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.
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.
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!