The Artist

Room detail, Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC

Over twelve years ago I met an artist.

What she had was a gift. I never had to tell her what to do. It was like she just knew. Left to create on her own she did the most amazing work.

Today was my last appointment with her. 

My hair stylist is retiring and I am grieving. She was the first and only person to ever take charge of my hair and make it look GOOD. She made me feel better about my hair, about myself. I cannot put into words how important and life changing that was.

When I ask patients what they do, often I’ll get the, “I’m JUST a…. fill in the blank.” Hair dresser, office worker, mail handler, Mom, etc. I hate, hate, hate that phrasing. 

Never doubt that what you do has an impact. No matter what your job happens to be, it matters to someone. 

It matters to me.

Maybe I will find someone just as good. 

Maybe I won’t. 

I loathe this kind of change so it will be a growing experience regardless but for now, I grieve. She was an artist in the true sense of the word and she will be missed.


94 thoughts on “The Artist

  1. Finding a good hairstylist is not easy, the one who would understand your hair type and your preferences too.
    I have never been able to trust them entirely with my hair. Hope you find another one soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I met mine at a Fantastic Sam’s, I low on funds and honestly too cheap to pay $100’s to look fabulous. I found a gem there. She moved her scissors like a doctor handles a scalpel. Eventually she found confidence in her ability, being sought out by every Sam’s client. She moved to a higher end salon and one day walking into a Great Clips, next door to her business, I saw her through the window. After that I chased her around town, unable to dodge me (she really wasn’t running away, she had no way to contact me). Eventually, having my number she would let me know where she moved her studio, albeit very often. Eight years later she is cutting back her hours, getting ready to hang up the towel. I feel your anguish. My anxiety through the roof. I cant imagine letting someone new touch my hair!! πŸ€•

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a lovely heartfelt post, and I really love your words, filled with love kindness and understanding:-

    “Never doubt that what you do has an impact. No matter what your job happens to be, it matters to someone. ”

    Have a great weekend! x

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Here’s one for you. A friend of mine, now 60, used the same hairdresser for 40 years. Even when she moved to another state, she drove 2 hours to get the same (short) haircut. She was devastated when the lady retired. Dedication. They were family.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Love it! Your post reminded me of a quote I have hanging by my desk..”A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands, his brain and his heart is an artist.” Louis Nizer. as an aside…I try to take those sentiments with me every day when I go to work as well. I really do. DM

    Liked by 3 people

  6. You’re right about everything you said, Doc. I hate to hear anyone say “I’m only ___”
    In two cross-country moves, the thing I hated most was leaving great hair stylists. Sadly, next move, that won’t be an issue, because I never found one here. :/
    Wishing you endless good hair days. πŸ˜€ Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hair stylists can be such emotional attachments. Another commenter mentioned a friend who drove two hours for hers. I would do that. I wish you good hair days, too, even if you haven’t found the stylist of your dreams. Hugs back! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think a good hairdresser is part artist, part psychologist, part healer. I had a friend for a while I went to who I went high school with. We would spend hours chatting and I would end up with shorter and shorter hair. I stopped going to a hair dresser completely four years ago and have let my hair grow out to my waist. In honor of the Goddess within….. and vanity.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I only get haircuts, so the stylist isn’t a big deal for me. But still, my family and I have been going to the same salon for almost 30 years. There was one hairdresser, a man, who retired a few years ago. He was especially good with the kids, and was a person with more common sense than most people have. I’ll never forget the day I took my then 2-year-old for a haircut and bemoaned the fact that she still had her pacifier (“binky”). The gentleman merely chuckled and said, “I wouldn’t worry too much about it. She’ll outgrow it sooner or later. I’ve never heard of a kid going to kindergarten with a binky.” That man is missed.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Service work, whatever kind, is valuable. Unfortunately our culture judges value by how much money you make, and work that makes life easier/better for others is often the least compensated…in fact many times not compensated at all. Beautifully said. (K)

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I feel your pain, but not for the hairdresser… (as I now do my own hair because past hairdressers have been such a nightmare!) I feel your pain for the dentist I left behind when I moved to Wales. He was good. He was making my mouth actually work again. I never, ever, thought I’d miss a dentist!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Relatable. I think a lot of us have similar stories of dedication and appreciation and loss of the perfect hairdresser.
    I’m sorry you’re losing yours. I wish you and your hair good luck with future artists.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I know how heart-breaking this is. I love my hairdresser too and cringe at the thought that one day she will want to retire. Not only is she amazing at her job, she is a consummate professional, and a treasure of a friend.
    I hope that you will soon find another who can fill her shoes. Good luck in your search. I wish you only good hair days!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I get how important that is. I haven’t been to a hairstylist in over 5 years because the last one I went to hacked my hair. Also I’m a former hairstylist myself so now I just do my own and my Hubby’s hair. I hope you find another great one.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering”. That being said to find a true hair artist is a rare find indeed. As it says “many are called, but few are chosen” My wife has had the same hairdresser for more years than I can care to remember, but she is nearing retiring. However, it is not all bad and her daughter is slowly taking over from her mother, so a generational baton change – sort of…

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I feel your pain.!
    I have found my hair
    stylists by asking people
    where they get their cut?
    Actually my latest stylist
    I found on Yelp. He is by far
    the best ever.
    Good luck, hope a new person
    can be your new artist.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’ve (we’ve) been with my hairdresser (my good friend, Lori) since my youngest son had to sit in a booster seat to have his hair done. He’ll be 22 this year so it has to have been 19-20 years. I trust her and rarely tell her what to do. I asked for pink a few years back and she said she didn’t think it would suit me (this was when I wore my hair super short). Once I let my hair grow out, she said “I have pink, blue or purple”. I love my pink! If she ever retires, I’ll cry!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is the best kind of stylist right there! You are so lucky. I got teary when my son’s barber retired after we had been using him for a few years. Maybe I am just emotional over everyone?


  17. Sorry about that. But then there are others. Do you know the story about a man walking along a road, and seeing another man hacking at stones with a hammer and chisel.
    “What do you do Sir?”
    “I’m a stone-cutter.”
    The first man keeps on walking, and sees another man hacking at stones. In exactly the same way as the stone-cutter.
    “What do you do Sir?”
    “Me? I build cathedrals.”
    (Stay away form stone cutters)

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Oh nooooo….the horror! Finding someone who can cut your hair in this way is so difficult. I wish you better luck than I have had. The girl I have now isn’t too bad but she is no artist. I am mourning with you on this one….

    Liked by 1 person

  19. There’s an unfortunate mindset in our culture that some work is valuable and other work is less so. While hairdressers may not save lives, yours made you feel good about yourself. All work is valuable, and all people should be valued regardless of the work they do.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Oh boy, this hits home. My wife just retired from her beautician career. Her clients kept begging her to stay on, and she didn’t have the heart to tell them she was really retiring. So she told them she was just going away for a few weeks, and found a beautician to do their hair for them while she was “away”. They had to find out for themselves that she was never coming back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was the first thing she said to me when I walked in the door: “This will be our last appointment together.” She said the she had found ripping the bandaid off at the first was the easiest because then she had time to recover before her next appointment showed up.

      Liked by 1 person

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