Posts filed under Cancer

To Go Grey or Not

I finally understand why some people look better without their grey hair showing.  Year ago, I was trained in a salon that believed no one should color their hair...I went with it for awhile.  But then I grew as a stylist and trained myself in hair color, I liked to learn, and frankly would get bored just cutting.  Providing hair color services in the salon created variety and more range in my skill level, a stream of income I wouldn't have had, and a whole world of creativity opened up for me.  Even so, I am very open to people showing their grey hair.  I've never said, "you must color your hair." It took a long time to understand the nuances of hair color shades, and tone, in short, I made a lot of mistakes and learned from them.  But it's not until recently, that I learned why some people absolutely should color their hair.  I never put together why some people look amazing with grey or white hair.  I knew it had some to do with these people usually were Winter types.  I never asked myself, why?  Winter types, or Summer types, or people have cool tones in their skin.  Grey hair, in all its varying tones, is cool in tone.  You put the two together and it's fabulous, especially when they have a great hair cut as well.  The look is congruent.

But, then you take a person who has warm tones in their eyes and their skin, and they are wearing grey hair, it's all wrong.   The warm tones in their skin and the cool tones of the hair, don't mix, so the person wearing it feels "Off" somehow.  These are the people that really ought to color their hair.  Warm, or natural tones look best on them.  This realization is allowing me to look deeper into the question, should I grow my hair color out?  And, if a client has been coloring their hair for a long time, and they don't know what they have underneath, I suggest they grow it out to see it.  Then reevaluate.

I don't buy that everybody should color their hair, and I don't think it necessarily makes a person look old.  If there is a vibrancy going on inside, a youthfulness, a positive attitude, a person will shine even more so, if their color is right for them, even if it is grey.  It is a look of elegance and simple beauty on the right person.

Sometimes the obvious takes awhile to sink in.

Posted on March 10, 2008 and filed under Beauty, Cancer, haircolor, Hairstyling, Inner Beauty, Salon Life, self-expression.


Pressure mounts as I try to meet writing deadlines.  My current article seems more difficult to write than others.  Being with clients is a great counter point to writing.  Working with my hands, feeling the hair, studying hairlines, discerning differences between tones in the hair.  My fingers move, as if it's all been mapped out before.  They know just what to do.

Each client is so different.  My last one yesterday is a bit quirky, funny and down to earth.  We laughed about the round brush that felt tortuous to her the first time she sat in my chair.   She kept pulling away, really, as if I was pulling hair right out of her head.   As I was drying her hair yesterday, she said, "Are you sure that is not that brush?" 

I giggled, "No, it's not."  I pulled every brush out of my box, and sure enough, we spotted the bad brush.  Her eyes grew to the size of golf balls, "That's it!"  She shrieked. 

"I knew you would recognize it."  She is a photographer.  In fact, we are going to trade a headshot of myself for the website and my blog (I dislike the current one), for her haircut and color yesterday. 

She said, "Why don't we take a picture of the brush, in different settings."  So, don't be surprised if you see a series of photos posted soon, entitled, "The Hair Brush." 

I was at a party the other night.  It was the birthday of a fellow writer's husband.  Our other fellow writer was there and is currently going through chemo.  She has breast cancer.  She is a lovely woman to talk to, and a talented writer.  With our backs leaned against the wall, she said, "Now that I've lost my hair, I find myself staring at people and imagining what they would look like bald."  Hair is one of the most definitive features on our body, and if we didn't have it, how vulnerable is that?

Posted on February 12, 2008 and filed under Cancer, Hairstyling, Life, Salon Life.

Graveyard Saddhana

Three years ago, a client of mine, Nancy, was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  Being the "alternative" medicine queen, she tried accupuntcure, herbs from Mexico, doing nothing, doctor after doctor for more opinions, before she would walk the western medicine route.  We were close, and both of us knew our relationship had little to do with hair.  "I would rather die, than deal with the medical world," she had announced.  After months of estrogen blockers as part of the treatment, she shot into the salon for a haircut; short brisk movements, her head turning side to side, her seat moving in and out of the chair, her voice cracking.  She was a live wire flipping through the air, not knowing where to land. 

A year later she was introduced to a spiritual practice called Nicherin Daishonin Buddhism.  It's the practice that chants Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, I had heard about it eighteen years prior by a client, but I didn't practice long.  Nothing ever stuck with me.  One day during this time, Nancy sat in my chair, her voice calm, the angst gone, her words came out like little pillows, instead of jagged points.  She had literally dropped into her body.

I was impressed enough, and miserable enough to say, " I'm coming to a meeting. "  All my life I have wandered how can I be happy?  All the obvious externals, weren't doing it anymore.  Did they ever?  In one years' time, chanting twice a day, the benefits in my life keep rolling in.  I can honestly say, I am happy.  I've had some major challenges come up and have been able to move through them with ease.

Nancy was just in for a two year check up, so far no cancer to be found.  The doctor finds it mysterious, he wants her back in three months to continue the hunt.  She keeps chanting, and did chant right into the face of death.  Graveyard Saddhana.

 Nancy and I are closer now than ever, and now we understand the deeper nature of our relationship.

Thank you Nancy!

Posted on November 14, 2007 and filed under Cancer.

Kitty Dies

As we cut her hair into a graduated, slight A-line bob, the tears flowed down her already tear-streaked face.  "I had to put my kitty down last night."  He was fourteen years old and had a cancerous tumor.  Through the last couple of years of battling cancer, he would still manouver his way down the steps to greet her when she came home, and Tina never asked how much the bill would be. The oncologist said, We're sorry, but he has a couple of days only.  She made a comfortable place for him on his favorite chair in the TV room.  She fed him baby food from her fingertip and they sat together and watched TV.  The oncologist and his assistant went to her house and put him to sleep. 

She kept apoloziging for her tears.  I said, "Your heart is open, this is a beautiful thing."  I was struck by her vulnerability.  She had never shown even a smidge of this side of her before.  In fact she said, 'I'm a schooled extrovert, I am an introvert really.'

Her ususal unruly hair that liked to kick out and not participate with the rest of the haircut, layed down, smooth and shiny.  Her hair had finally grown out enough to create this shape.  The  spunky ends didn't have to fight anymore.

Posted on October 26, 2007 and filed under Cancer, Death, Life, Love.