Rest, Relaxation, and a Little Reflection

I went today to get a haircut at Sola Salon, which is down the street from my house here in Los Angeles. I also needed to have my roots touched up but wasn’t sure that I wanted to devote the time or extra money to that endeavor. However, once I arrived and the hair stylist who greeted me was especially warm and the salon was somehow empty on a Friday afternoon, I decided to indulge myself a little.

I am not, as a rule, a big self-indulger. In fact, in some ways, I am the polar opposite. I had the third pedicure of my life on my birthday when my daughters took me down to a South Pasadena nail salon for a girls’ afternoon treat. And usually, I order hair color online and touch up my roots at an off hour when we’re not busy with other activities. But today, I slowed down and let the words sink in that Ray and my girls have been saying to me lately, “You need to figure out how to schedule in downtime.”

I am very pleased to say that my experience with self-indulgence could not have been more pleasant. My hair stylist, Chris, who had beautiful streaks of bright blue and green in her black hair, was not only relaxed and pleasant but also an expert in both root touch up and haircutting. She also filled me in on her experience during the pandemic, which helped me to appreciate her even more.

Chris said that she went nine months out of work during COVID-19 because of all the health restrictions placed on salons. She finally took a job driving a forklift at a Costco in the freezer section. She said that she was happy to learn new skills but after a year, she could see there was nowhere for her to go in the organization. At that point, she started back up as a hairstylist part-time and then transitioned to full-time just a month ago. She said that money had been very tight during the pandemic, but in comparison to some people she knew, her experience had not been too bad. She added that she was grateful to be back at her regular job.

I was struck by Chris’s positive attitude and her empathy for those who had had it harder than herself. How kind of her to look beyond her difficulties and focus instead on those worse off. I could tell by her calm and open nature that she was a person who was solid within herself, able to deal with life’s obstacles and also view them with a larger perspective in mind.

I was also aware that she demonstrated real professionalism in her job. After she washed out the hair color and dried my hair, she said, “I’m not totally satisfied with the color match of the re-touch and the rest of your hair. If you have the time, I’d add a little developer and that’ll fix it.”

“I’m in your hands,” I said. “I appreciate your willingness to go the extra mile.”

Going that extra mile – doing that one extra thing that a less invested person would not do – to me is the definition of professionalism. It is also a measure of integrity. Doing the best job one can do.

My hair color and cut look great. I spent two hours with a lovely person and had the chance to hear about her trials and triumphs during Covid. I also had the opportunity for a little R and R. I think listening to those I love about the need for downtime is proving to be an excellent idea.

If you’re in the area and looking for a hair salon, then consider Sola Salon on Doheny. A cut and color are both reasonably priced and any of the women who work there are excellent. However, as of today, I have a little soft spot for Chris.

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