No hairstylist is ever truly “just” a hairstylist. There’s more to the job than that, because something about sitting in a salon chair puts even the most guarded people into their most vulnerable state. Is it because having your hair done is an opportunity to finally relax and get taken care of instead of fussing over annoying life minutiae, or a natural biological response to facing yourself in the mirror for an extended period of time that results in some forced self-reflection?
It’s one hell of a weird phenomenon, whatever it is, but it’s also true: The person who snips off your dead ends every six weeks is more likely to be treated as a close friend, a confidante, or even a therapist than a perfect stranger. Ashley Bolling, the owner of Captivate Salon & Spa in Kentucky, takes that responsibility very seriously. Bolling had what she calls a “stop-you-in-your-tracks, extremely humbling” moment recently when one of her clients, a nurse, fell asleep as she was quietly doing her hair.
“She'd been at work all night and hadn't been to bed when she landed in my chair, but not before stopping to buy my breakfast on her way. As she dozed off, I gently rested her head on my stomach and continued to foil her hair… then I noticed her shoes,” Bolling wrote in a Facebook post alongside a photo of the woman. “I wondered how many miles those shoes have walked. I wondered what they'd walked through. Blood? Tears? In & out of the countless rooms of the patients she's cared for? I wondered how many hours they've carried her, and all those like her, while they literally save the lives of those we love and hold the hands of the ones who can no longer fight that fight.”
The nurse’s story quickly went viral, garnering tens of thousands of comments from people who’ve lived exactly what Bolling describes. “I felt extremely honored to take care of such a hard-working, inspiring woman I’m so lucky to call my friend,” she continued. “I’ve always respected and valued these amazing super-heroes and am proud to be the sister, daughter, niece, friend and hairstylist of so many. Know you are appreciated, know you are irreplaceable, know you are loved!”