I walk to the front of the salon to introduce myself to my next client. I take them to my chair and drape them with an oversized cape. We talk about their hair and what needs to be accomplished while in the salon and start the process of a haircut. Most people are kind and courteous, we chat about the weather and where they live, kids and TV shows they watch. An average client is with me for about an hour as I shampoo, cut and style their hair. In this hour I can learn a lot about them or nothing at all. Some of them have sat in my chair graciously giving me the sweetest hour of their day. Therefore, I love what I do. I am so touched and inspired by the people I see.
I have the ability as a hair stylist to give my clientele a great day or a horrible one. They pay me for a service and expertise that they do not possess on their own and in turn sometimes I get to see the heart of someone behind cape. The people I have met over this summer that have sat in my chair really have had an impact on me and I hope in a small way I have done the same for them. I have worked tirelessly to perfect my craft after being out of the salon industry for some time. I have been challenged and I have proved to myself that I can still do it, that I can learn new things and that I know a lot more than I will ever give myself credit for.
It truly is amazing how much a haircut can change someone’s day. I have watched people transform and have a totally different outlook on themselves in just an hour appointment. It amazes me even more when we connect and share a piece of our lives with each other. I have gotten some solid advice from some of my clients, I have also had the opportunity to speak into their lives and say “Hey, I have been there” or “You’ve got this!”
I have also gotten to work alongside a great team. Some of these women I have known for years. I started working at this salon as their receptionist at the age of fifteen, I then became an apprentice to the owner and after a few years of mishap and unplanned events I ended up back behind the chair as a licensed stylist in the same salon I started all those years ago.
This time I believe was a God-thing; I was driving around praying about my need for a job and I really felt the Lord say to my heart “Go talk to Debbie” so I took a right down a familiar street and walked into the salon.
I looked around at all the new faces and asked if the owner Debbie was there, within minutes she came out and grabbed me in a hug. When we found a spot alone, I told her about my desperation for a job and she hired me on the spot “Girl text me when you want to start, you will have a chair.”
When I started working there were a lot of new faces and slight confusion as the veteran stylists embraced my homecoming. I had a lot of explaining to do and I felt in a small way I had come back home.
“Taylor, I know when you are here cause the smell of bleach reminds me of you.” I clean between clients and have never really gotten out of being the receptionist. I really do love these girls and I love serving them in the best way I can if I have the time between clients to do so. We have shared a lot of hours together throughout the years on the salon floor and in the back room.
“You always have a place here, there is no shame in coming back.” She is talking to me as she cuts my hair after the salon closes. We were both receptionists and we both ended up stylists, another stylist has always been like the other “mom” of the group, we both were. She has a farm and brings us fresh eggs and says “Any updates? How do you really feel about it?” Her blonde curls sway around, mixing with her bright tattoos and blue eyes she gives me that “mom” look. We laugh at the irony of life and talk politics and all that is going on in the world.
At the end of Thursday nights, you will find me folding towels with my boss. “What is up Tay?” I am not sure over the fifteen years I have worked for her she has ever actually used my full name. We have a lot in common and we have known each other for all those years. She is one of the kindest people I have ever met, and she likes that I have no qualms, so we have always gotten along. We share a friendship that most employees never have with their employer; I am truly grateful for her. Her clients remember me and will grab me as I walk by their chair. I have gotten more hugs from her faithful clients than I can count.
I love this little salon. It has stood the test of time for the past twenty years and I am so glad. I will be forever grateful for the stylist there, especially my boss. I am grateful for the clients who have sat in my chair, that I have gotten to be a small piece of their lives.
Sometimes going back home is twofold. Yes, we had to go back to my childhood home, but I also got to go back to my professional home. A little salon, tucked in the strip of a grocery store parking lot. There was healing for me behind the chair and that is the feeling of coming home.