From the Salon Chair: On Inner and Outer Beauty and Routine

I was called back to the shampoo room by Kelly, who asked if I was ready for my wax. “Sure!” I said, almost too excitedly. The sting associated with a wax has always satisfied me in some way—like ripping off a Band-aid, in a good way, and removing all the hair and dead stuff to reveal the smoothness of my skin.

“That was a good one,” I said, as she finished the second strip and my eyes barely watered.

(I know, I know. Bear with me.)

It had been five or six weeks since I’d last been to the salon. In fact, I KNOW it was the Friday a week before Brittany’s wedding—the weekend of Wine Over Water, 3 Sisters, and I believe the day after I had an in-person interview with who would become my employers. I like being able gauge the passing of time. Salon appointments, like other cycles and routines, keep me on track and allow me to reflect.

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I was FaceTiming with a friend last night as I walked downtown (talk about getting odd looks…) and he expressed surprise at how high maintenance my short hair seemed. Upkeep of short haircuts tends to be somewhat high maintenance, yes, but I enjoy going to have my hair done. It makes me feel GOOD, like I’m taking care of myself and put time and attention into the outside of my body, like going to the gym or something. In that sense, I place value in a sense of this traditional luxury of self care and “pamerping” at a salon.

But since my last visit to the salon, the inside is what shifted dramatically.

After my wax, Angie wasn’t quite ready for me, so Kelly shampooed me. Really THAT is the salon luxury—human touch and interaction. A head massage, warm water and amazing smelling shampoo, all while you’re tipped back in a chair, feet kicked up with your eyes closed? …yeah. That experience is yet another reason I visit the salon on a regular basis.

She moved me to Angie’s station. It was just after 3:30 on a Friday afternoon, and the sinking sun lit up the sky above Main Street. The double doors were open on the parking lot side of the building, and the sound of cars blended with the low chatter of women and hum of hairdryers. I blinked my eyes a few times sitting in the chair.

Ahhhhh….

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I’ve trusted my hairstyle to Angie for the past three years now. The level of trust I put in her skills and ability is really outshined by the way she can read, interpret and inspire great style. She’s transformed my Mohawk from its earliest stages into an asymmetrical funky ‘do, and years before that she helped create the bird’s nest of glory on my head. As I sat at her station and the buzz of the clippers vibrated against the right side of my head, I started telling her about my yogic experience and journey. Only then did the rest of my changes bubble up in conversation, and it was a good conversation.

What’s most inspiring, and where I feel like Angie and I (and likely other clients) have connected, is her ability and PASSION—her life’s work—to help other people relax, look good and feel good about themselves not only when they’re in the salon but after they leave. At her core, I believe, she personally fosters that kind of growth and inspiration on the inside, not just on the outside.

As she moved around the chair, I told her about the shifts in the past six weeks. My reflection now, on a Saturday morning, brings me back to a feeling, a very clear thought I had yesterday at 6:15 a.m. after finishing what was my first exposure to an Anyusara class (through yogaglo)…

I have made changes in the past six weeks that I used to think would be impossible to do.

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Waking up early. Developing a home practice instead of going to classes. Good sleep. All of these and more little shifts (the 1 percents) I’ve experienced and have been writing about are leading to what I can now see as BIG CHANGES. I feel overall like a more calm, stable version of LJ, with fewer extreme fluctuations and a much more pleasant demeanor on a regular basis. I’ve been open minded and less judgmental about situations I’ve recently faced that, if I based it on my past experience/self, I would have never DREAMED possible.

As I looked into the mirror before leaving the salon, yes, my hair looked really cool. Angie certainly didn’t disappoint. But the peace I felt inside I knew was overflowing, and I knew that part of me—the inside, not the outside—shined far brighter than even my biggest grin.

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3 thoughts on “From the Salon Chair: On Inner and Outer Beauty and Routine

  1. On Finding and Meeting My LBP « LadyEllJay

  2. On Endings and Our Final Weekend – LadyEllJay

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