She’s Not Just a Hairdresser to Me, She’s my Hair-Mate.

The state’s most recent announcement to remain in Phase II, I will admit, had very little impact on my family. As the rest of the state is rushing back to normalcy, my family and I have decided to hang tight. Although I hope curbside offerings are here to stay, life in quarantine is no cakewalk.

I miss a lot of things, one of the biggest being my beloved trips to the hair salon.

I absolutely love everything about getting my hair done. It’s my own little getaway from the three-ringed circus that is my home. I melt into the rinsing bowl as color and shampoo are massaged off of my scalp. The smell of expensive products, sipping on a beverage of my choosing, the mini-therapy session; it’s all so relaxing to me.

Is there anything better than leaving the salon sans dead ends and with a blowout that only those blessed with magical hands can create?

For weeks I was looking forward to my appointment, and not just so I could resemble that of the living. My three-ring circus has taken on a life of its own, and I was ready for my little slice of reset.

After seeing the extreme lengths this salon has gone to in order to provide a safe environment, I felt completely confident that this business was taking the necessary precautions for me to feel comfortable. I still do. But I also recognize that not everyone feels the way I do. I understand that not everyone is limiting contact and not everyone chooses to wear a mask while in public. Because of that, I regrettably chose to post-pone my appointment for the time being.

BUT THEN – just as I was about to begin sulking about yet another personal joy taken by COVID, a text came through that actually brought tears to my eyes. This self-less, hair magician offered to have me come into the salon after hours so no one else would be there.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve followed her posts, both personal and as the salon owner. I’ve read about her 14-hour days, the round the clock sanitizing, the schedules and calls, and alternating days to create space between chairs. (Not to mention her other giant role as an amazing wife and mom.)

…And now she’s offering to make even more accommodations for me?

You might think crying over an opportunity to have my hair done seems ridiculous, or maybe you get it, but I was so moved by this extremely kind offer. I could not believe that someone, who was being pressed and pushed to their max, was offering to do even more for just so one of her clients would feel safe.

This exchange confirmed something that my heart has known for years: She’s not just a hairdresser to me, she’s my hair-mate.

She’s the kind of hair-mate that listens to your rants and backs you up on every point.

She’s the kind of hair-mate you can tell your struggles, worries, and fears without fear of judgment.

She’s the kind of hair-mate that will continue to show you how to use tools and products to recreate her work, knowing good and well it’s impossible. 

She’s the kind of hair-mate that fits you into her schedule to correct the terrible bang-trim you’ve attempted.

She’s the kind of hair-mate that spends just as much time helping you shed insecurities as split-ends.

She’s the kind of hair-mate that likes the ‘blowout’ version of you as much as the ‘wet rat in a cape’ version of you.

She’s the kind of hair-mate that you’ve shared belly laughs and inside jokes with.

She’s the kind of hair-mate that you’ve cried with when the conversation got too real.

She’s the kind of hair-mate that encourages you to feel confident and rock that new edgy look.

Thankfully, she’s also the kind of hair-mate that isn’t afraid to save you from an awful postpartum hair decision.

She’s the hair-mate that has smiled with you through most every big milestone of your adult life. From your wedding day to the first night out after baby, she was always there helping you look and feel your best.

If you are one of the lucky ones that have found your hair-mate, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You know these magical appointments extend far beyond a hairstyle.

I wish I could say that I’m special, that I was receiving some sort of preferential treatment; It would be a badge of honor to proclaim that she and I’s relationship extended far beyond the salon chair. For the past 10+ years, I’ve watched her give her all to each of her clients. I am constantly in awe of her kindness and capacity to care for others. She has the kind of soul that makes you wonder if she’s leaving enough for herself at the end of the day. As much as I would like to believe she was doing me a personal favor, I know for a fact that she would do this for anyone of her clients.

But in a world in which negative news stories rival the number of hair strands, I am eternally grateful to have someone in my corner still offering up kindness.

Kristen Gary
Kristen, a proud UL Lafayette graduate, lives nestled between Verot School Rd. construction signs with her 2 children, husband, and projects waiting to be worked on. For her, family comes first - always. When she isn’t diving headfirst into an existential crisis, she spends her time catching up on all things Bravo, wishing she had gone to bed earlier, and helping her husband find household items hidden in plain sight. Kristen is obsessed with helping moms feel encouraged, supported and confident throughout their motherhood journey. As the owner of CircleUP Fitness, she devotes her time and energy to ensuring moms across the Acadiana area look and feel their very best. A fierce mental health advocate and part-time social justice warrior, Kristen believes vulnerability is the key to a happy life and strives to live life as transparent as possible.


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