Tag Archives: Beauty Salon

Blindness and My Hair: Why I use a Professional Stylist  to Help Me Look Fabulous

Empish with Fresh Hair Style at Salon

After I lost my vision I knew I had to seek a professional stylist. It had nothing to do with my self-esteem  or confidence. Rather  it was about being practical. No more were the days of coloring my own hair or using at  home hair relaxing kits. I didn’t have enough vision to do the job properly. And with working in professional  environments,  I had to be especially sure my appearance  was spot on.

Many wrongly assume people with vision loss lack interest in their appearance.  They think it is because of the vision impairment. They think because we can’t see ourselves  we don’t care as much. But I am here to tell you this is a bold face lie! We spend time and attention to our appearance  because we care about ourselves  and know we will be judged more harshly  in certain circumstances.

So, I went off seeking a professional stylist. I was fortunate and lucked out with a great person. She has been my hair stylist for 20+ years. That’s a long time and here’s why I am still a loyal customer.

Adjusted Hair Regiment Because of Medication

In the first few years of my blindness, I was taking several medications that cause hair damage. The texture of my hair changed and it was falling out. My stylist immediately recognized  this and shifted my hair regiment accordingly. She put me on a treatment plan  that would help my hair while  not causing more damage.

Once things had settled down and I was totally off meds she went back to my  routine hair treatment. That was several years ago. Today I am undergoing  more changes. Mostly from getting older. I have more dryness, grey and thinning on the top. So, we have shifted again to adjust to these changes. She  moved to another haircare product line  and suggested  the same for  at home. If I were doing my own hair, I seriously doubt I would have known what to do or had the same results.

Sensitive to My  Disability

My stylist has always been sensitive to my disability. First, she has created styles  that I can manage independently. She will describe what she is doing and give me instructions  for home maintenance. This could be how to style and apply haircare products, to using curling irons and hair dryers.

Second, she is aware I use Paratransit, a specialized transportation system for the disabled, making sure we start and end on time. She is always done by the time they arrive  to pick me up. Even the other stylists in the salon will help look out for my transportation. They will Walk me to and from the bus when it arrives.

Clear on Salon COVID Protocols

When the pandemic struck  barber and beauty salons  shut down quickly. Do you remember that? Nobody was going to get their  hair  styled, shampooed or cut anywhere. I was hearing about people on YouTube  trying the DIY  thing. There were all kinds of videos on coloring, styling and cutting your hair. I stayed away from all of that because we talked over the phone  about steps to take. She gave me directions  on what to do to maintain  my hair at home. I was really grateful  to have a professional stylist during this time  because again I  don’t think I would have known what to do.

Empish wearing orange top with her college alumni, Florida A&M University, facemask

Once businesses  reopened, she gave clarity on the salon’s COVID procedures. She emailed  what would be happening and how I needed to handle myself. We all wore facemasks  and the stylist spread out in the building.

National Beauty and Barber Week

This week, Sept 11-17, is National Beauty and Barber Week. I wanted to acknowledge  the people in this profession. They work hard to help people look fabulous. Do you have a professional hair stylist? If so, how  is your experience? Or do you  manage your hair on your own?

Empish with Fresh Hair Style at Salon

I’m Now Feeling Safe to Get Hair Styled After Georgia’s Reopening

On Monday, May 18th, while dawning a facemask and gloves, I safely and cautiously return to the hair salon. It had been since mid-February and like most people in America my hair was long overdue for some professional TLC. During all this time I have been sheltering in place and only going out for essential errands. I was maintaining my tresses to the best of my ability and sought  guidance over the phone from my hair stylist. Since I work from home my daily routine was just to comb and brush and place in a ponytail.  Then shampoo and deep condition biweekly.

On April 24th, Governor Brian Kemp allowed hair salons, barber shops, gyms, and tattoo parlors to reopen. the following week it was restaurants and movie theaters. When this announcement was made the number of COVID-19 cases were consistently rising and many people were concerned with this decision. It was all over the state, local and national news and everyone had a thought and/or opinion on if this was a good idea for the state of Georgia or not. Whether they would venture out or not. It is a month later and the conversation is still going strong and as of this writing  and reported in the Atlanta Journal Constitution the number of COVID-19 cases has not decreased. But with all that being said a list of procedures were assigned to the reopening of these businesses.

When I spoke to my hair stylist about all of this, she told me that her salon was not going to open right away. That they needed time to put in place the procedures issued by the Georgia State Board of Cosmetologists and Barbers to be sure that everyone would be safe in the salon. I agreed and totally understood. It was not until another week that she called me back and said that the salon was ready to open. She emailed the list of procedures to follow and how business would be conducted moving forward. In the email she listed things such as:

Temperature checks. Stylists and clients must check their temperature one hour before their service. If your temperature reading is 99°F or above you will have to reschedule your appointment. (Once the salon has a touchless thermometer all stylist and clients who enter the salon will be checked).   Any employee or client who has a temperature above 99°F should be sent home immediately and not allowed to return to the salon until they have no fever and no evidence of COVID-19 symptoms.

• Personal Protective Gear. All clients must wear a mask! This is mandatory to wear a mask.  The only time that a client will not have a mask is at the shampoo bowl. I will place a towel over your mouth and face.  When the shampoo is over you will be asked to put your mask back on. Also, all stylists are required to wear masks. Most of the time I will be wearing gloves.  You are welcome to bring your own personal towel for your face if you prefer.

 • Ask each client entering the shop the following questions:

Every client will be asked if they have had a cough? Ø  had a fever, Ø  or have you been around anyone exhibiting these symptoms within the past 14 days? Ø  Also, are you living with anyone who is sick or quarantined?

 • Limit people in the salon. I will limit the number of clients. I will only see clients by appointment. Since I am only taking appointments early in the morning, the number of clients in my waiting area will be limited. If a client arrives early, please call me on my phone and wait in your vehicle.

Maintain social distancing at all times! It has been recommended that clients not being serviced in the salon wait outside the salon until the stylist is done with the other clients. Also, spacing between persons in the salon should be at least six feet, except when I am servicing clients. I will move my chairs to the outside of my door so that only the client that I am working on is in the room with me. Each client will be draped with a clean cape.

After we discussed these new procedures, I felt safe to return and made my appointment. She specifically scheduled the appointment for Monday, which in the salon world is their off day and are closed for business. She knew this would be a good time because the salon would virtually be empty lessoning the opportunity to interact with other people keeping both of us safe. When I arrived, I was the only one sitting in the waiting area and I kept my facemask on the entire time until it was my turn. While waiting, I listened to podcasts on my smartphone. When she called me to the chair, I removed my mask and place the towel over my nose and mouth as she worked on my hair. I did the same at the shampoo bowl.  During the time I was there another stylist came into the salon but was stationed in the front while we were in the back. So, we were able to keep social distancing with no problems.

Empish Wearing Facemask and Gloves with White Cane

I am not sure if this will become the new normal of hair styling but I have a funny feeling that it will. Until we can create a treatment plan and vaccine, we will have to wear facemask and practice social distancing at the hair salon. I found the experience not much different than in the past but just a little mentally exhausting because of wearing a facemask. Also adjusting to the quiet is something I will have to learn to deal with. Salons are not just places to get your hair styled but also to chat and gossip. To talk, laugh and share but that is hard to do with a mask or towel over your face.  they are also places to congregate as people come in and out all day. Yet in order to be safe this all might have to change.