short hair

Attitude is required to wear short hair. It is everything.

Except for extremely short hair, which I tend to rock about every other summer and I mean one inch or less, short hair isn’t necessarily easier to style than long. Some short styles require a lot of product and a bit of finesse. I remind my clients that having short hair may come with a learning curve to get it right.

And the afore mentioned attitude is needed. If you can’t own it, you can’t wear it. You can have the cutest short haircut that looks fabulous on you but if you don’t feel confident it will never work.

There is no hiding with short hair.  You, your face, your expression, everything is on display. Often people hide behind their long hair, emotionally as well as physically. With short hair you can’t do that. You are putting yourself out there and saying “Look at me!”.

Pixie cut on Emma Watson. And what was she saying? Look at ME!

But it is a myth that it is easier to have short hair. At least at first. Short haircuts often have a lot of texture to them.  To achieve that you have to know how to style it and what products work best for hair. There is no throwing it into a ponytail if your having a bad hair day! It can take some time to figure out how to style a new cut quickly. Less time and more product usually work best.

Short hair can be just as vesitile as long hair if you are willing to shake it up. Smooth, flat and sleek one day. Textured, choppy and standing up the next. Hell switching the side you part it on can totally change the look.

Short with texture and a deep side part.

I routinely change my part. As with most people’s hair my hair lays down better if it goes one way and I get more volume if I part it the other direction. Most people can change their part line, a few unfortunate people have a very strong cowlick or directional way the hair lies.

A lot of people just get used to parting it the same way and never change it. Even just parting it farther over can make a big change. Come on, it is just hair, have some fun!

Try something new!

Deep side part.

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The big cut

Every once in a while I get someone that wants to cut all their hair off. Short, really short, chin length or less, a lot less.

Now you might think a hair stylist would just jump at this. Yeah, hang on a minute . How much do you like sobbing tears? Me either.

When I was first starting out I might have jumped but now I ask a few questions. How short is short? Have you gone this short before? Really, when? No in 3rd grade doesn’t exactly count. I am asking a lot of questions, sometimes not so much to get a specific answer as much as I am to get a feel for what this client is thinking. Are they doing this because they expect this haircut to have magical powers to change their life? Are they really ready to cut their hair off, especially if they have  long hair. Are their expectations of what their hair will do and look like realistic?

If I feel like the person is ready and will like (hopefully love) it I will do it and it is a blast. Sometimes they keep it that way for a long time, sometimes for a while and grow it out but rarely do they hate it. And it has been a long time since someone started crying in my chair. Or at least crying because of their haircut.

I have cut women’s hair because of breakups, divorce, new babies, new job and I have cut it off because it was falling out due to chemo.

Some clients I cut their hair off about every four to six months because that is how long they last “growing” it out before they hit the dreaded awkward stage. I have one client that has spent the last 15 years growing her hair out. Even when I occasionally refuse to cut it, to try and get her through that awkward stage she has never even gotten close to getting it much past her chin. Other clients have tried for years to grow it out in different ways and then one day we make it. They have long hair! Some of them love it and others go what the hell was I thinking!?

Do NOT do this to your stylist!

Do not show up 10 minutes late for your appointment and then say I need to be out of here by X time.

If you need to be done early at least have the decency to show up on time.

And try saying “Gee I over scheduled myself could I be done by X time? If you don’t have time to finish styling me that would be OK.” And realise you are still going to be charged the full amount.

I book my haircuts on the hour. You are paying for my time and my skills. If you want to cut that short that’s fine but you are still paying me for my time. This isn’t a Supercuts, my haircuts aren’t ala carte.

Image http://flic.kr/p/7UTmVK

I’m psychic, no really.

Some clients think I’m psychic

It should be a compliment, I know, considering most people would be more inclined to think I’m psychotic.

Yes being a hair stylist requires being a little psychic. I have to know what someone wants without them telling me. What they really want, not what they tell me they want. And then I have to convince them that is what they want. I have had clients tell me what they want, bring in a picture even. (Yes, normally I like pictures!) And I know they aren’t going to like it. But they insist and they are SURE that is what they want. So if it is physically possible I do it. (The physically impossible is another story, for another day.)

And they hate it. I just want to say I told you so. But I don’t; well not usually.

You work in this business and you start to get a feel for this. People want something and that hairstyle or color represents it. They think if they can achieve that then something magical will happen. The right hair can change a person, but you can’t make it happen no matter how much you want it to. It won’t make you young , thin or wealthy but if your lucky it will make you happy.

So if your hairdresser balks at doing something maybe you should listen but then again maybe you should get a new hairdresser. We are more likely to be psychotic than psychic!

Change

I want a change

Client with long, one length, hair to her collar bone,  sits in the chair and says “I want a change. I want to do something different.”

“OK. How about we we bring it up to your shoulders. It will swing, have more movement and still be easy for you to do?” Me

“No I don’t want it to be any shorter.” Client

“OK, then what about some layers to give it some texture and movement?” Me

“No. I don’t want any layers” Client

“Bangs, we could cut in some bangs.” Me

“No. No bangs.” Client

“OK, we’re not changing your haircut. So color? Maybe a few highlights, something subtle so you don’t have the commitment of regular maintenance.” Me

“No I don’t want to color it.” Client

“All right. You don’t want to change your haircut and you don’t want color. That leaves perming.” Me

“No. I’m don’t want to perm my hair.” Client

???!!! Me

“SO ~ You want a change?” Me

“Yes.” Client

“But you don’t want to cut it, color it or perm it?” Me

“Yes.” Client

*sigh* flat deadpan monotone “Then put it up in a ponytail.” Me

Yes this is an actual conversation I had once with a client. But variations of this discussion happen all the time. Hair stylists can only do so much, we can can’t change your life. If you want a change you actually have to be willing and ready to change!

Why did I become a hairstylist?

Some times I ask myself  “Why did I become a hairstylist? Really a damn hairstylist??!”

My own mother laughed.  (And she should know she was a hairdresser for a brief time.) She said “You know you’ll have to be nice to people.” *sigh* She was right in that isn’t my strong suit. The truth is I don’t have to be nice, it just takes longer to build a clientele.

I was in my mid twenties, a bartender, I made good money and I hated it. I hate drunks, they are just so stupid. What is the fun in that? You harass, harangue, insult them and they don’t even know it. They think your being funny, and I was, just not in the way they thought. It is a dark profession, you really see the worst in people. It was a  good bad  job for me, I tend to be very dark anyways and the job just fed that side of my personality.

I had already been to cooking school and knew I didn’t want to do that. I had cooked, waitresses, managed and even been a barista (me and mornings do not get along). I started bar tending two months after I turned twenty one. And now I wanted out. I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. So I thought “I’ll become a hair stylist!” Hell it took less than a year and you got tips and I really liked tips. I figured I could do hair while I decide what I wanted to do. The hours were flexible so I could go back to school when I figured out what I was going to do for a career. I got tips. I could travel with this skill. It seemed perfect. It made no sense.

Really, even I have to wonder what I was thinking. I had never cut a head of hair before I went to beauty school or even had any desire to. I was a tomboy. I didn’t care about makeup or fashion, actually thought it was kinda silly. I am extremely blunt. I have a very dry, read sarcastic, sense of humor. I’m not a natural people person. I have a lot of introverted qualities. I say what ever comes into my mind, I’ve been told by my friends that I have no internal editor.  By the way I do have an internal editor; I’ve just turned it off.  Basically I am not the kind of person anyone would think should become a hair stylist.

Here I am twenty some years later still doing it. And most of the time I love it.

I’ve mellowed some too. Or at least I’ve learned to say things a little bit softer. “You want to do WHAT with your hair? In your dreams! Are you delusional?! NOT going to happen in this reality. No. What part of no didn’t you get?” All things I have said. The no part ~ a lot.

I have had two physical scares that I thought would take me out of this business. The second time I even went back to college to learn accounting. Accounting?? Where do I come up with this shit? But I’m still doing hair. After the second time I thought I would have to quit the business I realized how much I loved doing it.

So maybe I’m not your typical hairdresser, but who wants to be typical?

Why start blogging?

Why have I decided to start a blog?

I recently took a class on how to Use Social Media to Market Your Business. One of the things suggested was to start a blog and link it to the other types of social networking sites your business used. So is that why I did this? No, not really. But it did give me the impetus to finally decide to try blogging.

I had considered starting a blog. An anonymous one, talking about all the funny, annoying things that my clients do. But I can’t do that, it just seems wrong to me. There is a trust, an unspoken agreement of confidentiality that I would never betray. I am privy to a lot of personal information – joy, pain, fear, dreams, anxiety –  I can’t and won’t betray that.

So does that mean I’ll never tell you about the crazy, insane, bat-shit things my clients have done? Oh like hell I will! I’ve been in this business for a long time, and I have a lot of stories! Besides many of the things I’ve seen and heard can be told in a way that won’t reveal any one’s identity.

Do I think this blog will help or improve my business? No. Actually I am aware it could completely backfire and hurt it. I live and grew up in this small town; if you have every lived in a little town you know exactly what I am referring to. People talk, they gossip, and the hottest gossip in town is the personal, malicious kind. One of the ways I have learned to handle this is by not caring or worrying about what people say. I do what I think is right and hope when the dust settles I come out in one piece. I sure as hell hope I don’t regret doing this. And I know some people (I can see them wrinkling their noses in disdain now) will think that me airing my personal feelings and thoughts here is pathetic.

I’m doing this because I hope it is fun. I can entertain people, meet and connect with people that I would otherwise not. In a way this is what I do all day anyways, I talk to people, get to know them and tell them about myself. In the grandest of scenarios I find and create another community of friends that can support and help me grow. Maybe that sounds corny and you think I’m crazy -I am- but that is what I want and I’m going to give it a shot. What’s the worst that can happen???