I was cutting someone’s hair recently and based on our conversation
I remembered some cultural and religious issues hairstylists may come across. The person was not overly religious but particular how much hair should be cut. If you are an experienced stylist, you know an inch off on the back could mean three inches elsewhere for the cut to be even. Try explaining that to someone eyeballing every strand that falls to the ground!
Over the years, I had different experiences that control the way I consult with a client:
- I had parents who wanted me to bald their baby! They assured me it was part of their religion. Who was I to argue, the mother was calm, I became calm.
- One person collected every strand of hair that was cut off in a bag. Not even the cuttings (short, sharp pieces) were left on the ground. I did not need to sweep up, win on both sides.
- You have to be mindful of what a client expects. For instance, because I cut hair regularly, when someone asks for a haircut, I just do it. I did this to someone who expected me to do the new year’s countdown while they filmed it. They told me about this indiscretion at the next appointment. Now, I try to remember to ask if they need to do anything before I take a scissors to it.
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Sometimes cultural and religious issues hairstylists may come across are not as they might seem. Once,
as a new stylist, I was asked to do a haircut. She said she did not want her hair cut short and gave some reasons, which was understandable. The haircut she chose, was however, a short haircut. She did say not to cut too much off the top, but, in order for the haircut to look balanced, you have to trim something. What she did not tell me, was that she had grown the top hairs extra long to hide a bald spot. She went from nice lady to a “Karen” in minus 2 seconds the minute I touched that top piece. The moral of the story is, whisper to the hairstylist you have a bald spot that needs protecting, before getting your hair cut.
These were just some of the memorable cultural and religious issues hairstylists may come across during their career. Happy hair days!
By Paula Barker, Silkie Locks Hair Design