• Christopher Hopkins

A “Boring Accountant” Excites Me

“I’m boring,” she said.

I saw her walk into the salon and my assistant and I glanced that “oh my” glance you give to someone who you know sees what you see.

A short, heavy set woman in her 50’s, she wore her hair long, one length in a ponytail. She walked in with trepidation and seemed to hide in the lobby.

Now she was in my chair.

“Do whatever you want,” she said confidently, but it has to be simple.

“I can tell,” I thought, as I tried to glean more information.

I’m often led by first impressions, then directed elsewhere as I get to know the woman in my chair. They usually don’t lay all cards on the table on first meeting. They’re trying to get me to give them what they want, and not sure how to articulate or how to trust.

So it is often a slight tug of war between the feminine and the masculine, the yin and the yang. A dance where the client is figuring me out, and I am doing the same.

Fortunately more frequently than not, we both find our groove. The woman who understands me, who doesn’t push, who doesn’t manipulate, who “allows” the process to take place, with a sense of confidence and trust moves me to give her my best. It is her confident power that moves me to want to give her more. To give her my best. I’m inspired.

The woman in my chair was not particularly attractive, nor did she have a figure that would be admired by many. She was an accountant. Boring, she said. But by saying “I’m boring,” I wanted to discover what was not boring about her. I was intrigued to find why such a boring woman would spent so much for a haircut.

As we talked she told me she had been to see my mother for a silhouette analysis, and she had had her make up done. Barely perceptible until that moment, I realized she was wearing a lot of make up for her.

“My son gave me this as a gift,” she said. “He wants to get me married off.”

I laughed. And I knew the feeling. He wanted her to find love, and he knew it would take more than long lifeless hair in a ponytail, no make up and a size 18 petite figure to accomplish that. He knew she was beautiful inside, but wanted others to see it.

I cut her hair into an inverted and graduated bob without bangs. No fringe. About as simple as you can get.

“How do I do this?”

She asked me in such a way that I wanted to explain. She didn’t ask as if she’d probably never be able to do it. She didn’t ask me with fear. She was going to, for the first time in her fifty plus years, do it. She was going to learn how to do these things. She wanted to learn. She wanted my help. She put herself in my hands honestly.

I still hadn’t figured her out. But I liked her. She was funny, she was interesting, she was even charming in her own way. She didn’t realize it. And at that point neither did I.

She called the next day for a redo. She told the front desk it was uneven.

I knew it was slightly uneven, which was my intent. A

symmetry, even in it’s slightest variation, flatters more than perfectly even. But she was an accountant. She knew symmetry. She didn’t understand the art of imbalance creating balance.

“My son noticed it wasn’t even,” she said, and quickly “Maybe it is supposed to be, and if it is, I just need you to explain it to me.”

She looked at me without anything other than “I want to understand.”

What I did notice is that her hair was done well. Her make up was done beautifully, simply, and appropriately for her. She had made an effort.

I looked at the cut and explained how one length bob with a side part is actually “the same” length on each side, but appears longer on the side opposite the part because the hair continues further in it’s line than on the the side of the part. I explained that diagonal lines are more slenderizing to a shorter and fuller neck, and the asymmetrical line creates when one side is slightly longer than the other is more flattering than the horizontal created if they are exactly the same.

“I don’t want you to change it then, I just needed to understand.”

And that was it. She just wanted to understand. I would have done anything to please her. She didn’t demand, she just honestly and pleasantly asked.

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