As a full-time Hairdresser and National Educator, COVID-19 is impacting my life immensely. Not only are my social events and personal life halted, but the biggest part of my life and my heart is shut down. I like to use analogies in life and I want to just say hairdressers (especially educators) are not indoor cats. To go from full-time behind the chair, and traveling coast to coast each weekend, to being limited to small trips to the grocery store and socializing with one human (the husband) and only my four-legged friends is taking a toll, not just on me but most definitely on my salon professional community.
I didn't realize how much I love my clients until I am forced not to see them, and how much my worldwide educator friends mean to me until the day came that we were all grounded. We are in unprecedented times, and there’s no guide book to this.
However, living in this new world, during this dark time I also find that salon professionals are THE MOST resilient people, with the largest hearts; and a global shut down will not stop that. As I write this I get that lump in my throat because I am so proud to be apart of this community of great humans, how they all find ways to brighten everyone's day. We are just programmed to be there through thick or thin for each other and for our communities and reading stories and posts of this reminds me daily to get up, still dress in all black, and find someone (at a safe distance of course) to love.
When I read things like a salon owner friend of mine who stands outside her salon while cars line up to purchase shampoo, and how happy just waving through the window at them makes her feel, and how comforting this simple gesture is - I am also comforted. Or when I open my inbox to a Starbucks gift card from one of my amazing clients for when things open back up, and the comments say "I see you, I see your hustle! You've got this!" I am reminded that my clients do have my back, and they are also programmed to be there through thick or thin as well. It's the little things that keep my spirits up when I'm feeling like I’m on house arrest when social media used to be apart of my job, it’s now how I get to see my clients, their birthdays, my friends, their dogs, the fun snacks they're making. All the normalcy being achieved in this abnormal time proves we can adapt to anything and still have the human in humanity.
When I decided on this shoot, I literally texted my good friend John Apsey and asked if we would 'gather' with me to accomplish this. He found our beautiful model who also seconds as makeup artist and boom, we landed under the gathering guidelines of 3 or less. John texted me back "Of all my friends I didn't think you would want to hang out." He was referring to how I am and was a germaphobe before any of this. Not only do I trust John to the fullest, but I was screaming inside to get out of my house, and I knew John would bend some rules with me. I needed to put my feelings in some hair and on a camera. Some people paint, some people journal, I like to shoot.
The whole thing felt illegal. Getting in my car, driving with no traffic, and closing the garage-like door to Johns personal studio. I was so grateful to be there, out of the house with a good friend doing something we normally do. But it wasn't normal. I know this is a hot topic, and there are lots of thoughts and feelings with the Pandemic, people, and our government. And that's what I wanted to let the world know with this. We are all confused, pulled in different directions, scared, and out of the know – blindfolded if you will. No one is telling us the whole truth, and they're writing the rule book here on the fly. We all want to be safe and not get sick or make others sick- but we also want to work, business owners want to open; we want our lives back. And the biggest fear in the back of your head, and you're lying if you say you don’t think this; will it ever go back to our normal? Is this the new normal?
I took a leap here, and its something I plan to do more of. We all heard 'life's too short' and it is, it’s too short to care if people won't like the art behind what we do, too short to not say what you are feeling, and too short not to question everything.
Written by Laura Frazier
Hair: Laura Frazier
Photography: John Apsey
Makeup Artist/Model: Meredith Hu