When I went to Cosmetology school I told my parents I wanted to someday open up a salon that did hair and therapy. (‘Hairapy” it would be called, duhhh.) It seemed just LA enough to succeed- I pictured a spiraling starlet ripping out her extra-long extensions mid-session in distress and then immediately getting them redone, toy dog in lap, without the paparazzi outside any wiser. Now it’s pretty clear to me that this idea was just my chance to do what I had always secretly wanted to do for a living while pretending to combine the academic path I had always expected myself to take. As soon as I got into training as a stylist any other career ideas went straight out the window, though. Apparently it’s illegal to touch someone while you’re giving them therapy anyway, or something like that. I’ve clearly been very heavily researching.
Every female stylist has certain clients we regularly life-coach, advise, or encourage. (Male stylists, especially if they’re straight, can escape from much of this, although I’m sure have to deal with crazy in other ways. ) It becomes part of your relationship, and also part of what makes you irreplaceable to them. I originally wanted to be a marriage counselor, but was tired of school after I got my BA, so it’s appropriate that I found a way to still help people work out their problems and give advice that doesn’t have to be founded on anything but my still fairly ignorant gut opinion. Take that, Psychology Masters degree I thought about getting.
Lately I’ve been playing therapist more than usual. There’s something in the water, or a full moon, or people are depressed from the holidays and the cold weather. (Is it insensitive to call it cold when most of the country is freezing and I’m currently sitting on my patio at night in flip flops and shorts and annoyed at my occasional goosebumps?)
I usually like hearing people’s secrets and drama; I get to watch a soap opera while I work and make people leave feeling better than they walked in. But, geez! In the last week (which personally wasn’t easy anyway), I had so many clients (some tearily) tell me about breakups, divorces, family feuds, abortions, deaths, and so on and on. Some of them were clients I just absolutely adore and it weighed on me more than I’ve ever noticed before.
So, it’s the perfect timing for Kerastase training in New York! I’m so excited to learn what we’re teaching for the year with some of my favorite hairstylists in the country! Only two more days. I guess I’ll wear bright red lipstick until then to improve my mood. Maybe start offering some Xanax with coffee. Solid plan, huh?