Before working under the mask mandate, I had never realized exactly how much I relied on reading people’s lips when communicating. Sure, blow dryers, salon gossip and my personal tinnitus were partially to blame for this. However, in lieu of mass (or, mask, if you will) reflection, I can identify the real problem. I was living in a state of disconnection. There was a time, admittedly, I took pride in being able to multitask my way through a conversation without having to pay a great deal of attention to my fellow human. Now, after being denied real face to face human contact for over a year, I feel quite differently.
Upon the CDC lifting the mask mandate for those of us who have chosen to be vaccinated against the Coronavirus, there were a lot of mixed feelings in general. Is it really safe? Are they just trying to appease anti-maskers? In the salon environment, the considerations went even further. Will the clients feel comfortable? Will it take away from their salon experience? It was decided that, in our salon, we would follow the CDC guidelines and allow employees and clients to work and be serviced mask free if they so chose. If a client feels uncomfortable, any of us are happy to put a mask on but so far, this has not been a problem. For us, the unmasking experience has been a positive one.
I have to say, despite the initial nerves and the nagging feeling of doing something wrong, or forgetting something, working on your feet for hours at a time without your breathing being restricted or your glasses constantly fogging up, is a supreme experience compared to the latter option. This is a minute detail in comparison to regaining face to face contact with clients after going so long without. As much as we love our craft, it is the intimate human contact and connection we share with each person we come across that truly makes being a hairstylist special. Magical, even.
We are glad to welcome all of your bright and shining FACES back to Bond Street Salon!
Laura Powers, 2021. Author retains ownership; reuse or reprint by permission only.