’s the most gratifying place to be. It’s where you feel the most alive.
When I saw that transcended look on her face, a weight inside of me lifted too. I felt like I was in good hands. I felt safe because anyone doing anything for you with that much love and passion will make you feel safe.
A friend of mine also works at the salon and it was nice having the three of us women talk, laugh, and be in this great wave of energy together. Now every time I walk in, I see my hairdresser’s eyes twinkle because it means that she gets to play.
The reason I’m telling you this is because it gave me a greater sense of gratitude towards my own passion, which is obviously writing. I realized that not all passions have the option of feeling this sense of freedom and playfulness every day like I do. I mean, with writing, all you need is a pen, a paper, and your imagination. That’s really lucky. I can play whenever I choose too. I can make up stories and write lyrics or poems, maybe even a funny rap here and there. But not all passions can have that option on a day-to-day basis.
I mean, I obviously feel less creative on some days. I feel like I don’t have any downtime on others. But the option is always there for me. I can take 10 minutes out of my day to have the same kind of fun that my hairdresser might have been waiting months for.
It’s crazy for me to wrap around my head why more people don’t trust someone completely with their craft, especially someone with 15+ years of experience and someone who still finds so much joy in her work. I mean, every time she’s finished with me, I’m so SO happy with the outcome (which has not always been the case).
But it hurts to think that she doesn’t have the same option as me. I mean, you have clients who have very specific notes on what they want and hair color and cut isn’t exactly something you can take 10 minutes out of your day to randomly do freely.
But this is something I want to bring and seek out more and more. That when I need any service, to take the time to look for someone who truly enjoys their work and cares about me. That’s all you need to get a better outcome than what you expected as well as an added bonus: you get to be in the zone with them.