I Came, I Saw, I Styled Your Hair
She had been styling and cutting hair for the past four years. She was certain that she had experienced everything that her line of work has to offer until she met this one girl.
Maria, our hairdresser, thought this was an impossible task to face, but she wasn’t about to give up on her. She gulped, but remembering her own story gave her courage to face this new daunting task.
Ever since she was a little girl, Maria’s passion was never about doing mathematics or sciences, but about putting smiles on people’s faces by changing their looks. Whether she was styling her dolls’ hairs or putting makeup on her mother, Maria knew she always had a career in the beauty domain.
Going to college, she decided that hairdressing was her dream. She never imagined the kind of impact it would have on her future.
Work Hard For Your Dream
Two years later, Maria landed her first gig at a beauty salon in her city. Her clients were always positively surprised with her. Despite being a newcomer in this industry, she was quickly picking up so many techniques that hairdressing became a creative outlet to her rather than a job.
She was confident that she could tackle any sort of style, handle any type of hair or client. Until one Saturday morning that shook her to the core.
A Saturday For The History Books
The salon was packed full of clients. Maria was working very fast and doing an amazing job as per usual, pulling out complicated hairdos to intricate braids in record time. She was booked all throughout the weekend, which she was actually very happy with. But as Maria just finished combing one of her regular’s hairs, she noticed a small girl, about sixteen years old, peeking through the window at her.
Maria paid her no mind at first, but it was impossible to ignore her. The lass’ next move had Maria clenching her comb tight. She already had a feeling this Saturday would be fateful.
Come In, Let’s Schedule You!
That girl, dressed plainly in oversized grey sweatpants and a large blue hood that covered her head, stepped inside the salon, looking shyly at everyone around. She bit a nail out of nervousness, and Maria knew that she had to help her. She approached her with a smile, and invited her kindly inside the salon, suggesting that they can find the time to do her hair as well!
But the response that Maria got shocked her.
Can’t Let Her Go Like That
The girl’s eyes filled with tears as she stormed outside of the salon. Maria, unsure of what she did wrong, excused herself to her clients and walked outside, trying to catch a glimpse of that girl and apologize. The girl was just turning a corner. “Come back!”, Maria shouted to her, walking in her direction. The girl stopped and turned to face Maria. Her face was as white as a ghost, and she was frozen with fear. “Please, come back”, Maria reassured her with a comforting tone.
She knew that she had to help this girl, no matter what.
A Helping Hand
“What’s your name?”, Maria asked as she placed a comforting hand around the girl’s shoulder when she walked back to her. The girl mumbled her name, and Maria smiled faintly at her. “Would you like to come in?”, Maria invited her, “we have chocolate milkshakes, and the best stories to tell”
The girl nodded sheepishly and entered the salon. Maria could tell that she was still uncomfortable, but she did her best to accommodate her. Maria took the girl to a free chair. The girl could feel the clients’ many stares on her, but a tight squeeze from Maria calmed her down. When the girl pulled her hood down, Maria understood everything.
A Girl’s Heartache
“Just cut it all off. Please. I could just go ball”, the girl insisted as Maria inspected her hair. It was full of thick blobs and it was so unkempt that it made the poor girl look like a cartoon witch. “Why? We could still fix this, you know. It’s not a thing to be ashamed of!”, Maria said, clearing her schedule for the rest of the day.
“Because it doesn’t matter”, the girl responded in a harsh tone, her voice raising for the first time, “because I don’t matter! Just…”. Her voice cracked as a single tear fell down her cheek, “I’m just worthless, okay? Just please cut it all off. Please.” Maria’s face went white as a sheet.
I Am Here For You
“No”, Maria leaned down and whispered, “you are a person that deserves love and respect, and you deserve to have your hair styled beautifully”, she smiled at her, “let’s just take it one step at a time, okay? I’m going to use a comb first, and slowly work my way through it”. Maria presented the tool mentioned and did a single motion to describe how she plans to tackle the challenge, mimicking the way she’d run the comb through it, “and then we can just use clippers if nothing else works, is that okay with you?”
The girl turned around to face Maria. Her lips trembled. “Why? Why do you care?”, she questioned her. Her next words shattered Maria’s heart in a million pieces.
Sadness Taking Over
“Nobody ever cared”, she said, without a hint or trace of self-pity or grief in her voice. Maria knew that the girl stated it as a plain, cold fact, with so much honesty she felt those words hit her heart like arrows. As Maria prepared herself, the girl began to share what happened to her. After the tragic passing of her mother, the girl felt herself being silenced and tore apart by mourning.
There were times where the sadness was so strong that she couldn’t even get up to brush her own hair. But why would she want to cut it, in this case?
New Year, New Look
“Because I am just starting the new school year”, she replied, “and I thought that my classmates would rather see me bald than see my … hair”, she looked down. She also shared that she needs to take a new picture because of the upcoming semester, and the pain of having to comb her hair was just too much for her.
Listening to her story made Maria feel like her heart was being stabbed over and over by a thousand needles. She cleared her entire weekend and passed some of her clients to her colleagues. She sat with the girl all day, fighting away the tangled locks of hair. Maria wondered if she could truly save this girl from buzzing her hair.
Maria was finished. It turns out that she indeed managed to turn the wild mass of unkempt hair into something that could actually be turned into a nice, polished hairstyle! The girl smiled broadly as she saw herself in the mirror, not believing what her eyes were seeing.
Maria flashed her a smile too. She then asked the girl if she could return the next day for a proper styling.
Making The Most Out Of It
It wasn’t often that Maria would agree to come work on Sundays, but this was such a special client for her that she couldn’t even think about resting at home for the day. She was so excited to turn this girl’s look around. She was anxious that the girl wouldn’t show up again, but when she got to the salon’s door, there was someone special waiting for her right there.
The girl changed her oversized clothes that hid her for a long, blue and flowy dress, and her dark hair was free and falling down her shoulders. Was there a change coming in this girl’s life?
Sunday With Each Other
Maria showed her a picture book with different kinds of styles that she could pick out her desired look from. The girl even decided that a different length would actually be appropriate.
They spent hours talking to each other, and Maria found this girl to be actually lovely to talk to once her walls were down. She was no longer the reserved girl she met yesterday, but there were still signs of hesitation to share some things. Maria started to work on her hair, until she noticed a problem.
The Struggle Wasn’t Over
Although her locks were now untangled, Maria noticed that there was still damage done below to her scalp. She frowned and wondered how she could fix this.
Maria didn’t even mention this to the girl. She was so worried that this would discourage the girl and make her feel sad once again that it pushed Maria even more to find a solution. And she had just the plan.
Running Out Of Time
Maria paced around the room as she tried to find a solution. She knew that staring at the girl’s head would cause her to start feeling anxious. Why would she stare so much if there wasn’t a problem? Maria couldn’t even give a hint of that. She excused herself and started to rummage through her tools as she came up with a plan.
Maria was afraid that they’d have to go back to the girl’s first suggestion. The thought of cutting her hair froze her in her spot.
Maria was always great at her job because of her talent and creativity. However, it was her kindness and positive treatment of her customers that made her clients come back to her.
She then remembered the first reason she started this career. To make people smile. But this girl’s situation made her task seem almost impossible. Maria took a deep breath in, sighed, and turned back towards her client.
A Rocky Road Ahead
Perhaps getting closer to her client was the way that this situation could be solved. After all, what hurt would be in it? However, Maria couldn’t push it too far with private questions, because she still wanted the girl to feel comfortable.
Her desperation to help this girl gave her the courage needed. She succeeded once in having her open up to her, she can do it once again. Maria’s first question changed the entire course of their interaction.
Having A Heart-To-Heart
Maria wanted to get to know this girl’s story so much more. Even though at surface-level, this girl appeared cold, Maria came to know a talkative, nice side of her, and Maria knew that there was more to her that meets the eye.
Maria had so much empathy for her, that it was like the girl’s pain was her own. However, Maria had another reason for helping her that she wasn’t willing to share. Until now.
It wasn’t always easy for Maria either. At a young age, she understood her mom’s struggles to pay the bills and take care of her and her 3 siblings.
Maria had to leave school in order to help out her mother. Maria’s dreams were once crushed, and she no longer dreamed of going to college for hairdressing. Instead, she had to face even greater challenges.
Maria’s Mom, Her Best Friend
Maria’s mom had to battle life’s obstacles. At the young age of 22, she was left alone with 4 kids to raise. Her husband abandoned his wife and his children.
But that never daunted her. She managed to take care of her family by often working three jobs, making ends’ meet however she could. Another tragedy haunted them when Maria was just 17. Maria’s mother caught an illness.
A Harsh Goodbye
Having to lose her mom was the hardest thing Maria ever imagined she could go through. The pain couldn’t be described. It was so many years ago, but Maria still feels like the sadness in her heart is just as impactful as it was on the first day.
Maria now understood why she was so attached to this girl. Watching her damaged scalp once again, she knew that she would never give up on her.
A New Decision
Maria changed her tactic. Instead of getting the girl to open up about herself, she decided to share her life story to the girl. Her words were spoken with a heavy heart, but at the same time it felt relieving to know someone was empathising with her.
As the girl listened to her, a bright idea came to Maria’s mind. She knew just the right thing to do.
An Unique Solution
Maria knew that there was no way to untangle the clumps of matted hair without hurting the girl’s scalp even more. She just couldn’t put her through that kind of pain when Maria knew for sure that there must be some solution to fix this.
And she found it. Maria started to slowly and very gently apply a relaxer treatment to the most damaged portions, knowing that the knotted pieces of hair would unravel little by little. But this wasn’t a particularly easy thing to accomplish.
A Special Kind Of Treatment
Maria was aware that relaxants had dangerous substances in them. She would need to use extreme caution because they weren't intended to be applied directly to the scalp.
She gathered her tools, mixed some of the remedies, and started delicately applying them to the affected areas. Maria wasn’t sure that she could do this with success.
Fruits Of Our Labour
Thanks to her talent, Maria applied the relaxer treatment on the girl’s scalp with incredible precision. She managed to work the remedy so well that not even a single bit of it reached the girl’s scalp.
She smiled, relieved as she saw the treatment beginning to work. She looked at the girl and decided to share some wonderful news.
It’s Actually Working! We Did It!
The relaxer did an excellent job of working out the mats in her hair that would have been too difficult to remove by hand. Her hair had entirely changed from the roots to the tips from how it had looked when she had first entered the room. It was like watching a miracle work!
Maria told her that the treatment worked. The girl’s eyes filled with tears, and her sobs were heard throughout the salon. Maria thought that the girl should be happy about this. She couldn’t understand what went wrong.
My New Hairdresser Friend
When the girl composed herself, she gave an explanation. The girl shed joyful tears as she expressed her gratitude. Nobody had ever been so nice to her before.
Maria shed a tear herself. She was proud of herself and happy for the girl that she couldn’t keep her overwhelming emotions in. Now that the girl’s hair could actually be styled, it was time for some curls! When Maria’s job was done, the girl screamed out loud.
From Rags To Riches
Maria gave the young woman a mirror. To complement the girl's golden bronze color, she cut the hair above the girl's shoulders, curled the ends, and added faint hints of sandy brown, applying balayage all over her hair. The girl combed through the delicate curls in her hair with her palm. Her eyes began to tear up, and her lips curled just a little. “This is impossible”, she said, tears running down her cheeks, “this is just not possible. How did you do this? I actually look like… like myself!”, she added.
Maria flashed a bright smile. She had the perfect response for the girl.
Gold At The End Of The Rainbow
Finally, Maria was able to restore the girl's hair to its previous state and also provided her a complimentary makeover. Now that she had regained her confidence, she was the highlight of the photo session. She and the girl grew close after hearing Maria's tale.
After Maria spoke with her manager, they agreed to let her work as an apprentice stylist at the salon after school. She had already experienced loss in life; nonetheless, her makeover resulted in beautiful hair and a renewed determination to turn her life around.
Maria’s kindness is proof of how one simple hairdo can change a person’s life.