by Sally Scott, Perth, Australia
Getting a haircut is something that we all do – whether it be in a professional salon, visiting someone who works from home, having it done by a family member or friend, or maybe even doing it yourself. We all experience it.
For me, hairdressing salons have always been confronting I have been to small ones, large ones, cheaper ones, very expensive ones, trendy ones and those set up from home. In the past I have found them so intimidating: walking into a space with what I perceived to be lots of beautiful people walking around wearing amazing clothes and parading some very funky hair-dos. There is, of course, generally some sort of music being played, and then to top it all off, you take a seat in front of a mirror where you get to look at yourself and wait until the hairdresser is ready for you.
So what’s confronting about that?
Having to talk with a number of people who seem to be very happy, shiny and beautiful, and feeling like they can’t really be interested in my answers to their questions? Listening to music that you generally do not like? Having to sit in a very uncomfortable position while someone washes your hair with water running down the back of your neck and into your ears? Looking at yourself in the mirror with your towel-dried hair, while a voice in your head is telling you all about the imperfections that you have? You then pick up a magazine… only to be faced with even more beautiful people in amazing outfits and with wonderful hair-dos. Now the voice inside your head is very loud as it tells you your eyes look puffy and that the towel-dried hair does nothing for you, and didn’t you notice that pimple this morning and what were you thinking wearing that colour today? At times the voice inside your head can be very loud, persistent, and have a lot to say.
Your hairdresser comes to you and asks, “What are we doing today?” Are you in any fit state to be deciding on a haircut? My classic response was, “What do you think?” Or, “Do you have any suggestions?”. I may have seen a photo of a stunning model with an amazing cut, colour and blow-dry and say, “I want that”. So my hairdresser either has permission to do what they want, or try out one of the latest cuts that celebrities are wearing and is the latest in hair fashion.
The haircut progresses and you still have to look into the mirror and deal with all sorts of things that go on inside your head. That doesn’t look like the picture, did I have those wrinkles last time I was here, oh my god! is that a grey hair?… or you just shut your eyes and wait for the end result, which is never going to look like the picture because you have different hair, a different shaped face, different skin colour and you do not have people making it look perfect – and you are not being airbrushed for a magazine. The other option is to talk. Talk about anything and everything. It is like a nervous chatter that continues for the entire haircut.
What an exhausting experience! I can feel so tired at the end of my haircut as I deal with people, the reflection of myself in the mirror and the voice inside my head.
How has my experience changed?
Thanks to the presentations of Universal Medicine I have learnt to connect to myself and to express what I feel and know. I have taken this into all aspects of my life – the hairdressing salon is one of them.
I now walk into a hairdressing salon and can be myself, not at all intimidated by what I see, hear or feel there. I am learning to sit in front of the mirror and see the beautiful woman that I am. If I get anxious about this or have self-doubt, then I am honest about this. I simply allow myself to feel it and continue to connect with who I truly am.
I can express what I feel is right for me, and thus choose a haircut that is just right for me and not based on pictures of other people in magazines. This process is not perfect and can be challenging. I may not always be very clear in my communication, and so the hairdresser may not understand or hear what I am saying, but I am learning to be more honest about the whole process. I can let her know if she gets water in my ears when washing my hair, or she may ask me what is going on as she notices when my self-doubt sets in midway through the haircut. But the main thing I have learnt is that it is really important to have fun and be playful when getting your hair cut.
At the end of my last haircut, my hairdresser said to me that my haircut was a masterpiece – my masterpiece! There was nothing technical about it; it was just one of a kind.