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Hairdressers and why we love visiting them

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"Hairdressers" sourced from Flickr Creative Commons

As my post is intended for us girls, I think I am relatively safe in making a generalisation here. For today my generalisation is – as women, we really do cherish our visits to the hairdresser.

I think there are a number of reasons why. First of course is vanity. It seems to me irrespective of how much we care about our overall appearance, most of us care a great deal about our hair.

One of the other joys of a visit to the hairdresser is the opportunity to read magazines you would never normally buy, or probably admit to reading. Within a minute of entering the salon I usually have a pile of around four different celebrity gossip magazines, ready to gorge on all kinds of rumour and “a friend of the celebrity said” style of journalism.

For me one of the other joys of a visit to the hairdresser, is the real life gossip and stories shared with abundance. I can’t think of many other situations where so much personal information is so readily shared, and available to anyone who happens to be in the same room.

Yesterday I returned to a salon I haven’t frequented for a few years, and had the pleasure of two hairdressers attending to my foils.

Within the space of an hour, I had learned more intimate details about one of them than I know about most of my friends and family.

I learned last year she had to have a hysterectomy, after her gynecologist discovered a 10cm tumour in her uterus. In her early 40s and childless by choice, she made the decision to have the operation without hesitation.

"Uterus" sourced from flickr CC

After the operation and during three months of enforced home rest, she descended into depression. As we discussed, whilst she had never wanted children, she liked having the option available. When the option was taken away, she felt cheated and as if a part of her “womanhood” had been taken away.

I also learned extremely intimate details of how she had realised she had a problem (as she said to me “This feels a little like we are in a porn movie!”); and how post operation she has become involved in Cancer Council activities.

Part of her “new” life has seen her convert to using organic products wherever possible, including changing all the hair products in the salon over to a truly chemical free brand. Interestingly, she told me this just after she came in from her smoko.

After three hours I left the salon a very happy woman. I have new hair and a glamorous look – at least until I have to wash my hair and the salon blow-dry disappears.

I know now who made the list for ¬†“2011’s Most Beautiful People”; how Jennifer Anniston is coping with her man-less life; and more facts about Mark Walburg than I ever needed to know. (There should have more photos, fewer words in the article. If you have seen him in The Fighter you will know what I mean).

And I left full of admiration for my hairdresser’s willingness to share her battle of the last 12 months – and happy in the knowledge I had received more than just new hair from my visit.

Have a good weekend,

Ali.

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