Stories From Behind the Chair-Part Three

My day started out just like any other day in the hair business. This was the middle of the week however and it wasn’t as busy as it gets on the weekends where you don’t get a chance sometimes to take a break, much less a lunch break. No not today, today was going to be slow and being the manager I really had so much paperwork to do that I was glad for it. There were only 3 other hairstylist there with me that morning and there would be a handful of stylist coming in for the second shift to handle the evening crowd.

Everyone was busy doing something, a haircut, a highlight and a shampoo and set and I was sitting at the reception desk sorting out some mail that had to go out to my district manager. I heard a noise and when I looked up, I saw two women standing there and I thought, “great there goes the time to catch up“. I really didn’t mind however because they both looked like they weren’t going to need anything complicated, maybe just a trim each. So I asked if I could help them and one said that her sister needed her hair cut and if she could get in this morning. I let her know that she could and right now would be a perfect time if that would be alright with her. They both agreed and I asked for her name and for some reason I got this odd feeling that there was some hesitation there. They looked like they were sisters, they were holding hands and the other sister patted her sister on the hand and said go ahead. I told them if it made her feel better that they both could come back together, that seemed to put her more at ease and so they both went with me.

As I prepared her for her haircut I asked her if she needed a shampoo first, since it goes with the cut. The woman who I will call Ellen said.” Its okay I washed my hair last night and its not necessary as I want my hair shaved off completely”. I looked kind of dazed and looked at her sister and her sister nodded her head in agreement and I said, “I can shave your head but only with clippers because only barbers are allowed to used straight razors”. I let her know that I could use my small trimmers and it would get it pretty close if that is sure that’s what she wanted. I have learned in the hair business not to ask too many questions and this looked like one of those situations and so I got my equipment together to proceed to shave this woman’s hair off.

As I set my clippers to Ellen’s head, her sister never let go of her hand and she kept patting it and saying that it would be alright. Then Ellen started crying, then her sister started crying and I, still in the dark didn’t know what to do so I proceeded to do my job. Then Ellen’s sister started telling me that Ellen was in her 50’s and that she had cancer 3 times in her life and she had always gone into remission and so she had always had hopes of beating cancer every time, she told me that her doctor always was so sure about her recovery. Well apparently her cancer of her lymph nodes returned for the 4th time and this time it would be a harder battle because it had spread to other organs. She wanted me to shave her hair off because she remembered the horror on her families faces whenever her hair would fall out in clumps and she didn’t want that to happen again. Her treatments ahead of her would be very invasive and so she wanted to beat it to the pass and just shave her hair off. I really did my best to hold back tears as these two loving sisters held each others hands while I shaved off her hair. And then just as if it were on purpose or on cue, the song. ‘You are so Beautiful” came on and even the customer sitting in the other chair was in tears. That was a very sad day for me. I know how hard it is to watch someone go through therapy for cancer and it brought it all back to me that day.

Ellen wiped away her tears and put a lovely scarf on her head and thanked me as she left the salon. Experiences like this just shows you how human we all are and how vulnerable everyone is to any illness that may come along and steal our joy. But no matter what, I felt that Ellen was going to be alright.

© 2010 ladyjane1

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Comments 11 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

I have tears in my eyes just reading about this. It must have been so hard to cut her hair off. I admire your strength.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

pop thanks for reading. It was very hard to cut her hair and I always considered myself to be strong person but I was like jello inside. I guess experiences and people we meet like this make us stronger. Cheers


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

Truly a touching story, ladyjane. What a shock it must have been for you to realize the reason for the procedure. It was brave of Ellen, too, and also kind, to want to spare her loved ones the trauma of seeing her lose her hair a clump at a time. My oh my. It's a really good hub. Thanks for sharing this experience.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Nellieanna thanks for reading and commenting. I do believe that Ellen was truly brave having gone through so much already bless her heart. Thanks for visiting. Blessings.


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

Wow, ladyjane what an emotional and touching hub. I can't imagine how you must have felt. Bravo to you for your grace and courage and for sharing us the stories from behind the chair! I am on the verge of bawling.....(sigh)Incredible.


Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

Ghost Whisper 77 6 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

Awwwwwwwwwwww! :)

What a great hub ladyjane.

I probably would have cried-Who am I kidding with the probably? I would have grabbed her sweet face and gave it a kiss and I would have given her a great BIG hug and told her to keep her chin up and that that with God everything is possible--even healing!

Thanks for sharing this great story girlfriend! :) Rated up UP UP!!!!


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

ann thank you for reading,always nice to see you. It was very emotional I was like mush. Cheers.

Ghost Whisper nice to see you again thanks for the encouragig words. I appreciate it. And you are right, with God everything is possible. Cheers.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

I am a grown, brutish man and you made me cry you bad girl.. My sister died recently of cancer and her femininity was active right to the end. She wan ted to look good in death ..


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Im sorry tough guy, but there is no shame in having emotions. Sorry about your sister Im sure she was beautiful to the end :)


MFB III profile image

MFB III 6 years ago from United States

To try to avoid causing her family any anguish when she is facing the greatest anguish of all is truly a definition of love. I am in awe of such a soul for this simple act. I hope she beat the cancer, whether here or on the other side, where her hair now flows gloriously to her shoulders. Lovely write.~~~MFB III


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

MFB thanks for your oh so eloquent words you said it all. I appreciate you visiting me its always nice to see your face on my hubs. Cheers and peace.

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