As your hairdresser, I do much more than simply cut and blowdry.
As your hairdresser, Barnett chopper, wig wizard or anything else you want to endearingly call me, I actually have a harder job than you think. You see, we do more than just discuss weather, holidays and the kids exam results. We build up a relationship with you, become your confidant, therapist, agony aunt, and ultimately, a kind of friend.
We are also trained to understand and read body language, and to see if people are languishing after bereavement, depressed following divorce, or stressed. What you tell us, and how you sit in that chair tells us all sorts. We can also feel the stress being relieved at the backwash as we do scalp massages.
We know if you’re pregnant before you tell us, and we know when work is getting too much.
You see, there’s a lot of things your hair and scalp tells us, and one of the tell tale signs of depression and low self esteem, is when you don’t even comb your hair, and allow it to become matted. Not in a trendy way like dreads, but you’ve just given up.
Over time, as we gain your trust, you eventually open up to us, telling us about financial woes, marital problems, family that have done you over. We know more about you than most of your friends, and it is duly noted. Under data protection, we don’t discuss our discussions with anyone, but, when we feel you need additional help, we have a duty of care to inform someone. Be that the 111 service, or if we know your GP’s surgery, we can speak to them of any concerns, just so it’s on file.
We aren’t qualified mental health nurses, nor are we psychotherapists, but we are very good at listening. Part of the job is giving out advice, and how we would deal with predicaments, be that a cheating husband, a bullying co-worker, mounting debt. You pay us for a haircut, but also get a therapist thrown in free!
We are there at your highest and lowest points, from being promoted, to widows who want to look their best for the funeral, for weddings, that special anniversary, divorce hearings. We’ve honestly seen it all. Actually, we’ve done hair for every occasion and every non occasion.
The thing with hair and beauty therapists, is that we have no choice but to try and help. We’re like flight attendants with scissors, nail files, brushes and blusher. That is our job, and it’s a bloody hard one too.
Not only do we have back to back appointments all day, but we also have to constantly be on the ball and listen carefully, because anything you say may make us start to think something is askew. This is not a detriment to you, but if we see a continuous pattern, or even decline in your emotional and mental well being, we want to help. Not just because you put food on our table, but we do actually care about you as a person.