Reluctantly after finishing school at seventeen, I began a hairdressing career. It was 1988. Although I had already started working part-time at the age of fourteen. My mother constantly said to us, “You need to have a trade when you leave school.” My sister had begun hairdressing before me and got me into the salon where she was working. I began working a few hours on a Saturday and a Thursday night. I was quite shy at the beginning and hadn’t a clue. I learned quickly as it was too busy and there was nowhere to hide, although I did try and hide in where all the folded towels were.
As I moved on in my hairdressing apprenticeship, I began to love the whole scene. I entered hair competitions where the industry would congregate and bitch about everyone and then get totally legless from excessive alcohol intake. In the competition, the stylist would have to style a model on the main competition floor (which would turn into the dance floor later in the evening) with other competing stylists and then get marked on the end result. The fumes of Elnett hairspray would knock you out. Every accessory from peacock feathers, sponges, plastic cups and knitting needles would be applied to the poor model’s hairs. They would be wincing in pain in the chair while the stylist twisted, pinned and pulled their hair into place. Later on, you would see the models all drunk with their hairs still intact unable to get it back to its original state after been stuck together with spray and probably super glue.
There were many fun times while I learned my trade, a trade that stood to me most of my life before my writing career. But what I loved most about hairdressing was I made people feel good when I had finished designing their new coiffure. And most of all, I loved the stories I heard from each person. My love of storytelling or perhaps listening to other people’s stories began here.
So, the moral of this post on my earlier profession is – how can you make your clients feel better – what fairy dust can you offer to sprinkle on them?
Just be sure it is fairy dust and not Elnett hairspray 😊