July 9, 2019

Whose chair would you rather sit in? A cosmetologist or a therapist?

What did the therapist say to the cosmetologist?

“How do you get your clients to open up like that?”

I bet you thought there was a joke coming at the end of that, but no, that was a real question and conversation a cosmetologist had with a licensed professional therapist out in New York.  This therapist was shocked, to say the least, at how willing our clients were to divulge some of the most intimate and personal details about their lives.

When asked that question, I think the answer is clear: not only do cosmetologists make you look beautiful, they make you feel beautiful, as well.  Beauty can be defined a million ways, and when we do it’s usually outward-facing, due in large part because of advertisement, tv, Instagram filters, etc. A cosmetologist is tasked with not only meeting the demands of what each of their clients defines as ‘Beauty,’ but also balancing that with a touch, a touch that says you’re safe in this chair with me.

With that beauty net sprawled out under you, the fear of falling is temporarily deactivated. Whatever is said and wished will be put into action through rigorous training. Not only is this person enhancing my features, but they’re also listening to me, getting to know me; what I want out of this experience, the look I’m going for is being manifested.  I think ultimately that’s what trust is.  It’s a feeling that no matter what you say or want, you won’t be judged for it, you will be heard with complete and utter unbiasedness.

I believe cosmetologists are therapists without ever really knowing it.  They’re just groomed that way, to subconsciously be the wind in the sail of whoever may sit in their chair next.  Your hair and beauty liaison provides guidance and soothes any questions or concerns that deal with all things beauty and wellness; it’s a mellifluous state of closeness.

Do they have the answers to all of life’s questions? No.  Who does? But what cosmetologists do is nothing short of extraordinary, to balance deftness and precision with heart and tactility.  It’s a marvel, it’s like watching an acrobat balance spinning plates on a stick.

Whenever someone asks me how I’m doing, I’ll usually say “Good, I can’t complain.” But when my stylist asks me, I’ve got a ten-page novel that I uncontrollably expel from my lungs.  I can’t help it, it’s therapeutic. If it were up to me, I’d get my haircut twice a week.  I long to sit back down in that chair, to rest my head in that shampoo bowl and rinse all my problems down the sink like the conditioner from my hair.

You know, now that I think about it, I think I’m overdue for a haircut.

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6905 Mills Civic PKWY #120
West Des Moines, IA 50266


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