I do hair.
As I've mentioned before, I work 2 days a week. I'm working 2 jobs on 2 days. I work for Uppercase Living and I also work at a salon. No need to go into details, it just works for our family right now. I'd do pretty much anything so I can spend as much time as humanly possible with my baby boy. One of my favorite things about working as a stylist in a salon is the people. I love meeting new people. Over the last 6 years of performing mini makeovers, I have met some pretty inspiring people. Each inspiring in their own way.
I used to do hair at a a drug and rehab center. You may have heard of it, it's called The Cirque Lodge. It's known for housing the likes of Mary Kate Olsen and Lindsay Lohan. Excuse my name dropping, because neither celeb has anything to do with this post and I wouldn't consider either of them inspiring. With the exception of a barely D list celebrity and a couple local news anchors, I've never groomed anyone famous. As a fairly sheltered LDS raised girl, I remember being shocked that the residents at the lodge weren't tattooed and pierced, purple haired rockstars, or bandanna wearing hippies. I know better now. Each person I worked with was a completely normal individual with a typical family and typical life. The only difference between me and them was the fact that they were battling an addiction. I was pretty inspired and touched by many of them, and their efforts to start fresh and create a new life.
If you care to listen, I'd like to recount my recent experiences with 3 people that effected my life for the better.
r.Wonderful: It was obvious that he had been in an accident. His face had unmistakeably been victim to some serious burns. I took him back to my chair and tried not to stare while we discussed his preferences. I couldn't help but notice that his lower eyelids had become peeled away from his eyes and were beaming red. His face and neck were burned to the point that it looked painful to move. Despite his appearance, he was the most pleasant man! He was very personable and joked with me about his hair finally growing back. I tried to avoid asking him about the apparent accident for fear of making him uncomfortable. Somewhere in our delightful conversation about his family and children he told me what happened to him. He worked for a local refinery and had been present during an explosion. He talked to me about his many surgeries and an additional upcoming surgery that most certainly wouldn't be his last. He said that his appearance and pain level were getting better all the time, and he was truly one of the most positive and pleasant people I have ever met. AND..he met Stephanie and Christian Nielson at the burn unit! When he left I wished him luck on his upcoming surgery. I walked away feeling so grateful for my healthy body and so humbled by his positivity.
niquely Napoleon: when I first took this high schooler back, I have to admit I didn't think we would have much to talk about. His haircut of choice can only be described as a 1980s Japanese Warrior meets mullet. Short on the sides, spikes on top and please leave the 4 inch pony tail in back which is properly banded at each inch by a traditional rubber band. He was obviously trying to channel his inner Japanese Anime. He was very quiet at first, and I debated not asking him very many questions. I asked him about high school, and he explained to me that he really wasn't a high school enthusiast. I started to feel kind of bad for him and wondered if I could get him to perk up in the leftover 10 minutes I would have him in my chair. I have to admit that as he discussed his interest in "building armor" out of scrap metal, it reminded me a lot of this. He continued and told me about his love for his grandpa, and I even cracked a smile out of him. When he left it seemed that he walked out with his head held high.
weet Miss Strawberry: she was the most petite little thing. She had the prettiest strawberry red hair. The very first thing she said when she sat down was "Are you comfortable with a hair piece?" I've cut extensions before, but I really didn't know what to expect when she said hair piece. That type of thing is so different to cut. It doesn't move and give like regular hair, you can't wet it, and you can't cut it straight across. You have to point cut. After a brief moment of confusion and concern, I assured her I was ready for the challenge. Sure enough, she had a shoulder length hair piece that she wanted cut into an A-line bob. When she removed it, I was shocked to see that the whole back side of her head was completely bald. Turns out she had a tumor when she was younger that came back twice. All the radiation resulted in permanent hair loss. I am SO glad I was up for the challenge, because she was an utter delight. I came to find out that she was extremely musically inclined. She told me about her life long efforts to make her hair look somewhat presentable and all the different things she had tried. I spent over an hour with her trying to meticulously manicure her bob. (After all, this cut was going to be permanent.) It seems that I would have been concerned about my productivity, but I wasn't. In the end she was ecstatic about her new look and made my time well worth it.
I guess I just like knowing that there are good people in the world. I am humbled by their experiences. I love the confirmation that each of us are children of God, and the reminder to treat each person you meet with kindness.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. -Plato