The Local Beauty Shop
As we look around our communities we often see people willing to serve. Some are visible, like policemen and firemen, while others are not so visible. Have you ever thought about how much a cosmetologist does for others in their community?
As a child I often went with my mom to Melda’s Beauty Shop in Salisbury, NC. Her daughter, Diane, remembers those days well. She especially remembers being the guinea pig for new “hairdos” and laughs thinking about what her mom called the magazine game.
While waiting their turn, customers often passed the time reading the latest gossip magazines. Since sometimes they wanted to take the magazines home to finish, Melda developed a system for checking them out, with the understanding the magazines were to be brought back at the next appointment. Diane admits she sometimes slipped and read the articles, saying according to today’s standards they were pretty tame.
Through the years many of Melda’s customers became friends, sharing stories of good times and bad. Mom was one of those customers. When Melda passed away in 1998 from cancer, Mom took it hard. Everyone always appreciated Melda’s fighting spirit, knowing even when she didn’t feel well she was in the shop serving her customers with a smile.
When Melda passed away Mom began going to Mildred Smith in Spencer, NC, at Hair USA. The environment of a beauty shop seems to be a safe place to share hopes, dreams and secrets, so like with Melda, mom began building a relationship with Mildred.
Last October, due to Mom’s failing health, she moved in with me. Since Mildred’s shop is about 15 miles away, I knew it would be easier if I could find something closer. Debbie Fleming’s shop in Woodleaf is only about two miles, so I called to see if she had any openings.
Seeing the relationship Mom built with each of her hair dressers, even Debbie in this short time, I began thinking about how cosmetologists go the extra mile for their customers. Not only do they shampoo, cut, perm and style hair, but they lend a listening ear. When serving mostly senior citizens, they tend to keep their prices low and rarely increase fees. If one of their customers is sick they check on them through phone calls and cards, sometimes making house calls to fix their hair at home.
Sharing with Debbie I wanted to write a blog about cosmetologists, I asked for her thoughts. She said, “Well, it’s not a glamorous job because you’re on your feet all day sometimes working from early morning into the night. Adapting to different personalities throughout the day can be stressful. Yet, I love it because I enjoy helping others. It’s rewarding to see someone come in who might have had a bad day, and, then, after getting their hair fixed, leave with a smile. I like to think I had a part in making them feel better.”
Cosmetologists do so much behind the scenes most people aren’t aware of, quietly making the world a better place one hairdo at a time. That should be a lesson for all of us. To make the world a better place right where we are.
In what ways does your cosmetologist go the extra mile? Leave a comment, message on Facebook or email email@example.com.