An Ode to the Men and Women of Salon Group


hair-scissors-clip-art-advertisement-clipart-nTE5oykTA To You,

I haven’t written on here in months, for good reason however. Much has happened in my life to the point that I truly required time to gather my thoughts, gather my sanity, and gather many overdue hours of uninterrupted sleep. Over the past couple of years I have gone through many relationship-based life changes, and at the end of it all I believe in taking a moment to reflect, analyze, and take time to appreciate all of those who have helped me along the way. However, in my little tale on this site of being in a long-distance relationship, to getting engaged, to eloping and getting married, to commencing the agonizing process of family immigration, there were a few unexpected people in my life who honestly came to know my journey more than most. In all honesty, they were not close friends, we didn’t hang on the weekends or do dinners together (I’m a loner at heart and so awkward at the very nature of socializing that this was all for the best), and at first impressions I felt completely at odds with these people (jokingly referred to as “your” people, Randy *cues inside joke resulting in me probably sounding like an ass to many outsiders*), but in the end, these were my go-to folks who not only cared for my story each and every day, but always celebrated and bitched in it when I needed that companionship. So today I will further digress from telling the tales of the past few months of immigration happenings to express a truly appreciative thankfulness to my coworkers of the past two years, the guys and girls who manage not to use their sharp tools to take out their long days on others (something I think is a testament to self-control), who stand there day in and day out to be tipped a few dollars for their talents, and endure many days of empty complaints for not making their short-haired clients look like JLo – this is an ode to Salon Group.

To this day, I am a long-haired lass who cannot figure out how a pony-tail would not require 10 bobby pins to keep the frays from poking in this way and that. I only started tweezing my eyebrows in university (thank god because at least I still have brows to this day after growing up in the 90’s) and had my first Pedicure two years ago. And I colored by hair during only one few month phase of my life (I think I went through an Asian crisis since I dyed it bright fire red… other Asians know what I’m talking about), and since that time 10 years ago have let my tresses sit au naturel. Basically, what I’m trying to say is I am beauty-industry-stupid. I don’t understand make-up, or what the range of make-up brushes are for.. I admit here and now I thought eyeliner pencils were real pencils…. and I used them as such to write notes in people’s lockers in high school. I admit to using Pantene Pro-V even after my hair wouldn’t stop shedding mid-shampoo.. I mean the commercials guaranteed its shininess, so maybe it was only the dull strands swiftly falling to the ground? I thought facials were luxury services of pointless lotioning of the face, and putting cucumbers on your eyes instead of in your mouth. But, after receiving my Master’s degree from Durham University in the UK, I was without a job but with much debt. I needed income, and somehow found myself working front desk for a local upscale salon and spa business in my hometown. And I somehow ended up being there for over two years. And in the end, I can only say this in response to my experience: We walk into these industries and we bitch. We look down upon these men and women due to the aesthetic-based nature of its purpose. We complain when a hair cut is a certain price, we blatantly scoff at the notion of paying someone a certain dollar amount for 2+ hours of services. We are rude, we are ignorant, we are beyond incomprehensible in our judgment towards others within those walls due to the notion that we feel we have the right to comment on someone’s beauty, someone’s size, someone’s style of choice due to the fact that they work within the beauty industry, and therefore this somehow makes them an exception in our decency from refraining from blatant and public objectification. Your hairstylist and your esthetician are not lesser than, and these individuals have passion in the health of your hair and body.

Yes, there is drama, and yes there are those moments when I hated being surrounded by constant beauty-standards. I was questioned by some on the point of my academic pursuits as it only lead me to working a front desk job. But in the end, we have one opportunity to learn in life, and no knowledge is bad knowledge. No education is wasteful. It is the means to opening doors, opening conversational platforms, opening your hearts and your minds to all walks of life, and it is a means for comprehension and endless lessons learned. These individuals with whom I worked are talented chemists with their color concoctions, they are therapists in sitting there day after day hearing about your divorce, your custody battles, your battle against cancer, the death of your spouse. They may not be high on the list of employment rankings as doctors, lawyers, and peace makers, but they will help style your newly grown hair after chemo has stopped, they will take their time to treat a elderly woman whose husband just passed and doesn’t have the efforts to set her own curls the morning of his funeral, and they will talk to your teenage sons and daughters about how they look awesome no matter who else disagrees. They may run behind in their schedules, but only because we as clients have unrealistic expectations of the beauty industry and demand the impossible because one of the Kardashians could do it (remember people… they are kind of loaded in the dough). Yes, your haircut may cost $50.00 for what you consider to be a few strands trimmed off your ends. But do you bitch at a Chef for their restaurant charging you $70 for a prime piece of steak that sits at the size of your thumb sided with a lettuce leaf? Or at the bartender for charging you $12 for a delicately sized cocktail? I suggest you try that sometime and see if they waiver on their prices too. It’s honestly embarrassing.

To wrap this up, I just want to say this to all of those I worked with for the past two years: Thank you. I was going through a personal roller coaster of hell, and your hugs, your jokes, your time meant the world to me. Now being able to say I worked a role within the beauty industry, I can only offer advice to you in that you should take the time at least once a week to appreciate the man whose in charge of your job, who trains you with his knowledge, and who presents opportunities for you to train in New York city or attend product training in Mexico. To some, get off your ass and work for him with everything you have. Your feet may hurt, and your legs may tire, but if a knowledgeable man who has been in this for over 50 years can come to work everyday without unwarranted sick days, so can you. Unless you suck. He only hires talent, and if you’re still there, you clearly have it and so grow up and prove it. A life not lived with pride is one completely wasted. I came to work and worked my ass of at something I am still clueless about and for that man alone- not for a love of hair, or aesthetics, or beauty. There is always an opportunity to learn, always an opportunity to grow your mind, and in the end, you are all intelligent masters because of it, but always still learning. To the women in the joint – there are some of you who personally astound me, and I am so much better for knowing you. I am a full blown feminist who truly values the upholding of strength, intelligence, and skills of other women, and your personal pursuits in your career and academics and personal individuality are inspiring – so don’t stop. Never stop. To those of you still lost in life, whether young or young at heart – opportunities only knock at the doors of those willing to open it. If you want something, go get it. Or stop talking about it.

And to Sal and Jill: just, Thank You.

And to any other readers – remember these people are in the service industry, and they deserve your appreciation. So thank them. Oh, and show up on time. It’s not funny when you’re late. And yeah, there are some who do actually suck in that industry of hair and aesthetics, but in the end none are lesser than and as human beings all deserve respect. If you don’t believe that, then cut your own damn hair and massage your own stupid feet. 😉

Peace & love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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