David Creel: A picture is worth 1,000 words

July 1, 2011 11:28:00 PM

David Creel -


It was during my awkward freshman year in high school that I first fell in love with hair, my own. The television series "Growing Pains" was my favorite obsession, along with parachute pants, Swatch watches and fluorescent shoelaces. So, it''s no wonder that a skinny boy would tear out a glossy poster of Kirk Cameron and carry it around in his trapper keeper for weeks prior to taking it to the salon for an awesome new hairstyle.  


Oh, never mind the fact that my hair was board straight and resembled in no way Kirk''s gorgeous, naturally curly locks. I was determined with photo in hand to walk out three hours later with my perm, coolness oozing from every pore of my body.  


Fast forward to the present with my thinning, middle-aged hairline and that school picture staring back at me every time I flip through my old yearbooks as I harbor some contempt for the beauty operator in that rural salon who didn''t tell me that heartache would follow a body wave on a 14-year-old boy in high school. Well, perhaps it wasn''t really her fault.  


In my salon, clients excitedly walk in with photos of hairstyles torn from magazines or enlarged on iPads. I have always loved when a new or old client pulls out a photo of a celebrity from a fashion magazine, or even a model from the Chico''s catalog. It gives me insight into her hopes and leaves little to the imagination.  


Clarity is so crucial in a hairstyling consultation because a stylist''s idea of "golden hair color" might not be the client''s idea of "golden hair color". When there is an actual example in living color right before our eyes, the guesswork is minimal as we begin the conversation.  


Once, a few years ago, I had a new client drive all the way to the salon, sit in the waiting area 20 minutes, and greet me with a handshake and her 16-by-20-inch framed senior portrait. For her, the way forward was by going back. I smiled. So, if you are thinking of a new hairstyle and wonder if your chosen stylist will roll his eyes, grab her chest or begin panting at the very notion of such, then maybe you should be rethinking your stylist.  


Rip out photos of cuts, colors and even makeup looks, or zoom in and save favorite looks to your iPhone. Share them during your next salon visit. Seriously, photos are a surefire way to communicate your goals and map out a plan for a beautiful hairstyle that is, well, picture perfect. 


And, no, you will never see my high school perm! 


David Creel, formerly of Columbus, has 20 years experience in the beauty industry and owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson. Contact him at [email protected]

Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at [email protected]