The Beauty Parlor: The Place For More Than Beautification.
All of us have visited the beauty parlorfor one reason or the other. It is a very special place where both women and men congregate to have their hair done, get a manicure and/or a pedicure and interestingly nowadays some parlors have massages. Some people visit the beauty parlor just to say ‘hi’ and express their opinions on the current pressing issues. In women’s parlor for example, as they wait for their turn or wait for the chemicals to work its course, women share their lived in experiences ranging from relationships, raising children, marital issues, parenting, to experiences with modern innovations and technology. For me, my trips to the beauty parlor are triggered by an impending special occasion like weddings, graduations, home coming or family reunion. I have realized that every time I go get my hair done, my requested services are coupled up with other services that I did not order. Apart from getting a perm or a haircut, I get to listen to the analysis of the nearby restaurants, hospitals, schools, jobs, entertainment, handsome men, celebrities lives, movies etc. I get to hear all that which is pleasing to my ears and all that I would love to grab my headphones and listen to Beethoven instead. Why do people like to express themselves in a beauty parlor? Simple; freedom of speech and people willing to listen. A friend of mine once made a very interesting observation; that the hair parlor is a good place to reach souls that are excited, happy, stressed out, worn out or just wanted someone to listen to their burning issues. I agree. Beauty Parlor, serves more than one purpose.
1. A place for money making and money spending.
It is obvious that cosmetology is a very rewarding and enjoyable career. I mean, who would not want to be beautiful and young? So it is a win-win situation. I get young and beautiful and help someone else keep his or her job. I think for one to be a beautician; he or she has to have a special heart, skills and knowledge especially those doing pedicures and manicures. Can you imagine the kind of feet they see and smell every day? Smelly feet, corny feet, wide, thin feet etc. I guess once they soak them, the smell goes away. The cosmetologists/beautician also can have a rough time in trying to do an exceptional job that will satisfy their customers, and yet there are those customers who would never be satisfied no mater what they do. The beautician can also tell just by looking at the roots of the customer’s hair if they are signs of abuse. I mean signs like lacerations or hair pulled out normally during domestic violence. Should they come across such signs they might be obligated to do something about it e.g. to report the suspected physical abuse. This would be a prudent thing to do.
2. A place for distressing.
Inside the beauty salon, there are several hours that you can be idle e.g. either waiting for your turn or the beautician is working on your hair. Some hair styles takes up to more than four hours. So since we are human beings, we are wired to socialize i.e. talk, laugh, think, reason etc. Human beings are constantly busy doing something especially cognitively. So when it is time for your hair to be done, your legs may take a rest but neither does your brain nor your eyes are resting. After you settled on the bill, the style and the duration it will take to get it done, you get yourself comfortable and the cosmetologist starts working on your hair. Then, the eyes start wondering, scanning the entire salon and even though you have been there a million times, there seems to be something new every time you go there. There are all kinds of people coming in and out. Those of your ‘taste’ and those you would wish they could go to another parlor. As the eyes wonder, and the ears carefully listen, sometimes doing selective listening, the collected information is transferred to the brain for analysis, interpretation and application of the results. The synthesis is then sent to the Mouth to say something in reaction to the information that the faithful eyes and ears have collected. And if you are like me, you would want your ears and eyes to collect more information before you can react. I would definitely want to be certain before I can open my mouth lest I hurt somebody’s feelings. Some topics may not concern me at all but I might benefit from hearing and learning from different views on how to handle such situations should I face similar situations in the future.
3. A place to Educate/Inform.
The parlor is rich with stories, with the older and the more experienced giving their own historical expertise of the best hair products etc that have worked for them in years. You listened and then after appreciating their sharing of new ideas, you then privately make a decision as to whether to get it or maintain your own. You hear of horrible lived in experiences that sometimes scare the hell out of you. Women share how they are not appreciated enough at home, how they do not even get enough time since they have kids, jobs and a husbands to keep up with. They share about their belief system; how according to their own culture some engagements would be considered a taboo. They share their family philosophy, their shuttered dreams and the unrealized dreams. One may ask how their dreams were shuttered. The responses ranges from the fact that their dreams were not going to generate any income or were not realistic, measurable or attainable or there was a financial challenge that hindered them from getting a higher degree or starting a different business. The other topics you hear includes food, jobs, nutrition and alternative medicine, the best weight loss program/management and how this particular program is better than the other one. Why Dr. Oz Show is very educational and the recipes that truly work miracles.
4. A place to entertain.
All those who congregate at the beauty parlor for one reason or the other, share whatever they have in mind without control, limitation or intimidation. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. Parties debate and argue about controversial issues like politics, religion, sexual orientation etc. Each group wants to outweigh the other group. It is entertaining to listen to the reasons behind each group especially when defending their political candidate. What really amazes me is that even if a supporter of a specific candidate knows that whatever they purport to is not true, they still will go at lengths to support and mobilizes support for their candidate. What I hate about departing is when the people debate on a something and then they get mad at each other. So, the discussion goes from normal voices to high pitch, murmuring then silence. Even if you don’t understand their language, their non-verbal communication will tell it all. There is something about the facial features, the shoulders and the hands that reveal that not all is well. On a lighter note though, in an effort to reduce the boredom, some beauty parlors have installed entertainment centers like wide screen TVs, DVD players and big stereos. These kinds of technology are known to be entertaining, educational as well as therapeutically. I hope someday they will install the cyberspace so that I could update my hubpages.
Thanks beauty Parlor for giving us more than we ask and paid for.