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National Hairstylist Appreciation Day

National Hairstylist Appreciation Day

Annually on April 25, we celebrate National Hairstylist Appreciation Day, as they are often overlooked for all the jobs they do. Do hairstylists just cut hair? Of course not. They are excellent listeners, whether we are describing that celebrity haircut we want to copy, or talking about our families, spouses, friends, or kids, they act as our stand-in therapists and confidant. They are artists, perfectionists, color chemists, angle mathematicians, supportive therapists, and more, and influence how we feel about ourselves, and how we view others.

Though no one knows when the first hairstylist took scissors to someone’s head, we know that scissors go back at least 2,000 years. Hair cutting has been common since the middle ages. Throughout history, hairstyles have been symbols of social class, racial identification, marital status, religious beliefs, and gender norms. For example, in the middle of the 18th century, the ‘pouf’ style developed, for both men and women, emphasizing volume and curls, utilizing everything from wigs, wire, cloth, and animal hair to develop the effect (just look at Marie Antoinette.)

During the First World War, women around the world started to cut their hair shorter, so it was easier to manage, still utilizing volume and curls. During the 1950s, men’s hairstyles were mostly short, with some volume and hair gel styling – James Dean’s effortlessly cool, slicked-back, longer hairstyle was one of the most influential symbols of social anarchy and youth rebellion at that time. Marilyn Monroe’s hair (short and curled) slowly transitioned back into voluminous “Hairspray” styles, and bangs became popular in the 1960s, inspired by Audrey Hepburn and other celebrities.

The 1970s brought out many original hairstyles and cuts, including dreadlocks, afros, the mullet, and permanent waves, or ‘perms’, for both men and women. Hairstylists had to apply chemicals to the hair, and wrap the hair to form waves and curls, or perform a chemical straightening or relaxing. Can we all just agree that perms should stay in the 70s?

In the 2000s, hair coloring and straight styles became more popular. Today, hairstyles vary largely, from dreadlocks to straight bobs, and natural hair is trending. The stylists who can cut hairstyles through the ages, change our looks, and alter how we feel about ourselves overall – in one appointment – deserve to be celebrated.

1.Tip your local hairstylist
Especially in these times of quarantine, it’s important that your local hairstylist survives financially. Recognize that they rely on the business for a paycheck, and Venmo or send money to them in this difficult time. They will be grateful you care enough about their well-being, as well as their talented services.

2.Plan to try out a new hairstyle
If you feel stuck in a rut, or just plain bored, ask your hairstylist what would look best on you next, and plan to make a change, whether that’s an entirely new cut or color, or just small changes, like layering. Your stylist will know what frames your face best, and you will know how to best express your personality.

3.Let your hairdresser know they’re appreciated
Send a text or a note to your hairdresser letting them know you appreciate them for all they’ve done for you, from that one botched hair dye they fixed to being consistently good at what they do.

A. They work long hours on their feet
The job can be more physically demanding than you would imagine, especially when a stylist has customers booked back to back, hairstylists can spend 8-10 hours standing, bending to cut, and sweeping hair, all while catering to the picky clients that we can be.

B. Their talent often goes unnoticed
Finding a hairdresser who can perfectly tone and recreate different shades of color into exactly what you are looking for, is a rare skill. They provide more services than just one, they can often provide up-dos for special occasions, and tips on how to keep your beard or hair healthy, bringing out your beauty, whatever style it’s in.

C. It’s more than just business for them
Spending half an hour to multiple hours with a client is personal, and goes beyond their job of washing, cutting, and styling your hair. They take the time to ask you about your life and often share theirs. For most stylists, it’s a friendship, as much as it is a business partnership.


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