Hair Stylists: The 1st Healers
It’s pretty safe to say that hairstylists have seen and heard almost everything. Regardless of whether you come in weekly, monthly, or annually, we get to know you on a level that no one else does. We hear about the births and deaths, graduations and rejections, engagements and break ups (the list goes on and on,) and for the x amount of time you’re in our chair, you’re more than just a head of hair, and we are more than just your stylist - think of us as your healer.
The art of cutting and styling hair has long been tied to healing properties dating as far back as Medieval times (when barbers doubled as surgeons), and while we no longer draw blood, we do monitor your overall well being - both physically and mentally.
Hair stylists fall in the same exclusive network as doctors, dentists, massage therapists, and any other specialist who is licensed to provide a service involving physical contact, but we have rare access to your head. Every time you visit us, we spend nearly an hour (if not more) closely studying your hair, head, and scalp - all of which are tell tale indicators of your general health.
We use almost all of our senses to assess your health: when shampooing, our hands form to the shape of your head; when cutting and blow-drying, our eyes scan for areas of hair loss or thinning; when applying color, our ears listen for signs of discomfort. Because of this, there have been instances of stylist helping save a client’s life. Besides physiological health concerns like growths, lumps, and markings, we also notice any bruises, welts, or trauma to the head that may indicate abuse.
We have undergone extensive training with Boston’s Cut It Out program on how to recognize and handle signs of abuse, and it’s a role we take very seriously.
But besides the silent analysis taking place, we also often get to talk with you - a lot. When you’re in our chair for a 60 minute balayage, things can get pretty deep. At times we are your confidant with whom you can vent, reflect, laugh, and even cry to within the implied privacy of a hair salon.
Mental health is a huge factor in your hair’s health and your overall health, so while we hear about the trials and tribulations of your life, we gather information to explain any changes we may be noticing in your hair. The relationship developed isn’t one-sided, though.
We come to love all of you - our clients - and we wish you the best in life, so our desire to ensure you are healthy and happy extends beyond your hair.