LOVE AT FIRST TRIM?

Isn’t that the thing about love? We love people not just for who they are, but also for how they make us feel. And let’s face it if we find a hairstylist who can make us look like a million bucks just by running his/her fingers through our hair, and with little snip of those wayward tresses, we are hooked for life.

Of course finding your soul stylist is no easier than finding your soulmate. Just as journey to the prince is through the frogs, it may take disaster cuts and colours to reach the stylist who will know every curve and feel of your strands.

And also know how to frame them to perfection. Sometimes no words are needed. Over time, just one look and a touch is enough and he/she knows exactly what you would work best for you and you don’t even need to save #hairinspo screenshots. It’s when the bond runs so deep that no distance is long enough, no time is too long to get to the hairstylist who just gets us. In fact a few years ago, The Telegraph reported that while the average marriage in the U.K. lasts 11.5 years, the relationship between a woman and her stylist lasts a big 12.

Cut, Comfort and Confidence

hairstylist client relationship, hair, love, lavenderoom,
hai-phung @unsplash

 

Picture this: A New York-based CEO schedules a monthly visit to Mumbai just to spend an hour in his stylist’s chair and give his hair some tender loving care that will keep them recharged for another month. Till he flies down again!

Liam Fry, coowner of Tony wood Hairdressing at Portsmouth (UK) reveals he has clients scheduling appointments not just from London (that’s a few hours away) but also from Switzerland. Closer home, at Our Own Salon located at the upmarket Cooperage overseas clients are not an aberration but a norm. Celebrity hair stylist Walter Dorairaj (also the salon owner) nods nonchalantly when asked if this clients travel countries for a haircut. Hairstylist, trainer and owner, POD Hairdressing, Pawan Om Duggal shares, “Last week, one of my clients flew from Dubai just for a day only to get her hair colour corrected. She has tried some of the local salons over there but feels no one understands her hair as I do.”

The way your hair falls on your face and around it can actually change the way you look. And if you look good, you feel better and this is nothing but hair therapy! “The journey to a good haircut involves an in-depth consultation where I try to understand my client as a person (what’s her style) and the world around her. Every client is unique and beautiful in their own ways and I just make them realise this. It’s going beyond the cookie-cutter hairstyles and personalising a cut to complement the client in every way. My aim is to give her a style that makes her fall in love with her reflection in the mirror when she gets up in the morning, but just when she leaves my chair with her hair blow-dried,” adds Duggal.

Cracking the Hair Code

Hairdressing is more than a skill, it’s an art. And that’s what differentiates a regular stylist from a great one. He will lend your hair goals an ear but won’t hesitate The reticent celebrity hairstylist Dorairaj has a simple mantra – what matters is not the hair that’s cut but what’s left behind and how’s that looking. He knows his clients and their hair, to the smallest details. He knows how the twists and turns the strands will take as they grow. So if a client won’t be able to come for a couple of months or has an event in a15 days, he will customise the cut so that the hair grows in a manner that it looks the best for that date/time.

Dorairaj is one of the few stylists who looks beyond the commercials stays genuine to his craft and instinct. If his client doesn’t need a haircut or a hair colour, he would say so. But then that’s what his clients are vying for. His vote of confidence. A relationship between a hairstylist and the client is forever only if it’s based on TRUST.

The Cut-Connection/The hair therapy

hairstylist client relationship, hair, love, lavenderoom,
brendan-church @unsplash

Sitting in the stylist’s chair is like being on the therapist couch. The two places where you don’t reply with ‘I am fine’ to ‘how are you doing’. Are hairstylists trained to offer disguised counselling? Sylvia Chen, hairstylist and owner of Butterly pond, finds the comparison interesting. “I guess it begins with listening for both. From my years of experience, I have realised that you can be the best hairstylist in town but if you overlook the power of listening then you will not be able to make your client happy. Invest in consultation time as that’s what encourages trust and marks the beginning of the relationship.”

What Chen is taking about is human interface and a soul connect. Only when you connect with how the client is on the inside can you make lasting changes on the outside. “From time to time I am asked personal advice to which I end up sharing my thoughts and that deepens the bond between the me and my client,” she smiles.

It’s the comfort of words and sometimes it could also be the promise of silence. Scott Miller, the owner of UK based- salon Bauhaus (located in the port city of Cardiff), started with the concept of ‘quiet chair’ to give clients a chance for a bit of peace and quiet. Since each person is unique, Miller understood that while many customers love coming in to have a chat, some maybe communicating with people all day and want some relief. At the end, a stylist is an aid bringing you closer to whatever your heart desires!

The article first appeared in Hair magazine.

Author

  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

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