My boots (which I never believed would become such a necessary attachment to my body )have walked a thousand miles across many maps …
not your normal road map mind but more the maps of the mind and the thoughts that we hold within us …..
I’ve been on a journey with so many people journeys where they have mapped out their trials and tribulations, their sadness or frustrations as well as the excitement of past happy times or happy times that were still to come ….
I held widows as they sobbed into my arms over the loss of their life long partners ….I always cry too …..I can’t help it….
I talked confidently to first time mums soothing their worries instead of scaring them half to death with hellish birthing stories and boy have I collected some in my time with the public …..
I calmed the angry wife and spoke kindly to the deemed incompetent father….
(Don’t we love putting eachother down ….if we aren’t finding fault in ourselves then we move onto others…..why do we do this …its such a waste of energy )
I helped many a little tot enjoy their hair cut experience ,creating confident little ones who are now a million miles away from the behaviours of screaming the salon down…. what joys they must be to those stylists they go to now …
Ohhhh the hours I put into building their confidence ….
I’ve been spotted shuffling around on my knees chasing those toddlers … I was taking a snip here and a snip there when I could followed by a bit of role play with the toys or reading stories using such expression in my tone that they were hanging on my every word eager to turn the pages for me until the job was done …
There was relief on the parents face that it hadn’t turned into a drama where tears rolled down their tiny faces and snot got mixed up with tiny snippets of hair that stuck to their sweaty little bodies…. The tiny tot’s arm’s stretched out to their mummy sobbing and shaking…..
The Dad no where to be seen after the embaressing Barber shop experience…(sorry barbers !!) It was now and forever the mum’s job or actually visa versa ….some mum’s have taken kiddies to posh salons where a particular stylist has all the skills to deal with adults but have no patience to deal with kiddies and have scared the little one half to death …so its off to the barbers with daddy instead !!!
I have only ever witnessed this kind of behaviour because they have come to me with a fear of hair cutting already…. A bit like the child who has a fear of sitting on the loo or letting go of number 2’s….we all know there is no such thing as the toilet monster so don’t put it into their fragile, inquisitive little minds right !!!….
Its the same with the fear of clippers or scissors or cutting off locks that give them magical strength…
It only takes nanny to say “ohhhh what has mummy done to your hair I liked it before “and we are on the slippery road to god knows where…. and so young!!!
………Sinking to my knees and looking around from a child’s perspective was always such an eye opener (you can try this anywhere be it in a crowd or in a supermarket or at the local swimming pool)…Take a peep into the world of a tot ….the world does actually look quite daunting ……imagine a tall lady coming at you with a big black cloak sitting you up so high you fear for your safety and then she smiles as the glint bounces off of a pair of big shiny scissors……snip snip snip …….
It takes a bit of trust and a lot of kindness to win those tots over but I got a reputation for managing to have happy hair cut experiences so I must have done something right ……
whatever came through the doors and whatever age or sex a connection was made as my hands fell on their shoulders and the chit chat began to flow…..I was always ready to welcome them with a warm smile and a big hug ….it was almost on contact that you felt their shoulders lower….. a kind of huuuuuuh as they released the burdens they carried or the stress of a frantic day for just receiving a hug…..
Those clients created a connection deeper than I think they ever thought they could make with someone who ‘just cut their hair ‘….
I say that with hesitation because making such a personal connection with your hairdresser is somehow I think, kind of magical and if you have had that experience then you will know what I mean…. its almost a session of intense private therapy without the intenseness of the exception you put on yourself at therapy !!!….
Many of us will at some point have strolled into a salon sat in a chair and then embarked on an empty, vague chat about the weather, your holiday or what you are doing at the weekend and then you leave with a hairdo that cost an extra £20 than you were expecting a conditioning treatment you didn’t ask for and a hair cut we are seldom happy with…
That bloody fringe you now hate as it is in your eyes by the time you are at your car …
or the feathering around the face that was supposed to soften the look ….hmmm I look like I’m wearing a bowl ….
and then this one ….as the mirror is taken around the back of your head so you can see the work in all its glory …….
bloody hell that looks short …way to much length is missing …she said she would take off an inch ….more like 3 inches has just been swept away so I can’t see it ……oh god i just want to leave the shop and hide !!!!!
For me, having a relationship where my clients could show vulnerability and honesty actually became a beautiful part of their haircut …..The effects of me stayed with them for a good few weeks as the hair behaved and the chat lightened their load from their shoulders…
The final finished result of time spent with me left them feeling enlightened (and no not on how much I had cut off you cheeky what not )!!! …
taking the time to understand them as individuals and the way they lived their lives was a starting point …
we worked together …..
We worked on what was important to them and how much time at either end of the day they had for themselves ….which was hardly anything I will add the first signs of a stressed human !!……
My way of hairdressing was to listen first and cut after ….to cut a style working with the way the hair fell (hair has its own personality you know )and the way they managed it all by themselves at home ….
Did they run out of the door grabbing a piece of dry toast battling an armful of book bags and lunch boxes whilst the hair bounced into an insane state of boof only to be dragged back in a pony on arrival at work haggard and harassed by the first 2 hours of the day and you still had 8 hours of work to endure !!
Or did they have hours because they were up at the crack of dawn to beautify themselves…..(this way of life I will add also had its sadness and pain amongst some of my clientele) every person has a story …….
My thoughts when cutting were more than often ‘ why work on something that they may never be able to recreate all by yourself ‘….
I was always fearful of what that might do for their self esteem ??….I’ve had some dodgy hair does myself… not because a stylist has done a crap job but more because I was trying to lift my down trodden spirit or funk my image up a bit …always does on impulse and always sorely regretted ……
The stylist might be sat in the staff room chuffed to bits that they’ve done the most current style technique and conquered it fairly confidently ,thinking over a mug of well grant coffee and a fag ‘thank christ for the straighteners …I do hope they’ve got a decent pair at home because that was such hard work getting the hair anywhere near pliable … but hey the boss is pleased with me and the extra charge I put on for the restyle’ …
So everyone is happy right???
An appointment booked if booked on impulse…..goes like this…..
you almost fall through a salon door after booking last minute you were looking to change your image this could be because we are in a low mood or we could be totally besotted with a current look because the media are bleeding fashion dry or we could be desperate for that confidence boost be it the pampering we want or just contact with someone you think actually cares about you ….
More often than not you’ll end up with something the stylist can do rather than what was appropriate or actually wanted by you ….very seldom do you find that the stylist that gets you and your needs because you’ve been squeezed in or have a youngster who can stick to basics but can’t expand as their professional experience is still too low level…..
but just once in a while you will find a gem …you will feel amazing you will have the chance to build up a relationship …..and thats when you know you’ve got the right hairdresser……
Have a painted a picture from all angles, from all ages and all capabilities ??
so …where am I going with this …..
A few weeks back I said I wanted to do something …I have found myself of late with no purpose…..
How could I make a difference like I uses too…. how does kirsten make a difference….
could I kind of share my gifts ??…. I was sat with friends questioning those gifts …
what were they ??
“Are you kidding kirsten” …..was what was said ….
“Think about it “…..
You see I was missing a big point that was brought to my attention as I sat looking rather miffed on my sofa … my own private noisy head space was quiet while I listened )…..
I understood where my friend was going with this …..
So I have picked apart what my job entailed …..
I would stick a gown around a clients shoulders ….
and hey presto I was allowed to work my magic in 2 ways as the client sat their bum in my chairs ….
1 was with the snip of my scissors (naturally)
2 was with the wonderful ability to listen and talk but always in a beautiful 2 way, thought provoking and trusting manner with all my clients …
Problems ,fears and worries were defused in those chairs …
when we experience something specific and learn to accept it with unconditional love the situation seems copiable, but to talk it out really helps and thats where I seemed to have found an almost hidden talent………
It wasn’t until the clientele dried up (because of MS) that I found myself yearning for space to hold those trusting deep conversations again….
I was missing connections …. those deep meaningful connections where my words came from I don’t know where but made so much sense to both me and the clientele ….
Through working on myself and sharing my journey I gave others strength ….
The biggest work I did on myself was meeting my Inner child….look it up if you haven’t heard of this before it really helped me …..
I gave ‘me’ holding space and in time the space to work through ‘stuff ‘….
That has been a powerful medicine for me … but it was also what I had offered every single client that walked through my door ….holding space to just be and then a place to work through stuff if they wanted ….
… I had a talent for emotional understanding …
… I had a talent for loving unconditionally …
… I had a talent for listening intently …
…I had a talent with people and I hadn’t even recognised it until now ….
From anything bad that happens in your life there comes good …..
as far as a hair cut goes …..
Cutting off the old to make way for the new is absolutely fine……
sometimes a new hair cut has you finding yourself and sometimes trying something new reminds you that you were fine just the way you were….
sometimes hair cutting is really simple …..forget all the extras …..
Its simply about looking like a better you …..
lots of love kirsten xxx