Going to the hair salon has always been a luxury to me- I’ve been blessed to have a mother and a sister who are both amazing at doing hair (my sister, Sarah, is a gifted natural hairstylist, actually), and I’m not too bad myself; so I’ve never really “needed” to go the salon to get my hair done, except for when I’ve been away from home.
Last week, though, I went to the hairdresser for the first time in over five years (I went to Urban Curls Toronto, to be exact. It was also my first time going to a natural hair salon, and it was wonderful).
I decided I needed to go to a salon to not only get my hair done for the sake of getting it done (it was in desperate need of a professional treatment, as it was dry and breaking a lot), but I also felt like I needed to go just for the experience of being at the hair salon. I personally needed some T-L-C to soothe what has been a pretty rough start to 2017 with the passing of one of my best friends, my dear Grandma.
Being at the hair salon always feels like the royal treatment to me: someone else is taking care of you, and it feels great. I especially love having my hair washed by somebody else (though it hasn’t always been this way: as a child, I loathed the process!) With this mass of 4b/4c hair that I’ve got, washing my hair is always a bit of a chore; so it’s nice to get a break! I love the sensation of having my scalp massaged and really feeling like my hair’s getting a deep clean. I love the sound of the water running, as it lulls me into a peaceful catnap. I find it very therapeutic.
This time, though, I really took in the process of washing my hair. This time it was symbolic.
This time I was trying to get some serious stuff out of my hair: the stress of 2016, and the end of the year, in particular…
Transitioning from a job.
Struggling to get my book finished.
My Grandma falling ill. The weeks in the hospital. The trips to Sunnybrook for radiation. My last Christmas with her.
That awful Monday morning.
Making the plans. Sending her off in style.
Laying her to rest…
As the water ran through my hair, I paused and reflected on it…a metaphorical attempt to wash my cares away…In that moment I remembered how much my Grandma enjoyed having her hair washed by the nurses at the end of her life. I thought how she too must have found some peace from the water running through her hair, washing the pain away, if only for a few minutes…In that moment I felt close to her.
I realized that there is just something that we all love about having our hair washed with gentleness and care. It comforts us and helps us to forget about everything else- whether at the beginning of life (like this sweet newborn baby: http://www.today.com/parents/watch-blissful-newborn-have-her-hair-washed-first-time-t105333), at any point in the middle, and even at the end.
I think the hairdresser will be seeing me a lot more often this year…