As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, I wanted to look back and reflect on what this month means to me personally and professionally, and share some of my thoughts with you. I feel fortunate to work in an industry that has influence over people’s mental health in such a simple, but profound way. The conversations that are made during the appointment, and then of course the end result, bring out the best in people; not only in the client in my chair, but in myself as well. An excellent appointment energizes me and keeps my momentum going on my hard days, which we all have, but are exacerbated by mental health disorders.
Stylists can in a way be therapists in addition to being the creative force behind your new look. I do want to stress though, that not all of us have formal training in psychology, and there are stylists that won’t be able to effectively do both during an appointment. Nor do I want to detract from the plethora of education it takes to become a clinician or psychologist. As it happens, I went to school for psychology and women’s studies before attending classes for hairdressing and makeup artistry. Having this educational background aids tremendously in helping others to realize their self-love potential. I say this often, but working so closely with another human to maximize their self-worth through inner/outer image is beautiful. We are so hard on ourselves, and it’s absolutely heartbreaking that this fault in our systems allows us to self-destruct and say no to things we should be saying yes to. My belief is that the therapy which occurs between stylist is a sacred space, beneficial for both parties, and can help with mental health for the client. Psychology Today has published several articles on the subject, and being able to highlight this topic for my current and future client is something I have always wanted to do.
This is my way of saying that I feel you, and I know how difficult it is to sometimes even get out of bed in the morning. I honor your strength and resilience against all the things attempting to bring you down. I want you to know that this salon is a safe space, and that I understand. Not all forms of suffering are the same, but the detriment suffering has on a person manifests similar side-effects that we can connect on through empathy. If you are in my chair, I will always be making sure that you feel valued and respected. Together, we can begin to restore an aspect of your confidence that will hopefully contribute to your overall sense of self, a cornerstone of good mental health. Take care of yourself, and each other out there. The world is at times cruel and unyielding, which is why we need to show love to everyone.
“She is a beautiful piece of broken pottery, put back together by her own hands. And a critical world judges her cracks while missing the beauty of how she made herself whole again.”-J.M. Storm