September 8, 2012 6:24:45 PM
The "ho-hum" hairdo has become a regular first-time client in my salon lately. I'm referring to new clients who seek refuge in my styling chair, dissatisfied with a boring bob or ordinary shag.
Recently a distressed new client slumped over during an initial consultation, exhibiting the posture of someone who had given up and said, "I like my haircut, but I want to love it." As not only a stylist, but a perfectionist, this grieves me to no end. Life is too long for boring hair!
Once many seasons ago, while spending my time doing what I do best, meandering about in a flea market, I stumbled across an old rusty sign that read: "I'm a beautician, not a magician." Obviously, it hung in a beauty salon somewhere, and I'm sure many laughs were had because of it. I was not amused by it, then or now.
A beautician must share some notion of magic with each opening and closing of the shears, within every layer and for every hairstyle.
The first five or so years of my career were spent wondering if I could ever make ends meet with my minimum wage job at the mall. It was less about my artistry and mostly about the tips. Nowadays, I spend all of my time in the salon thinking of ways to take that blonde from good to gorgeous, or to make those bangs squeal with self-confidence. I love my industry, and I hope all the energy I spend in NYC and other cities soaking up innovative cutting methods and modern coloring techniques shows in the smiling ladies that trust their hair to me.
French hairdressing giant Frederic Fekkai once said, "Hair is the only accessory a lady can never take off, for it is with her wherever she goes in life." I marvel at those words. I have seen women turn from shrinking violets into radiant movers and shakers with a simple face-framing fringe. It's true that a woman doesn't just want a brilliant hairstyle. She craves it with all her being.
Some fall short (pun intended), and I'm sure I have caused a few disappointments in my own past. Nobody is perfect, but there has never been a better time to be a beautician than this very moment.
I'm sharing "tricks" with my niece Shelby, who is in her second month of cosmetology school, and I have savored sitting front row in NYC and Chicago being inspired by hairstyling icons Ted Gibson, Ken Paves, and the late, great Vidal Sassoon.
I have honed my talent with the "sword" I wield, but I owe 90 percent of my success to my beautiful mother, who taught me to listen when women speak. I hope I have made you proud, Mama, and the next time you audition a new stylist, listening skills need to be the first thing you notice. If they don't listen, they will likely disappoint you.
For those of you who are not feeling fabulous beneath mediocre strands and frumpy bangs I ask, no, I beg you to demand a little magic. Live into the best you ever!
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.