Oct 20, 2014

From the Stylist's Chair: "Us & We"

Scrolling down my Facebook timeline I came across and was compelled to click on a YouTube video titled "Can We Auto-Correct Humanity" http://youtu.be/dRl8EIhrQjQ

After watching the video I felt some kind of way but it was not the response the video had intended. I am often frustrated with Millenials because it seems everything in our culture has become black and white and well the grey area we don't deal with for fear of discomfort. Social media has had negative impacts on everyone's life and that comes with the territory of advancing technologies. But what about the positives? Our culture is consumed with the negative impact of our 21st century lives, but what about the good stuff?  

So what does this have to do with hair? 

I dig the message in the video but for me it's a fine line to walk. Social media has connected me and placed women and men in my chair who were once only faces on a timeline feed. Social media hasn't kept me closed off from the world but instead it has opened up and exposed me to more of the world. 

I have a message to share, a vision to complete, and a love to convey. Social media has given me access to those beyond my inner circles. It has allowed me to reach out to those that I may never meet in the street. It has enhanced my humanity as I have learned so much from people who would have otherwise just been strangers to me. It has connected me to other artisans and entrepreneurs who think outside the box. 

The natural hair world has exploded thanks in part to the internet. Social media has revealed the beauty and diversity that exists within our community. It has also exposed the ugly truths and struggles that the communities of color and women of color are dealing with as a result. 

The beauty industry encourages separation of church and state. Don't get too close and don't get too personal. But for women and men of color their connection to their hair has deeper roots than just the aesthetic quality. For some clients that requires me to connect on a deeper level than simply just manipulating hair strands. 

It's just hair,  but for me it's not. It's the soul behind that hair. The connect or disconnect that we make in the few hours I have them in my chair and when that times ends' it is what I have learned and how I can take those tools and better myself, my art, as well as others who may sit in my chair. But more than that it is the hope that I have changed their lives in some small way as well. 

I connect and reconnect. Listen and empower. Problem solve and create. Recreate. Communicate. Hear. Learn. Hear. I laugh. I get nervous.  I focus. And in the end both they and I leave more enriched than when we began. Just remember the images you see the next time you scroll thru your timeline are but a small portion of that "us and we."

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