celebrate kindness

Posts Tagged ‘hair

Photo Oct 18, 5 06 25 PM

One of the most exciting times in a young girl’s life is getting dressed up for a formal dance. Oh, to be young again! The dress… the shoes… the hair… each decision carefully made with finite precision.  Such a magical time!

Today I had the privilege of being asked to style my daughter’s hair for her very first homecoming dance.  As a mom, this is an esteemed honor, only bestowed to those who can be trusted to transform one from ordinary to magnificent. While I don’t consider myself worthy of such an honor (surely a licensed hair stylist could do a much better job than I), it was humbling to be asked to take on such an important role in my daughter’s memory-making.

My daughter’s straight hair is much thicker than mine, the width of a ponytail band often straining to be looped a second time.  It also does not hold curl very well.  We both knew this request posed a unique challenge if to last the entire night.

She spent some time perusing Google, to locate a photo that matched her vision of the perfect style, then she passed along a quick video to remind me how to create a waterfall braid.  I gathered my hair essentials (namely sprays, bands, and ceramic curling wand) and made my way to her bedroom.

Sitting in her swiveling desk chair facing the mirror, her right foot absentmindedly turning the seat from right to left, I caught a flash of what it would be like to share such a moment with my daughter on her wedding day. It was a brief moment, one that dissipated almost as quickly as it began, but it was enough to remind me that this moment was special.  Precious.  Priceless.

I pulled the chair away from the mirror, twisting her to the side so the preheated curling wand could reach all angles of her hair.  For the next 20 minutes, I created sections; quarter inch strands of rich chocolate silk woven through my fingers into a small braid with cascading curls.  We chatted and laughed, without a care in the world, both knowing she was being transformed into a princess.

“Um, can you make this part less curly?”  Her request was made with a scrunch of her nose.

“Can you make this part look like that?”

“Yeah, that’s better.  Like that.”

She wanted a braid on only one side; the other to have curls alone. I took my revised orders and recurled, my only hope to achieve acceptance in the next round of review.  My fingers tilted within the strands, gently pulling and separating (but not too much, mind you.) The sparkling gemstone headband was added with another twist of braid, its side hidden beneath the luxurious curls that now bounced from my fingertips. The time had come to leave the makeshift beauty salon to change into the dress, but not before a photo could be snapped for our memory book:

Photo Oct 18, 4 46 01 PM

As the dress and shoes were added to complete the ensemble, we made our way to her friends’ home where I was asked again to create flowing curls for two of her best friends.  And so I did.

Photo Oct 18, 5 45 23 PM

Photo Oct 18, 6 16 14 PM

Photo Oct 18, 6 23 42 PM

The best friends, who often spend their days in ponytails and casual tees, had a night filled with beauty and joy.  Best of all, this Momma had a smile on her heart for completing this random act of kindness times three.

My daughter and I through the flashes of cameras in the afternoon sun.

My daughter and I smile through the bright camera flashes during the photo opp.

The next time you receive a request of help from your child, take a moment and appreciate the opportunity to give back and make a difference in your child’s life. Sure, the request may not be as monumental (or publicly documented) as a Homecoming hairstyle, but it can have the possibility of creating a life-long memory for everyone involved.

Be blessed and treasure the simple moments!

Think back to your last haircut.  What was the experience like?  Was it a quick trip to the barber “just take a little off the top”, or was it a lengthy cut and style, marked by intermittent chit-chat and catching up?  Whatever the mode or fashion, we’ve all found the need for hair stylists in our lives. (Unless, of course, you’re like my friend Pam who cuts her own hair.)

Last weekend I had my hair “done” (a.k.a. cut and highlighted) and let me tell you, to say I due for a haircut was an understatement. It had been 4 months since I sat in Hayley’s chair (!!!), and despite my guilt over letting so much time lag between haircuts, she just smiled and said, “It’s so great to see you again!” Photo Apr 11, 1 23 22 PM As we were chatting, she casually mentioned that her birthday was coming up and then we talked about our kids, our life events, and yes, even the weather.  Just your normal visit to the hair salon, right?

After my hair had been trimmed and selectively painted in shades of auburn and honey blonde, I sat to the side with my head full of foil waiting for the colors to magically transform my hair.  Hayley started chatting with a new client in her chair as I absent-mindedly thumbed through a magazine, watching the clock.  Before too long, it was time to remove the foil and rinse out my freshly updated locks, but Hayley realized she would need some assistance as she was still working on the new client’s haircut.  “I’m going to let Chelsea rinse you, if that’s OK,” to which I smiled and nodded my approval.

Now I have to stop my story right here, because if you are one of those barber shop patrons, what I am about to write will seem completely absurd.  When you go to a barber shop, you are there for one thing only: Cut. My. Hair. The. End.  However, when you visit a beauty salon… well, it’s no big secret that their job goes above and beyond JUST a haircut.  Their mission is BEAUTY – inside and out!

So here I am, lying on something that looks like a very primitive Lazy-Boy with the back of my head hanging over the ledge of a sink, with my long hair all crumpled up in foil, feet up, a cross between a breathing corpse and a female Frankenstein (sorry, that’s about the best analogy I can think of to describe the scenario, lol.)  I close my eyes and grit my teeth, because I just know at some point in the process of pulling out all that foil, my hair is going to be yanked. And then… without warning, I heard the sound of running water and the crisp crackle of foil being thrown in the trash.  Wait. She’s already DONE?  No yanking or pulling?  No grasping or cringing? REALLY?  What a delightful surprise!

As Chelsea rinsed the chemicals from my hair and applied shampoo, I started to relax, not even realizing how tense my shoulders were with anticipation of the foil removal.   I felt Chelsea’s fingers massaging the back of my head and allowed myself to simply lose myself in the moment of the BEST. HEAD. MASSAGE. EVER.

By the time she was done, I felt like I had lost 10 pounds and found the prettiest prom dress in town.  I felt amazing! I returned to Hayley’s chair where she dried and straighten my long hair, then turned me around to see the final result.  As always, I was estatic – how is it possible for a woman to transform from an ugly duckling to a beautiful princess with just one cut and color?  OK, OK, so maybe I wasn’t quite “princess” material, but I sure did feel pretty in the moment – all thanks to my hair stylist and shampoo girl!

So today I decided to give back with small surprises for the two gals who brightened my day.  Remember me mentioning Hayley’s birthday?  Well, today is the day!  I went to Kroger and picked up a few cupcakes, then wrote her a card thanking her for being the best hair stylist ever.  I also included a Starbuck’s gift card (one for each gal) as a simple “You are Special!” treat.

Hayley's birthday card, made by http://kitkatkards.wordpress.com

Hayley’s birthday card, made by http://kitkatkards.wordpress.com


Hayley's surprise

Hayley’s surprise


Chelsea's surprise

Chelsea’s surprise

I dropped the items off at the front desk of the beauty salon and simply said, “Could you make sure Hayley and Chelsea get these?”  I can imagine in my mind their delighted smiles to know their hard work was appreciated.  🙂

This weekend, think about the guy or gal who makes you look and feel great.  Take a moment to give back and write them a note of appreciation or surprise them with a small treat.  You might even think about surprising a hair stylist you don’t know – just for the purpose of saying “thanks for all you do.”  It doesn’t take much to show appreciation, but the rewards multiply exponentially!

Be inspired and thanks for sharing in my adventures!

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