I’ve owned a children’s hair salon for five years now, but I’ve been a hairstylist for over ten years. Side note: you know, on a normal day I really don’t feel old at all, but when you start putting down on paper that you have been a hairstylist for the last ten years you think- man, maybe I am getting old!
Anyways, I can tell you that as a hairstylist I have seen it all. At this point, I’m not even sure what it would take to phase me. Especially working in a children’s hair salon (and 9 times out of 10 it’s the parents that shock me).
I thought I would spend this month’s Monday posts sharing with you my top 10 best and worst moments in the hair industry.
#10 (one of the worst)
So, it is only fitting that we start the list with my very first day roughly ten years ago at another children’s hair salon. Now, as you may or may not know most boys don’t like getting their hair cut. (And “don’t like it” is probably the understatement of a lifetime.) I’ve been kicked, punched, pinched- you name it, it’s probably happened to me. I never really mind because I understand the kids are little and they are scared. I try and make them as relaxed and as calm as possible, but sometimes they are sitting lovely and they suddenly remember what is happening and a fist comes out of nowhere. Luckily at this point I have the reflexes of a cat, so I avoid the left hooks most days!
Anyways, back to my first day. A boy came into the salon and the mom wanted his hair cut. OK, no problem, I thought. He was around six (the mom told me he was in grade one, but he was sick that day so she thought she would bring him in for a haircut- oh, lovely, cheers for that!). Well, he lost it. LIKE LOST IT! He was kicking, screaming, so much so I couldn’t even get near him with the flailing limbs. Now seeing that today wouldn’t phase me, but for my first day I was a little hesitant (so young, so naïve ;)). Anyways, I suggested to her that maybe because he wasn’t feeling well, it might be better to try another day, but no she wasn’t going to be deterred. She said, “It’s okay, I know what to do.” She then proceeded to take her six year old, and pull him onto her lap (he was almost as big as she was) and started to breastfeed him. She looked up to me and said, “Okay, cut his hair now.” I’m not sure what I was more shocked about, that this massive boy who was almost as big as her was currently being breastfed to calm him down or the fact that she wanted me to cut his hair like that.
Okay, now before you get your pitch forks out, I have no problem with breastfeeding your kids. Good for you! Breastfed, bottle fed, spoon fed, whatever! I’m just not entirely comfortable watching a six year old do it while I am trying to cut his hair. Call me crazy!
#9 (one of the best)
A dad had come in with his two daughters. The younger daughter was wearing a wooly hat, and the older daughter had beautiful ringlets. Once the older daughter had picked her chair, I turned to dad and asked, “What are we doing today with her hair?”
He looked at me and said, “We are shaving it all off.”
I paused, waiting for him to laugh thinking he was teasing his daughter (which 99.9% of dads do), but he was serious. I frowned at him and looked at the girl in the chair.
“Like all of it?” I asked. “Or you just want it shorter?”
He shook his head, “Nope, all of it.”
“Oh okay, umm, is everyone okay with this?” I asked, wondering if I was going to have a sobbing little girl in the chair after we were done.
“Yep,” he nodded and looked down at his daughter. “Do you want to tell Miss Emily why you want to shave your head?”
She nodded and looked up at me. “My sister has cancer and lost all her hair and thinks she looks ugly, but I think she looks cool. If I shave my head we can be cool together.”
Oh my god, it took everything inside of me not to fall into a sobbing mess right then and there. I looked at the younger little girl smiling at her big sister and I just nodded and smiled. It’s all I could do. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t say a single thing because I thought if I opened my mouth I would burst into tears.
The situation could have been so sad (and it was), but it was also filled with hope and love, so it totally had to make the top ten list. We shaved the big sister’s head, and she was right. They both looked amazing.