It’s not about the haircut

January 26, 2009

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I spend a lot of time explaining to people the concept of “community” and how it relates to salons.  People who hop from salon to salon will never know the feeling of belonging that comes from having the same hairdresser for decades.  Carrie and I met in beauty school more than 20 years ago.  We still have clients from our first years as working stylists.  Children who’s hair we cut on booster seats now have children of their own they bring in to the salon.  Through proms, weddings, babies and sometimes divorces, we are a part of their lives and they are a part of ours.  I came across a sweet story this morning that paints the picture nicely.  Check it out.

Louise Galbraith said what’s discussed in the chair isn’t
necessarily shared with husbands or siblings. “But they can talk to us
about anything. And it’s supposed to stay here.”

“You become like friends,” said Fiona Lyon, whose hair she has
cut since 1974. “You tend to share with the hairdresser because they’re
usually impartial. They’re not family, they’re someone you can talk
to.”

“I’ve shared the joys and life’s challenges with her,” said Mary Mainland,
who’s been a regular in McLeod’s chair since 1975.

“And it goes both ways, you know. Not only our family life story
but hers. When you’re with a person that long, she’s exceptional, she’s
like a psychologist.”

“You bitch about your husband,” Mary Prout added brightly,
within earshot of him. The retired school teacher started getting her
hair styled by Pat Osborne, even before she opened the Golden Shears 25
years ago.

“We do a lot of joking and have fun in here,” said Meredith
Ball, who has been cutting hair since she was 16. She’s grown close
enough over the last 40 years with some customers to confide in them.

Read the rest of the story here.

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