I’ve been cutting hair for 24 years and know that when clients trust me with their hair, they trust me with their secrets. Who can say that about MPs?
I’m not surprised to hear that a new poll suggests that hairdressers are the fifth most trusted profession in the UK. I’ve been a hairdresser for 24 years, and have lost count of the times I’ve heard “I trust you” and “you’re the first person I’ve told” and “I love coming to see you”.
The trust between a hairdresser and a client covers so many different things. I know that with my scissors and comb, or my bowl full of tint, I could potentially make or break someone. I know that I’ve changed someone’s life or restored their confidence because they’ve trusted me to do what I do. To get to the point in my career when I’m asked for a new haircut or colour change and to be told “just go ahead, I trust you” is immensely satisfying.
I’ve got a wonderful client who, when she first came to me, had recently lost her husband. As she tried to cope with a life that had been turned upside down, she felt she needed a new look. Sensing that a full-on change wasn’t actually what she wanted or needed, I made a subtle change and then, as her trust in me grew over subsequent visits, changed her hair little by little. With this, I could see her confidence grow, her self-realisation that she was an attractive woman and that it was OK for her to have hair that others noticed and commented on. I remember encouraging her that, yes, she should go and buy a leather pencil skirt like one she’d seen in a magazine. Seeing her five years later with a wonderful new man in her life, sporting amazing hair, and being thanked for helping her on a journey of transformation made us both cry. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that putting her trust in me helped her become a new person.