When I started out doing hair, I was scared out of my mind! School taught you the basics. Beyond that, you are on your own. Look for ways to learn. Practice as much as you can and take your time. What they don’t tell you are the people you will come in contact with. EVER!
The salon I worked at brought in all kinds. I had mostly awesome clients but there were some people who would walk in and we would have to take them whether we liked it or not! Here is one of the many stories where I had no clue what to do and was too young to realize that I could have said, “I don’t think so!!”
I had a walk-in client who asked for a haircut. She had beautiful red, long, curly hair. This color was something I could never get in a bottle and the curls, I could never get from a curling iron or perm. It was naturally gorgeous! When she came in, I was hoping to shape up the cut she had and leave the color. I was only half right when this client came in.
She explained that she needed a pretty complicated cut and she wanted to talk me through the whole thing so I obliged. I was very young and very new to doing hair when this happened, I did whatever was asked of me. She first asked that I cut her very curly hair to her chin. She wanted no layers to soften the ends. This immediately made her look like she had a red curly lampshade on her head. The curls progressively grew wider as it dried.
She then proceeded to ask for bangs. I immediately thought she wanted longer bangs that she could push to the side, something that would give a little extra style to the cut she had. Nope!! She not only wanted bangs but very blunt and short bangs cut to the middle of her forehead. I tried to explain again that the curliness of her hair would make those bangs bounce up and form a curly poof at her root/top of her forehead as opposed to a stylish addition to her new cut. she was not phased and insisted on the cut she asked for. I was nervous but obliged.
When I was already hesitant, she continues. “Could you give me sideburns?” HOLD ON! What are you talking about?! She then went on to explain that she wanted me to cut a line around her ear. I also had to leave as much hair in front of the ear as possible. Picture a person who has a simple bob hairstyle with no layers. Cut a horseshoe shaped hole up and over the ear.
The only way I can truly explain just what she asked for, I altered a picture that I googled.
I was mortified. I didn’t know what to do or say! I was expecting at any moment for her to start sobbing because this haircut was atrocious!! To my utter surprise and shock, she stood up, leaned in as close as she could to the mirror and let out a chuckle. Uh oh, here it comes!! Her response floored me and to this day I can still hear her words in my head.
“Huh! This turned out even better than I expected!!” She paid for her haircut, gave me a generous tip and walked out the door.
I am a firm believer that everything happens in your life to teach you a lesson. This lesson might simply say, ‘Everyone has their own idea of beauty.’ It could also be ‘Patience and understanding are most important when dealing with people you know nothing about.’
Last but certainly not least, ‘When your shift is over, laugh. You made it through a day of people who crossed your path for a reason. Sometimes that reason is so 10 years down the road you can talk about that crazy lady at the salon!’
Have a great and Happy 4th of July, my friends!