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Hair Therapy: How Your Stylist is Like a Friend

What do break-ups, moving away to college, weight loss, and even weddings all have in common? Each of these moments in my life has resulted in a hair therapy (noun): the treatment of bad, stressful, and / or exciting life moments by visiting your hairstylist.

Let’s explore four examples of hair therapy together…

1. The Break Up

Hair Therapy

When I had my first “real” breakup in high school, I went straight to my hairstylist.

“Make me over,” I told my stylist. “I don’t even care what you do. I want to look different. I want to feel different. I want to be different.”

I sat in the chair and poured my heart out. I talked about everything I loved about him. I complained about everything I hated about him. And I talked about how my life would be different without him.

An hour and a half later, she spun me around and I looked in the mirror.

I looked like a new person.

I felt like a new person.

And most importantly, I left the salon with newfound confidence and courage.  Walking to my car that day, I realized I had discovered the key to surviving bad breakups: hair therapy.

My stylist (Bobbi) even came to visit in college and do my hair for important events, such as Halloween.

2. Moving Away to College

I was extremely nervous-excited- scared-happy about moving away to college.  The move reflected a new beginning; a new chapter in my life. Before I said goodbye to my high school friends and family, I knew there was one more place I needed to stop before moving away: the salon.“I want something fun and new,” I told my stylist. “I want my hair to reflect my personality.”A few highlights and a dramatic haircut later, I was ready for my fresh start in a new city.

Hair therapy came to the rescue again.

3. Weight Loss

As motivation to lose weight (aka a goal I commit to every single day of my life), I created goals and rewards for hitting certain milestones.

Rocking my new dress AND new hair on makeover day.

At 10 lbs, I would get a pedicure.

At 15 lbs, I would buy a new dress.

And at 20 lbs, I would get makeover.

When I officially lost 22 lbs, I made the phone call.

“Ashley, you look amazing!” my stylist told me when I walked into the salon. “I am so proud of you! What are we doing today to celebrate?”I wanted a complete makeover: new hair, a new hairstyle, a manicure, and new hair products. We spent the next few hours sharing weight loss tips (aka eat well, stress less and workout more) and even made plans to sign up for a race together.

I felt like a million bucks when I left the salon that day, and my husband couldn’t keep his hands off me. Hair therapy for the win.


4. The Wedding Day

Leading up to our wedding day, I had nightmares that I wouldn’t look beautiful or my dress wouldn’t fit. Turns out, one of those nightmares came true. My dress didn’t fit two weeks before the big day! I had to drive to Dayton, Ohio (twice!) from Muncie, Indiana to get emergency alterations performed on my dress.

Hair and make-up for my big day? check!

Thankfully, my other nightmare didn’t come true. I had my stylist with me on our wedding day- ready to deal with any bridal mood swings and Starbucks requests. Having here by my side on that day was a no-brainer; she truly made me feel like the most beautiful bride in the world.

The benefits of sticking with my stylist over the years have been invaluable. My heart feels happier just walking into my salon and sitting down in the swiveling chair. And can we please talk about how amazing it feels when someone else shampoos and plays with your hair?

Today, I am sending my stylist a card just to say “thank you” for not only being an amazing stylist, but a great friend (just like Jessica Simpson and Ken Paves). Hopefully I’ve inspired you to do the same.

In the meantime, how have you used hair therapy sessions to overcome rough patches or celebrate exciting moments in your life?