Beauty Parlors

Hair cut anyone?
Hair cut anyone? | Source

Why is it raining every time I go to the beauty parlor? I get my hair done and it looks great, then I step outside....but, that's another story.

According to Wikipedia, a beauty salon or beauty parlor is an establishment dealing with cosmetic treatments for men and women. I read in two different places how the Egyptian women had their hair cut close to their heads so they could wear wigs indicating beauty parlors were places where the wigs were made. In the 1920s you could get a shampoo for twenty-five cents and have your hair rinsed over a china bowl. Anyone over 40 has seen evolutions in beauty parlor; from torturous permanents that smelled for days, to hair 'treatments' that make your hair more healthy.

Beauty parlors, beauty salons, hairdressers, whatever you call it, it's the place women go to "get pretty." They sit through all kinds of treatments to improve their looks. Beauty parlors aren't just for hair care - you can get your nails done, your skin treated, your eyebrows waxed, massages, your feet 'shaped up,' and any number of other beauty treatments. It's also a place where cosmetology rules...facials, make-up hints and more.

Atmosphere - it's what beauty parlors are all about.
Atmosphere - it's what beauty parlors are all about. | Source

The thing about beauty parlors is they are very social. First of all, you have a group of women meeting in a place were mostly women go (yes men go too but they usually just get hair cuts and are in and out pretty quickly.) So, you have these women sitting in a beauty parlor for an hour or so getting their hair done. They are sitting next to other women in like situations and very often wind up striking up a conversation. So, you talk to women you've never seen before and many you will never see again. The beautician/hairdresser is like a bartender - she hears the troubles of the world. Women's tongues loosen in a beauty parlor the way men's do in a bar.

If you're not overly social or just don't feel like talking you can listen to a myriad of conversations going on around you. Take the woman with the dog. Evidently the dog is a puppy because she says he's been doing really well until he ate her husband's slippers. Then there's the woman who just came back from Florida. She said the weather was beautiful and sunny but not really good for her hair. It was humid and made her hair frizzy. Then there's the woman who's just sold her house. It's a beautiful house with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances but it's just too big. Now they're building a house and they know just what they want and where they want it.

Pedicure station
Pedicure station | Source
Sinks?  Yes.
Sinks? Yes. | Source

If you listen you can find out where the best restaurants are or what the best movie is. You can hear some good recipes or even good vacation spots. If you listen too closely you may hear things about someone's family you don't really care to know. Some women are more cryptic than others but most are pretty open in their conversations.

Of course texting has entered the beauty parlor! Many women can be seen texting instead of reading magazines. You can pretty much tell a person's age by their choices as they sit under a dryer; younger women are texting while older women are reading magazines. Technology has entered the beauty parlor!

The outside world has definitely found it's way into the beauty parlor. Along with the texting you can see the updates all around the 'shop.' It's almost like being in your own living room. An ambiance is set for you. Salon equipment has certainly changed! Coordinating colors throughout, soft music playing in the background, and many shops offer wine to their customers in addition to the regular, coffee, tea or water. Chairs have been updated, sinks don't look like sinks, they're actually "shampoo bowls" and getting a pedicure is like sitting in your own living room. Big comfortable recliner-liked chairs, some even have vibrators, surround you while your feet soak in a warm vibrating foot bath, a little bit of heaven on earth for some.

You may not treat your beautician as your local bartender but inevitably the more often you see her/him the more comfortable you become and eventually you'll wind up spilling your beans, especially on a particularly bad day. It's just a woman's atmosphere and it brings out the woman in you.

You actually form a bond with your beautician. He/she begins to feel like a member of the family. After all, you see them on a regular basis, they watch you gain weight, lose weight, grow older....just like the rest of your family. Some women, of course, choose the mall experience. They're in a hurry and the beauty parlors in a mall are quick in and out and many don't require an appointment. Even if you go to the same place you may not see the same person so the bond is different as is the atmosphere - no refreshments offered here!

Hair has always been a woman's "crowning glory," being the reason women spend so much time and money on their hair. How, when and why depends on personal preference, financial situation, and the habits you've formed over the years. Regardless of how often or why you visit a beauty parlor it's always good to find one with an atmosphere that suits your personality.l After all, you're going to spend time there at least every two months!

Nail station
Nail station | Source
What's your color of choice?
What's your color of choice? | Source

Which type of beauty parlor do you prefer?

  • Hit and run mall type
  • Regular customer - same salon
See results without voting

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Comments 26 comments

Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Mary - I hit a bunch of buttons here because of the historical background on beauty parlors - yes - that is what I still call them and then have to correct myself because I'm not sure what women call them today. The hair-dressers - at one point they were 'unisex' or what else? I loved your take on the way people congregate, the up-scaling of the interiors furnishings and what people say. You've been listening in! I can just hear my mom complain about the rainy weather, too. Great hub. Blessings, Debby


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Deb. I do listen, it's more fun than talking ;)


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Will someone tell me why I read this and, whatsmore, enjoyed it!? I learned something, too, I had no idea you could get your toenails done! Mine are yellow, about 1/8 inch thick and the very devil to cut when you have trouble bending. Sheet! I sound like I'm chatting in the beauty parlour...Bob


JinnyMarte 4 years ago

Hi there my dear friend! Hahaha you have managed to capture the whole secret society protocol pf a beauty parlor indeed! From A to Z... This was so fun to read and I really enjoyed it. I don't know why it seems to always rain once you're out of the beauty parlor but I am sure there most be a conspiracy in connection to the fact that it always rains right after you wash your car as well... Hahahaa!

Love, J.


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Diogenes - Sounds like it time for you to make an appointment for a pedicure. Perfect timing. Maybe we can forecast the weather with hair-cut appointments? Blessings, Debby


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Okay Bob, I'm gonna call my girl and set up an appointment for you ... and that's all I'm going to say about that! As for why you're reading this maybe we need to talk about that, though you seem to have the talk part down ;)

Thanks Jinny, can you tell I do spend time in the beauty parlor though not as much as I probably need?

Debby thanks for reading my hub and the comments. You truly show this is a community effort! I like your suggestion about forecasting the weather, I'll let you know the next time I'm getting my hair done.


JinnyMarte 4 years ago

To be honest in your picture you exude class, even though I know it is a costume. You don't need to go that often if you ask me...


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Wow Jinny you're making my head swell ;0


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Maybe you can do the "Rain Dance" too! We always say to bring your umbrella when you don't want it to rain. How about trying that technique? Be prepared for any storm. (HUGS) Debby


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

I'll start practicing for my next visit ;)


Anil and Honey profile image

Anil and Honey 4 years ago from Kerala

Hai Good,Nice and simple Language thanks


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Anil, glad you enjoyed. Thanks for stopping by and reading.


Anil and Honey profile image

Anil and Honey 4 years ago from Kerala

I will wait for you


Jospeh 4 years ago

I love the beauty parlor!

I am a strait male who has been getting my hair professionally washed and roller set (in the small rollers) for 12 years now and it's been wonderful.When my natural curly hair fizzled out in my 30s I went and got a perm - BIG MISTAKE - I was never skin tested and had bad reation to the lotions.The hairdo was fantastic,but the itch and rash were awful,and I lost a small chunk of hair.

When my scalp was settled after a time it was suggested "Why don't you just go for a weekly wash and set?" and I figured Why not!! My money is the same as any woman's money.I walked into a beauty parlor by me and was welcomed with open arms.I explained what I wanted,found the size roller that I wanted to be completely set in,and started the next week.

I now have the wonderful weekly visit to the beauty parlor where I go in get washed,set(in 10 minutes flat),dried (45 minutes under dryer having great conversation with other customers under dryers),picked out (No comb-out),sprayed,paid and out just like any of the women there.The myth is gone - BEAUTY PARLORS AREN'T JUST FOR WOMEN ANYMORE.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Good for you Joseph. Why shouldn't you have the hair you want? There are plenty of men visiting the beauty parlor I wrote about. I appreciate you taking the time to write your reply!


Joseph 4 years ago

The beauty parlor is such a wonderful time saver also.After my failed perm disaster,I was wondering how I would be taken in if I went to one for a regular set--so I simply started to set my own hair for a time to get back my lost curl.I would have Sunday as hair day--I would set up the bathroom with everything.I used those bulky C-clamp curlers since they were the easiest to line up all around and down my head.

I'd get up and set up the bathroom with the curlers,the shampoo,the conditioner,the setting lotion,the towels,

the comb,the mirrors and the calm state of mind that it took me to wash,condition,lotion and completely set my hair.I got really good at it after a time.

Since I didn't have a bonnet hair dryer,I'd spend the whole day with my hair up in curlers doing inside work for my upcoming week,then I'd put on a hairnet and go to bed.I have NO IDEA how some women tell me that they sleep in curlers once a week--IT'S HELL.I had totally sprayed myself after I set also--so that was done.I'd get up on Monday,clean up,get dressed,take the curlers out,pick my hair(NO comb out),spray the final hairdo and go to work.

This experience gave me complete and total respect for how much work women go through to do their own hair every week.After I time I gave up and went for the better option--the beauty parlor.It's such a wonderful thing to just sit in a chair while someone else does my hair.The 9 2/3 years at the one place and now 2+ years at my new place(my other beautician left the craft do to health--all the fumes from sprays and perm lotions)have been a great experience.The talks that I have with the women customers when we're under the dryers is proof of the fact that HAIR IS HAIR--HOW WE FIX IT IS OUR OWN BUSINESS


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

I remember the days of setting my own hair, sleeping in rollers is better done with foam rollers. It's always nice to sit and let someone else work on your hair even if it's only occasionally, it's just a treat. I totally agree with your statement "How we fix it is our own business". Thanks for reading.


Joseph 4 years ago

Yes,you do actually form a bond with your beautician.

I really got to like Anna,the one who set my hair for 9 2/3 years at a place called Hair Affair(NOW GONE).The fact is that your trusting someone with your HAIR--this is a BIG thing.As a strait male customer who just loves the times I spend in the beauty parlor,I see the effect that the place has on the women customers there and I totally understand the attraction that one would have on anyone who you'd trust to wash,cut,and set your hair.I have had that thought when I used to set my own hair in the early days 12 years ago--WHO WOULD I TRUST.My second beauty parlor -2+ years now- is a wonderful place,where there are more beauticians (my first place was a smaller one with just the owner for the most part),but the bond that is felt is still very big.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

It's good that you found a place you are comfortable with.


Joseph 4 years ago

I just came from the beauty parlor for my weekly wash and set,and it was raining(which is not often for me).This may sound silly,but I use a regular plastic bag for covering my finished hairdo if it is a rainy afternoon.I simply have a clear plastic bag that's just right for totally covering my finished hairdo,I go right to the car (I park close to the building all the time)and take the bag off.The same goes for from the car to the house--small,light,easy to use,and my hairdo keeps its' fluff.

As for the salon snacks,in my first place(Hair Affair) Anna kept a lot of good candy around for snacking while under the dryer,and in my place now the owner makes a wonderful cake of some type(or some cookies) to have while we're waiting under the dryers.

It's such a great thing to help pass the time while we're all set and under the dryers.I usually do puzzles to help pass the time and see how many I came finish before the time is up(2 or 3).

It's also so freeing to walk around the place talking to the women while waiting my turn at the chair(that's IF I have to wait).If my hair is still in curlers,it's no big deal.I love the freedom--we're all just customers there for the same thing.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

Awesome take on Beauty parlors, Mary. Love the historical background and the facts of how these are the new communal hubs for GFs to congregate, share and gossip as well as enjoy the well deserved pampering.voted up and shared!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

BF are welcome at beauty parlors as well ;) Always happy to see you here and appreciate your votes!


Joseph 4 years ago

The Beauty Parlor is such a wonderful place to sit and relax and talk while I'm getting my hair done.Years ago I used to wonder about it whenever my mother would take her usual Friday morning "time out" and go to get her hair done.She even had to come back one time when she still had her hair in rollers due to some kind of problem there(then she went back shortly after).It was a nicely done full set.

When my curly hair fizzled out in my 30's and the perm DISASTER hit,I was really in a panic not knowing how I,a strait male,would be accepted as a regular beauty parlor customer---and the time I spent setting my own hair was really hard work(It was almost a CHORE).

When I walked into what would become my first regular beauty parlor and explained what hairdo I wanted every week(my hair was already done with the curlers I used to set myself),was shown the PERFECT size rollers that I needed to be fully set in,was looked at from all sides,and made that first regular appointment,I WAS REALLY TICKLED.

I went in the next week and got my hair fully washed,set(IN 10 MINUTES FLAT),sat under the drier for 45 minutes,got PICKED OUT,not combed out,sprayed,paid,and out----AND I WAS FINALLY FREED.I was able to go in and get my hair fully done just like all of the women there and it was fantastic!!! NO ODD COMMENTS,NO ODD LOOKS,NO BAD VIBES OF ANY KIND.

I went there for 9 years and 8 months until my hairdresser got ill,and then I was able to boldly walk into another beauty parlor and become a regular there with the same nice togetherness(with the same rollers,the same curly hairdo result and great conversatio).

With my hair done the way I want it and the 1" hoop earrings to make the look complete,I FEEL WONDERFUL.I totally enjoy the great freedom(3 years at my current beauty parlor).I'm totally taken in by "The Beauty Parlor crowd" and totally understand how and why women enjoy it so much(and they are great to talk to every week without any ODD FEELINGS OR LOOKS).


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

So glad you've had such good experiences Joseph. Beauty parlors can be a great place, besides getting 'beautiful' :)


Joseph 4 years ago

Going to the beauty parlor means not only that I don't have to spend a lot of time on my hair,it also means that I don't have to spend a lot of time setting up the bathroom" just to set my hair".Add to the fact that a person just can't have the needed extra hands to roll up the back of the head.That was the only reason why I needed to use those C-clamp curlers.Now that I am able to sit while someone else sets my hair,those great smoothe magnetic rollers can be used.

The hairdressers that I've had can easily set my hair in the magnetic rollers every week and my hairdo looks fantastic.I don't have the calm state of mind to clip those rollers down all around my head(and line them up correctly).Having my hair set by someone else every week is a treat that I totally agree with the women about.


Joseph 3 years ago

After a HUGE rush around day,I just got back from my beauty parlor for my weekly wash and set and it felt SOOOO GOOD.I got there early to get a parking space and it's a good thing because the place was full when I got inside with a lot of customers getting the hair done for the upcoming holiday. However.since I'm now going to a place with more hairdressers than my original one,mine was ready for me right away.

After getting washed,I sat in her chair to get set and was really tired from all of the stops I had to make and ready to relax.As she put in all the rollers I almost fell asleep,but stayed alert and talked to her about our usual topics.The feeling of being pampered felt soooo good that I really was glad that I was never having to worry about having to set my own hair ever again(in the 13 years of going to a beauty parlor for getting my hair set by another person this was the most tired that I ever felt).

After I was fully set and sprayed,I got myself a slice of the wonderful cake that the owner usually makes and went over to my usual dryer for my 45 minutes of 'mellow out time'.It just feels sooo good to relax knowing that someone else sets my hair and I don't have a lot of things to worry about.It's also a great feeling talking to the ladies under the other dryers or elsewhere in the shop and know that I,a strait male,am 'just like one of the girls',and it's such a great feeling.

At times over the years,I have fallen asleep when I'm fully set and under the dryer,but it really is OK since it's A lot better than in the beginning when I used to set myself in those old hard C-clamp curlers and had to try to sleep STILL IN THOSE CURLERS.

After the dryer shut off,I had to wait until my hairdresser returned from an outside task,but that was OK.I felt around my head and just sat and let my set hair air dry until she got back.I do get a better result when I let the rollers stay in a bit longer.It does feel good to be in an atmosphere where my hair can be in rollers around otherrs and there's no problem---WE'RE ALL JUST REGULAR CUSTOMERS HERE.

After she got back,took the rollers out,picked me out and sprayed my wonderfully finshed hairdo,I paid,wished them all a good holiday and left.It's just such a great feeling to walk around a place in your set hair and have no ploblems.I really have no idea how some women can walk out the door in public with the hair still in curlers.It's really a private thing that unless your around others in the same room,it's a gutsy move.

When it comes to needing a nice,calm surrounding,my beauty parlor is there.I fully know how the women all feel.

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