I love getting my hair done! When I was on my feet, I had a standing appointment to go to the beauty salon every two weeks to get all prettied up. That was my “me time”, taking out-time and pampering myself. Like most women and even men, when your hair-stylist finished giving you that magic touch, you’re ready to hit the town!
Having a disability can sometimes make something as simple as getting your hair done become a challenging task.
Physical barriers such as getting into a beauty shop or finding ways to sit at the shampoo-bowel in-order to get your hair wash can be overwhelming. Facing physical barriers when attempting to go to the beauty shop is a pain, attitudinal barriers are even worse. The stares and under-breath negative comments from some customers and even beauticians can be disheartening to a person with a disability when trying to get their hair done.
When hearing of stories like Sarah Beiser Eaton’s who owns Kids Kutz in Cincinnati, OH and her empathy and compassion about cutting Patrick Boyne’s hair, is when I started to look at the beauty arena in a positive new light. Sarah cuts Patrick’s hair no matter how long it takes, she’s patient and gets the job done while still managing to treat him with upmost respect and dignity. Patrick has autism and according to mother Beth, the whole hair cutting experience was to overly stimulating for her son until they came across Sarah.
Sarah understands the whole person-first concept. This concept is simple in that a person may have a disability, but he or she is still a person first. Disability should always come second. I think the whole people-first concept should apply to anyone whether you have a disability or not. Think about it, it shouldn’t matter if you’re from another race, overweight or practice another religion. All that should really matter is you’re a person.
Patrick now gets his hair cut on a regular basis and although Sarah wasn’t looking for any fame, she’s now known for providing excellent customer service as well as positive disability inclusion. It’s truly a win, win situation for all.
Check out the full story here: https://www.wcpo.com/longform/cutting-with-kindness
Now, as for me, luckily my niece Markesia grew up to learn and like styling hair just around the time I lost my ability to walk. She does my hair and keeps me looking fly! I don’t even have to leave my house because she comes to me. Perhaps, one day Markesia will own her own beauty shop and also be known for providing excellent customer service to people with disabilities like Sarah. The beauty world sure could use more people like her.