Love, love, love

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Nothing adds more natural beauty to a person than love. If you don’t have a person to love today, I hope you all still find a way to celebrate your love for your favorite activities, animals, foods and movies. Take care bloggers!

Here is a picture from last December to make y’all smile 🙂 with Olivia, Ty of Fautaugraufy and Angie of Sew Addicted.


The Beauty Industry is for Everyone

When I set out to become a hair stylist, it was after several years of cutting my friends’ hair, and hair for friends of friends, and friends of their friends.  I loved the diversity of the people I practiced on, how they were all so chill and seemed more interested in just talking to me and hanging out than worried about any end result.  Obviously, anyone who was more worried about an unlicensed 18 year old was not going to be sitting in my chair, subject to my shears.  But the fact is, everyone gets their hair cut!  And yet, when I was going through school to become the best hair dresser I could, I had this fear that for the rest of my life I would be surrounded by a very particular types of clients, who eat, breathe and sleep for the health and perfection of their hair.  The pressure caused me so much stress, the fear that I could not seem fashionable enough, that I could not style perfectly enough, that the clients would not be able to relate to me as an individual who just wants a fun, interesting, wash and wear style.

I could not have been more wrong.

I could never be the sort to round brush my hair every single day.  And you know what?  There are a lot of people out there that are just like me!  It is not that they are completely ambivalent towards their appearance, they just can’t be troubled to fuss with it for more than x minutes every day.  And that’s ok!

One of the reasons I chose to go to hair school instead of grad school was a huge fear that I would need to be with the same types of people every day for the rest of my life.  I didn’t want everyone around me to be devoted to the same life path, I wanted variety and conversation.  I wanted to learn every day, not just about my field but about everyone else’s field, and I wanted the opportunity to live vicariously through my clients.  So I’m not sure why once I entered hair school I grew in fear that every one that came into my chair would be a ultra-intimidating fashionista.

There are a lot of people that I talk to and I would never figure they care much about makeup or hair products or things of that nature, and admittedly those things are pretty low on their list, and then they ask me questions that let me know they’ve been reading online beauty reviews and articles, they have been wondering about a lot of things, they’ve just been intimidated to talk about them with other people.  These are the people that don’t prioritize good looks on a regular basis, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to come into the salon every now and then to get all dolled up.

We live in a society now where women look in the mirror and see more than just their looks.  We see our accomplishments, our capabilities, our potential.  But that doesn’t mean beauty is forgotten about, or that it is only for young women, tall women, stylish women, petite women, exotic women, glamorous women… beauty is for everyone!  The smart, the strong, the unconventional… everyone.  And I love to celebrate that fact every single day.

And it happens with both genders.  It seems like at a young age kids begin identifying as “good-looking” or “not-so-good-looking.”  It is deeply ingrained inside adults.  With men especially, a hair cut can dramatically change everything about their appearance, make them hire-able or fire-able.  For men, women and children, I believe it is my duty to make sure they have the best possible image, outwardly and inwardly.

In other words, I never want to make anyone feel like “the beauty industry” is a place only for certain types of people.  I think everyone should feel comfortable with exploring their own image, and I think it is my job to make everyone more comfortable inside their own skin.

The New Year, Hospitals and Hair

So far, 2013 has been an odd year, with more hospital visits than the entirety of 2012. There has been a lot on my mind, but one topic that recurs is the relationship between health and hair.

I initially wanted to blog about this after my first hospital visit of the year, visiting a five year old Palestinian boy at the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. His father (who had flew sixteen hours with a dying child and was now staying with him in Pittsburgh while his two other children and pregnant wife waited worriedly in the Middle East) had happened upon my salon after dining next door at one of the nicest sushi restaurants in town. I was very touched by his story and could not imagine the stress of caring for someone so young and so sick, let alone doing so so far from home. Long story short, he gave me the number for his hospital room and told me it would mean a lot to him if I could go out and cut his son’s hair.

The boy had the most beautiful dark blue eyes, bushy lashes and the softest face. His hair was wild, overgrown, disheveled. He was in constant motion and, needless to say, it was not the perfect haircut. But his hairline was clean and he could see out of his eyes and there is no doubt that he looked just a little bit healthier. He looked just a little bit more like an average, healthy, five year old boy.

Little did I know that the next day I would be in the hospital visiting one of my own friends. Just six days prior I had seen him for lunch, his curly hair growing wild like all the college boys do. To see him suddenly with his curls shaved except for a few patched and wires and cords entangling him, it was really difficult.

Something about too much or too little hair just begs questions. Too much tends to imply neglect, too little tends to imply a loss or hardship. Recently I have met a few ladies who wear wigs for medical conditions other than cancer, and cancer is always the assumption if they let their bold heads show. I also see many women in the salon who undergo significant amounts of hair loss from different medication/hormonal changes. It is a hard thing for many women to accept, that their hair will change, and in significant ways, between texture, density and color. We expect our skin to change dramatically, but our hair we expect to remain relatively constant, except, perhaps, for the need to color it.

This month, I am proud to say that I have already had two lovely ladies come into the salon to donate their hair, which fills me with joy. Not just for the opportunity for me to give them a new style, but for the opportunity they have given to others to present the sick and the stigmatized with a new framework for their face.