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The choice is yours

A few years ago I received a sign for my office from my girl, with many positive affirmations collaged together. The one that sticks out the most to me is “Happiness is a choice you make everyday”. So very true, so easy to remember yet so easily forgotten.

Over the past weeks I have heard the following from friends, family and the people I see everyday;

  • I’d be happier if he was nicer
  • I’d be happier if I got a raise
  • I’d be happier if my child behaved in public
  • I’d be happier if people kept their opinions to themselves
  • I’d be happier if I got to see my friend’s more
  • I’d be happier if I had more help around the house
  • Etc… etc… etc…

It seems everyone wants to be happier, but doesn’t want to do the work. Trust me. I know. It is easier to put the blame of our woes on someone else’s behaviour. Been there, done that. Try my best not to do that anymore. For no one, anywhere, wants to look in the mirror, take a long hard look at themselves and admit a fault. …but darlin’, ya gotta. There is no magic happiness pill, no happiness potion, no mystery man arriving at your doorstep with your package of happiness waiting to be unwrapped, it’s all up to you. Before you get all upset or weepy, I do know that life throws curveballs, of this I am certain. There will be illnesses, job losses, flat tires, spilled coffee, baby spit up on your shoulder that you missed, but the President of the company did not. There will be bad hair days, bloated days, adult acne days ….by the way…what kind of sick cosmic joke is that? We cannot control what happens to us or around us. We can control how we decide to let it affect us. We can control how long a harsh word gets to live in our head rent free.  Have your head spin around and spew venom because the dishes weren’t done or the garbage emptied, or don’t. The decision is yours.

Happiness can be created anywhere, anytime. It can.

  • Had a hard day at work and still have to go to the grocery store? Buy an extra canned good or two and drop in it the food bank donation bin.
  • Your teenager is making you crazy and you are at your wits end over the useless arguments…go look at their baby pictures, their saved school artwork…remind yourself of the love there.
  • Just a long, stupid day? Get yourself some instant cocoa, grab your favorite mug and top that baby off with some whipped cream. …sprinkles too if it the day really kicked your ass.
  • Make a Jello. My gramma Leah always told me that. This way whenever you look in the fridge, you can be reminded that you made something that day and accomplished something.
  • Make some cookies or muffins and deliver them to a neighbour or friend, for no reason. Just to do it. Trust me, 9 out of 10 times, they are in dire need of a glimpse of happiness and a the touch of kindness.
  • Send a joke to a friend.
  • Share a you tube video with a friend, reminding them of a memory you share.
  • Post a joke on your Facebook wall in the morning…it will make someone’s day.

Doing for others is doing for yourself. Making others feel good will make you feel good. Carrying happiness with you will allow happiness to spread to those you are around. Plain and simple.

bubbles

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Picasso and the Art of the Consultation

Over the past weeks, many women have come into the shop in despair. Sure some of them were fretting over getting the exact shade of red polish that would go perfectly with their holiday attire. The women I am speaking of were the women that had hair styles they couldn’t style on their own or a new cut they couldn’t manage. When I asked them why they chose the style/cut, they all had the same answer, “the stylist told me it would be what was best for me.”. …alright now stylists, before you get all worked up, I know, trust me, that people can tend to over exaggerate  and that wires can be crossed during a conversation. This being said, when a proper consultation has been given, your client will walk out with an agreed upon style/cut and should have the tools and products with them as they leave the Salon, so that they can achieve the same look in between salon visits. Unfortunately, from the looks on the faces of the women I spoke to and by their hair resembling a Picasso, a proper consultation had not happened and the maintenance of their new look had not been explained.

This is a point I cannot stress enough to all educator’s, stylists, Salon managers and Salon owners – the client consultation is a VITAL part of the appointment/Salon visit. I have seen and heard the stylist’s at our Salon spend up to 30 minutes discussing their client’s hair and the look they are hoping to achieve. It’s amazing what you can find out with a simple consultation.

– you may find out that your client is taking medication, which can affect the outcome of the color process.

– you may find out that your client hates how dry her hair is because of all the perms she has had because someone told her that was the only way to get volume at the roots. While offering to add a conditioning treatment to her service this would be a great time to introduce her to a root lift like Big Sexy Root Pump Plus

-you may find out that your client has arthritis, so maybe that straight edge bob that requires a flat iron  everyday may not be the best cut for her.

– you may find out that your client is in the midst of a chemo regime and her hair is more fragile, so maybe a perm isn’t the best option, today.

– you may find out that your client is the caregiver to a loved one who is ill, so she doesn’t have much time to fuss with her hair. Introduce her to a Dry Shampoo, like Quantum’s Refresher Spray. A powder free spray that makes the hair look freshly washed for those days that become too much.

– you may find out that your client has skin sensitivities or allergies, which in turn can help you make sure to use a gentler shampoo and a styling product that has less fragrance. * A great option is KMS Head Remedy Sensitive Shampoo.

– you may find out that your client is recently separated and unsure of herself and her looks, so maybe chopping off her shoulder length hair into a pixie cut may not be her best option, today.

– you may find out that your client has a severe gluten sensitivity, so you need to be careful which products you use. *Alterna Bamboo is a gluten free line

– you may find out that your client’s kids have just gotten over a lice outbreak, a perfect time to teach her about preventive measures, for herself and the kids. * Tea Tree is a natural lice repellent – Paul Mitchell has a lovely Tea Tree line including styling products.

– you may find out that your client has been losing her hair because of illness or stress, and feels that cutting it off is her only option. What a great opportunity to educate her on hair loss and to give her hope and a style that makes her feels beautiful. * NIOXIN – a great product line to stop hair loss in it’s tracks – in my opinion, a must have product for any Salon

A consultation is a great way to find out what styling tools your client already owns, what products they currently use, if your client is capable of achieving the same look at home and the consultation is a great way to add retail to the service. With a proper consultation, you know what your client wants, your client will know what they are getting and how much effort or how little effort will need to be applied to their new style, and you, the stylist, get to feel like Picasso…you have just made someone’s world a little more beautiful.

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What road are you taking?

Been sitting here staring at the screen, then I begin to type, then I hit delete, then stare at the screen once again. This is what happens to me when I am holding back. When I worry about other’s opinions of what I am about to write. As I was hitting delete for the twentieth time, I had one of my LIGHTBULB! moments.

This is what woman do in the Salon, everyday. We show them the color swatch book, they gaze adoringly at the red hair swatch, they say “Lets do it!”, then they look around at the other women in the Salon and with a shaking hand and voice to match they say “Ummm, ahh, maybe I should take a look again”. We hand the color swatch book back to them, they flip back to the browns, sigh, and then say “better stick to the usual…what would people think?”.

If you are familiar with my blog, you know I am a firm believer of being your own person, doing what you want and the hell with what others think. Yeah, yeah, I know…I started off today’s tale worrying about the thoughts of others. Give a girl a break would ya? I am a work in progress…and see, I am writing about what I want. Now, back to the tale at hand.

As women (sometimes the gents, but mostly it’s the ladies), we worry far too much about other’s opinions of our hair to our child rearing. Everyday I meet a woman who has a hairstyle she didn’t want, thinks she is too fat to go to the gym, has a hair color she detests, or is buying a product that she hates the smell of. The reason? It’s always the same…fear of what people will think. Don’t get me wrong…no judgment here. I have been that woman, and from time to time I have to keep that old girl at bay. I have had haircuts that made me cry. Hell, forget the gym, at one point I thought I was too fat to walk around the block. I have had hair color that, lets just say, was not me. I have used products that reminded me of a skunk in heat. All because of fear of the opinion’s of others, or fear of upsetting the apple cart.

In the big scheme of life and all it’s mysteries I may not know much, but I know this. It isn’t all about you (hardest pill for yours truly to swallow) and all that matters is YOUR OPINION. Oh…and screw them. Yeah, I said it. Now I have the hair style I want, I no longer think I am too fat to walk around the block, hell, I don’t think I am fat at all. I LOVE my hair color…blonde with dark underneath (so when my  roots show it looks like it’s on purpose…smoke and mirrors my friends…smoke and mirrors) and all my hair products remind me of the beach and the spring. Oh, believe me, I am still told that I should change my hairstyle, usually by someone who hated their own hair. I am told that I could still stand to lose a few, usually by someone who is trying to be skinny for their spouse, instead of being healthy and fit and supporting her husband’s dietary restrictions like yours truly. I am told that my blonde looks fake…well duh…my roots are dark… and I am constantly being told there is something else I should be using for my hair, usually by a rep. trying to bring in a new line,(which is excusable…they are just trying to do their job.).

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a tough road. It’s also one hell of a high road most days, so high I need to strap on an oxygen mask, but it is the road I would choose over any other. It is the road to personal redemption, to happiness, to wanting to look in the mirror at your reflection and liking who is looking back at you, the woman with the rockin’ hairstyle and awesome color.

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A work in progress

Nobody’s perfect. Everyone has issues on a daily basis. Those who say they don’t are either lying or they are on a heavy dose of something ending in “zac” or enjoy a bottle or four of Merlot. Being in the beauty industry and managing a Salon/retail shop, I see a lot. I see the good, the bad and the ugly and I’m not talking about the hairstyles and dye jobs (although some are quite interesting) – I’m talking about how people talk to each other and how they treat each other.

Not to sound all Mary Poppins or Mother Theresa (take your pick), it’s time to grow up and be nice. Seriously, it’s that simple. We all have issues, we all have family torment, we all have an ill family member, we all have insecurities, we all have bad hair days and don’t want to open the bathroom door. When you see someone struggling with their life, don’t go and point out their short comings, believe me, they are quite aware of them. How about giving them a compliment or telling them a joke or bringing them a coffee. Hell, send them a text or a tweet saying “Hey”. Sometimes one kind word out of the blue can make or break their day.

We are all a work in progress. I just had my daughter help me with some photos and after I said “Should I have more make up on?” to which she gasped. “See” I told her “everyone has issues. It’s okay.”. We all have our demons that we battle on a daily basis. Maybe your demon is that package of Oreo’s in the pantry, maybe it’s that NEED for the newest nail polish collection or maybe your demon is pain killers or self mutilation. The way I see it, a demon is a demon and no one’s personal struggle and daily fight is worse or better than anyone else’s…a struggle is a struggle.

Be kind. Your kindness could be the only glimmer of hope someone will see today.