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.
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?