Hair therapy | Opinion | – WV News

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Partly cloudy skies. Low 56F. Winds light and variable..
Partly cloudy skies. Low 56F. Winds light and variable.
Updated: October 9, 2021 @ 10:20 pm

I just left the hair salon after parting with a few inches of my too-long locks. I sat in a cozy chair while my stylist and I chatted. She, like most hairdressers, is an expert multitasker. She wields a sharp pair of scissors and carries on a conversation at the same time.
While sitting there, conversations between other customers and their stylists mixed in with the background music. It occurred to me that a hairstylist is to women what a bartender is to men — a counselor and confidante. Before you get all worked up about equality and yada, yada, yada, hear me out.
I’m well aware that there are women who confide in bartenders and men who seek counsel from hairdressers. But from what I’ve observed, far more women entrust secrets to stylists than men. The reason has everything to do with time.
From cuts to color to extensions, women can count on spending an average two-hour appointment with hairdressers. Most men, on the other hand, keep their hair cropped short. It takes 10 minutes for them to get a trim. And they seldom have to deal with p-r-o-c-e-s-s-i-n-g.
In other words, men are far more likely to savor a drink at the bar longer than the time they spend in a barber’s chair. Those who share the same hairline as my husband never — as in ever — spend time with barbers or hairstylists. Poor guys have to confide in their wives or their golf buddies or their mothers.
Then, there is me. I visited the same hairdresser every five to six weeks for nearly three decades. True statement. I’ve never been a bar hopper or a stylist skipper.
When one does the math — which is Gary’s department, not mine — two hours every five weeks for 30 years is equal to around 600 hours. Suffice it to say my hairdresser knew as much about my sister. But then, I don’t have a sister.
After my stylist gave up hair and moved away, I was faced with finding someone new. It was no easy task, but I finally succeeded.
I’ve been confiding in Tiffany, my new stylist, for a couple of years now. She’s a good bit younger than me — shock. She “gets” my hair. Best of all, she’s easy to like, easy to talk with.
When Tiffany attempts to work magic with my hair, we talk each other through personal issues and solve the world’s problems, too.
At my appointment earlier, knowing that women tell hairdressers their secrets, I wondered aloud if stylists confide in most or only a few of their customers.
Tiffany said, “Not all of my clients know where I live or things about my husband, kids, and parents that we talk about.”
She said the luxury of having her own business is that she has been able to “customize” her clientele along the way. Some of her customers were friends first and others evolved into friends later.
“There are also people I enjoy casual conversation with, but I don’t feel comfortable confiding in,” she said. “And then there are, well, difficult people.”
Every business person who deals with people on a daily basis can attest to the latter.
To a new client that walked in and collapsed into her chair and said, “No one can get my hair right,” Tiffany inquired, “Has anyone ever gotten it right?”
The woman answered a firm, “No.”
I said, “You need to tell her kind of someone that you are a creative hairdresser, that you like to experiment. Tell her that you style the hair according to how each strand speaks to you.”
Tiffany laughed and said, “I guess that’s one way to control my client list.”
Ours is a stylist-client, client-stylist therapeutic session.
Email questions or comments to Genny McCutcheon at

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