L:26 – The Helpin’est Help


When I was in high school, I started going to the salon that I would visit for the next 15 years. Toni knew my hair. She knew what it would do, and what it wouldn’t. She could tell when I needed something different, and she’d say that she had an idea. I never regretted just letting her do something new and novel. It taught me that new is fun. And what was the worst that would happen? It would grow back. Toni spoiled me, though. She never found it stressful when I just asked for something new; I’ve never had that in any other stylist – they’re always worried that you’re going to freak out. So it wasn’t liberating for them if I said “Is there a haircut you’ve been itching to try?” Now, I just go with pictures and convince them that yes, I’m OK with that big of a change. No, I don’t want to try something half as drastic and have  to pay you twice to do the thing I wanted in the first place. That sounds a little jaded. Sorrynotsorry.

Almost a year and a half ago, I decided that I was in my mid 40’s and I was tired of having soft nails that wouldn’t grow, but would split or snag randomly, daily. I was tired of having nails so soft that even shellac manicures (that were guaranteed to last 14 days) would last *maybe* to bedtime on the day I got it done. So I get wicked awesome gel manicures every 3 weeks, and je ne regrette rien.

Usually, a few days before I go, I troll the internets for ideas for the next one. If I find something I like, I show Miss Justine, and she always does something I love. If I don’t find something, I ask her if she has any ideas for me. Really, I think there were only a few times in the last 16 months when I went without something to start from. Truly, at that point, anything she suggests I’m going to agree to. If she wants to practice ombre, I’m good with that. If she wants to try out the new decals, great. If she wants to do stamp transfers, also great.

I heard another nail artist say yesterday that it’s not as awesome as clients think when we say “Use your creativity!” They certainly can, but just like everyone, the end of a long day, at the end of a long week, the creativity tank might be running on fumes.

This Lent, may my actions (and expectations) not make extra work for other people. This Lent, may I be careful to make sure that what I think is being helpful actually is being helpful.

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