Hairstyling is making Us Sick.
So here's the deal; Stylists are becoming sick.
And I don't mean a cold sick. I mean chronic health issues, unfamiliar symptoms, body pain, fatigue, brain fog, headache, GI issues, food intolerances, etc. Does this sound like a wide scope and a bit of an assumption? Could be. But I'm here to say, I know my years in the industry added to my health issues. I know other local stylist struggling big time with chronic health issues. And I've chatted numerous times with other stylists virtually who are suffering as well. So what gives? And why has this topic not been brought mainstream?
Because hairstyling is our passion. It is our craft. It is our income, our escape, our innate gift. And to challenge that current dynamic with the thought that our environment and tools we use could be harming us is a tough pill to swallow. If we admit there is an issue, the questions of how do I earn an income? Do I need to quit my job? How will I pay my bills? Why is this happening to me? flood our fear zone.
Then after the panic + fear, comes the anger.
Like big time, pissed off, frustration and burnout. I myself went through this many times, to a point where I loathed the idea of being behind the chair. I wanted nothing to do with hair, color, clients, salon, anything hair related. The amount of anger and frustration for not being in control of my life, my body, my services, my tools, all of it became too much to bare. So I took a break. A mini, cut my hours to like 9 hours a week. And even that was torture. It wasn't until I had a big work conflict that really ignited the fire of change within.
I knew I wanted natural and organic options. I knew I wanted to support my body, my mind and my healing. So, I did what many stylists in this position do; I opened my own low-tox, green salon. The freedom of creating my own hours, choosing my own products and atmosphere was amazing. But coming into year two of salon ownership, the pesky telltale signs of my body not agreeing with my tools grew. Chest pains, body aches, trouble breathing, headaches, itchy hands, all of it. Quickly the feeling of defeat tried showing her face. My point is, I could have all the salt lamps, energy clearing wands, salon plants and good intentions, but if the heart of my work (color + care) were harming me, the rest didn't matter. So this time around, I had a new option; herbal hair.
Literally overnight I announced my swap to herbal hair color because I was at my breaking point. It was a messy transition and I did lose a client or two. I converted the clients I could to herbal color (yes, even gray clients) and learned as I went. I didn't have an alternative to lightener, so my blonde clients didn't shift much; yes the lightener still bothered me. Baby steps right? I did the best I could with what I had.
The feedback from my herbal clients was insane, like yeah I believed in it, but woah. They all loved how their hair looked and felt, the pigment lasted longer, and no more itchy scalp. And for myself, intuitively mixing and blending literally plants and warm water felt so honest, cathartic and *real.* My chest and lungs didn't ache, my hands felt better when cleansing and rinsing my clients hair out, I wasn't nervous about blow drying + inhaling remnants of conventional color. Truthfully, it felt authentic.
So why did I close my salon after this transition?
Because I realized two things: One, I work best away from the chair with my skills. And two, there are so so many stylists and souls out there aching for guidance on using this gift. And I believe that's why I exist. To share, guide and honor the call. My painful experiences led me on a healing journey and discovery of cultivating our craft as Hair Healers. There are so many natural tools at our finger tips (and gardens!). You don't have to always work behind the chair to earn an income. Knowing your true self and honoring what s/he is whispering (or screaming) to you is vital in your life path.
So, instead of being compliant, sick and burned out, why not exist as your true self?
I promise, you are here for a reason. Your skills are needed and not in vain. You are not alone and you are not stuck. Sometimes it just takes a fresh perspective and a helping hand.
Wildflower and The Rose and myself exist for you. I am here to guide you on the herbal hair path whether you want to work behind the chair, create your own products or educate like I do. We need you, the world needs you. Will you join us, Hair Healer?
The Hair Healer Intensive has been cultivated for this exact reason; guidance, discovery and community, all in one. Connect with you true essence, dream hella' big, experience herbal color, inhale the divine flower therapy of flower hair care and know without a doubt you are healing yourself, the earth and others. To discover more details, journey here.
Much love, always wise one