What is it about having your hair cut? At which point does a new hairstyle make you feel more empowered? I guess it's similar to a new outfit or having a 'proper' manicure. "I've just had an amazing manicure, and now I feel like sh*t," said no one, ever. Something that you never think would give you a positivity boost, or is it just about the right people who can do this for you and see the potential in you?
When a woman changes her hairstyle, it is often used as a tool by others whom may wish to offer some amateur undisclosed witterings of therapy. Usually something to pinpoint a change in her dynamic; usually some dramatic and emotional change of lifestyle or a midlife crisis.
Well, not, in this case. I've been building up to this for a while now; it's simply called boredom. Messing about with my hair is something I always used to love doing before I became a Mother. Then the onus is taken away from oneself for a while, and once the kids hit a certain age you can usually start to hitch a ride back to being your old self again.
A number of changes occurred over the New Year holiday that made me think it was time for a new direction. I won't bore you with the details of the incidentals, but one of these instances was returning to my office job and discovering that redundancies were being handed out. I took this as a sign that my true calling was never to work for someone else. As my Father delicately put it, "You are a Harrison- you're not supposed to be managed". I took this piece of worldly advice and took the risky (scarily stupid; some may say) leap of faith into the depths of no-man's land. Luckily, if you have your mind set on what you want, there is a hand there, always ready to break your fall. I needed something to get me back where I belonged; I found my direction in writing and rebranding and relaunching my jewellery business. I always believe that if you put out the vibes then the right people and places will respond to you.
One of these was Box. This isn't some top advertising agency or high-end jewellers; it's a hairdressers... in Basingstoke. Yep, the place where I went to get my hair cut.
I've got to hand it to those guys - I went in for a complete change, and going for quite a dramatic style change, it was quite a risk heading into a salon I had only heard of 24 hours prior to my appointment. Especially as I'm one of those unfortunate people who have an unruly curly mop of not quite spirals but loose ringlet type hair. All the people with straight hair love my curls but as a curly girl, I have always hated those tatty tresses. As far as my day to day styling went, I just used to do a Helena Bonham Carter by piling it up on top of my head and not giving a flying one. It worked for a time, until one day; I just got incredibly bored. So I went in with my curly mop and left with a curly Mohawk- type quiff.
Peter is one of the directors of Box, he sat me down and I showed him the picture I had been poring over for weeks, the same pic passed around friends and family and all of whom had given the nod of approval. Peter agreed it would work with just a couple of adjustments and things that only a hair professional would notice and with this, I went in for the chop.
As I sat in the chair, chatting away, Peter proved to be the best listener as I prattled on about umm.. Me! He did as only the best hair designers do, listened but also talked about him and the salon. This, apart from the amazing hospitality, is one of the things that stood out for me. Although busy, there was no conveyor belt-like feeling of another number ringing up on the till. Here were people who get to know you, and allow you to get to know them, I hate the awkward silences in a salon when you run out of 'holiday' chat. But here I found people with vision and an idea of who you are and what will not only suit your look but also your personality.
Everyone in the place was so incredibly, and this is a word I hate to use as I find it a bit um...fluffy, but in this instance, this is a genuine heartfelt and profound statement, everyone in there was so nice. Despite, not having heard of them myself until they were recommended to me, Box have been around for 25 years this year. I'm back next week to get some new colour added, as I discovered that Box is one of only 200 salons in the country to awarded Wella Professionals Master Colour status... So this has got to be good, right? The only decision with this is how brave do I get?
Here's where it ends, I LOVE my hair and with comments from friends such as 'you look amazing', 'this is so you', 'you look so much younger' (still not sure how to take that one). Have all come from the people who know me well and those who may not know me quite so well.... As much as I love my hair (or lack of it), I have also landed a new fondness for this little jewel in Basingstoke's crown, my secret salon.
It has given me hope that there is more to Basingstoke's creative side? Maybe there is more...
The downside of all this new found creativity: My head is cold... very cold.