August 10, 2013 6:35:22 PM
David Creel -
With apologies to Hank Williams, "Your cheatin' hair will tell on you." If you're telling yourself that shopping around for a different hairstyle is being disloyal to your beloved hairstylist, perhaps that is truly cheating -- cheating yourself!
I am in a love affair, so to speak, with all of my leading ladies, many of whom have been with me for almost the span of my career. When I occasionally lose one to someone else's appointment book, it is disheartening. On the other hand, I think it's much more important, even liberating, for a woman to date a few stylists before saying "I do." And when I see one of my former leading ladies out on the town, I'm just as thrilled to see her as simply an old friend.
Years ago in the small town of Richton in the tiny "beauty shop" Daddy built and Mama hung the sign on, I remember one funny moment. It was at The Beauty Barn on Dykes Chapel Road, where I fell for the vibrant hues of a redhead who will go unnamed. Once I saw her at the Sunflower grocery store. Our eyes met, and then she vanished into thin air. A few weeks later while I was concentrating on her shag, she burst into confession. "I've been cheating on you, David, and when I saw you in the grocery store I was too embarrassed to face my sins, so I pushed my cart to the side and ran out." We never laughed so hard.
I always thank my clients for letting me spend time with them in the salon, because I know I'm the lucky one. If you flip open the yellow pages, there are hundreds of salons in town and even more talented stylists, all with the hope of courting a new bob or fringe. If your hair is not becoming to you, well, I reckon it should be coming to someone else. Your husband would probably not agree in the context of marriage, but it is OK to fool around on your hairdresser. In fact, you have my blessing.
One of my favorite catch phrases is, "Life is too short for boring hair." Lately I have heard, "Life is too long for boring hair." Don't fret if you are loyal to your mane guy or girl and cannot even entertain the idea of breaking up. Loyalty is noble. Voicing your opinions is key in the salon just like at home.
First, do a time-out with your stylist and open up about where you want your relationship to go, perhaps more length, less of a bang, some brightness. After all, it's your time and your dime. Once or twice along the way, I have even been the one to divorce a client. Like unhappy marriages, unhappy stylist/client relationships simply aren't good for anyone.
If you feel like stepping out on your stylist, then make yourself happy. You won't be the first, and if he or she is a mature professional, I guarantee you will be welcomed back with a big smile if you decide to "come home."
That redhead and I are still the best of friends, and I have forgiven her for her, um, infidelity all those years ago. The bottom line is that my clients become more than clients. They become friends, and I want them to be happy. I appreciate those who have stayed with me for 20 years, but I also enjoy those who come and go and come again. Give yourself a break and some room to explore. After all, there's not a commandment about being faithful to your hairstylist!
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.