Posted on Apr 16, 2019 by Imaginal Marketing
We’ve always had a bit of a crush on hairstylists. And how could we not? They are professional daymakers, beautifying the world one guest at a time. But on top of that, there’s always been something else we couldn’t quite put our finger on—some extra secret sauce that stylists bring to the table.
Then it hit us: Stylists have been speaking a magical language to us this whole time—the love languages. Now we’re convinced that hairstylists are one of the only professions that express all 5 Love Languages every day. Need some evidence? Read on.
Love languages are the different ways people express and experience love—affirmation, gifts, acts of service, quality time and physical touch. They were originally written about as a way to better understand romantic relationships, but they are actually a lot more adaptable and expansive than that. So when we were thinking about stylists (which we admittedly spend a lot of time doing), we realized that stylists actually get to show their guests all five of them with every service they provide. Swoon.
There are so many reasons you feel amazing when you leave the salon, and it’s not just because your hair looks fabulous. Hairstylists build people up with words—whether it’s “You look amazing,” “This style brings out your natural beauty,” or “YAS, queen!” it feels good to be affirmed and complimented, especially by someone who knows what they are talking about.
Stylists are artists—and they have spent countless hours, blood, sweat and tears investing in and perfecting their art. From the time they start hair school, to their journey to getting their license, to apprenticeships and mentorships and continuing education classes and workshops and conferences, all of this contributes to their artistry that they then share with us, so we can benefit from it.
This love language might seem simple, because the service your stylist provides is, well, an act of service—but it’s actually much deeper than that. There is something so relaxing, calming and healing about sitting in your hairstylist’s chair and letting them take care of you during your service.
While you are with them in the salon, you are nurtured, attended to and made to feel better about yourself. The stylist’s combination of their skills, talent, attention, and ability to connect is the true act of service—which is much bigger than just a haircut, if you ask us.
How often do we truly have someone’s undivided attention in this day and age, much less for a significant period of time? In a culture that often has us rushing around, spending one-on-one time with someone feels like a real gift, and when we sit in our stylist’s chair, we often receive this gift for several hours (because we all know the perfect balayage simply cannot be rushed). It’s easy to see how this often leads to us feeling really connected to our stylists—this time together can be special and even therapeutic. (Are we the only ones who have cried to our stylists before? No? Okay, just checking.)
Everyone needs human contact, and stylists incorporate physical touch into their work every day. Whether it’s the hug or handshake when they greet you, the hand massage with nourishing lotions to help you relax into your service, the way they play with your hair during your consultation, or our personal favorite, the head massage at the shampoo bowl (cue the instant Zen just thinking about it)—they are literally touching our lives. For some people, their visit to the salon might be the most human contact they have that day, and this is a gift not to be overlooked.
James Cook, Artistic Director of Lux Salon, knows the importance of touch in his work: “Often people never get touched with intention. In our industry, we are able to offer them physical touch in an acceptable and professional way. When our clients arrive we often greet with a hug. In the ritual of renewal we offer a scalp massage, shampoo rituals come with another scalp massage and hand massage, the send off is also with a hug. Intention for them to feel their best is always our goal.”
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to stylists and their love languages. Maggie Dame, owner of Dame Salon Spa says, “A guest who doesn't receive touch in their daily life will benefit from a longer, intentional massage. A guest who is never told they are beautiful benefits from me building them up with words of affirmation. Some guests feel important and cared for when I find them information on a product or new service…we all have different needs and it is our job to know our guests and learn how to fill their tank.”
We love what we get to do every day, and a huge part of that is because we get to spend our time supporting stylists—some of the most creative, passionate, caring and talented people out there. Next time you visit the salon, maybe you’ll notice all the love languages being spoken.