Are you looking for a great Hospitality job at a Leeds Certified Green Hotel in Chicago? http://ow.ly/tZfs2 I adore the HOTEL FELIX
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Jon-David aka Mafia Hairdresser & Host of #SalonSpaChat
Salon Business Podcast with Host: Jeff Demaree
Jon-David talks about Twitter for the beauty industry and beyond for better Salon Business.
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New Nail Polish Colors for Spring 2013
Certainly are not the same old “this is the new black” for hands and toes. OPI sayss that Matt is the new Shiny with a new glossy laquer top coat that promises to transorm gloss into a vevety matte finish. OPI Co-Founder & Artistic Director, Suzi Weiss-Fischmann offers “Using Matte Top Coat to transform any shade in your collection makes it a more versatile and budget-friendly way to embrace the matte trend. Give your favorite lacquers an update with a new finish without altering the color.” The budget-friendly being that OPI is one of the affordable of salon-lines and their top coat will go over any nail polish.
What a little rocker chick chic with new nail polish colors? Get swirl, bling and mod with Magnetic Nail Polish. This crazy cool polish warps because you hold your polished nails under a magnet which makes the colors swirl in unique patterns and no one is going to figure out how you did it. Magnetic Nail Polish is available at Sephora.
More New Nail Polish Colors for Spring 2013:You want more rocker chick? I think Lady Gaga’s Worshop Nail Tips will shake things up for you. For the original price of $28 which has gone up to $38 on Amazon.com, you can get the singer’s signiture look with a little over-the-top bling. Brought to you by Barney’s New York.
And for my favorite New Nail Polish Colors, check out Dior’s Vernis line. The colors are classic and chip-risistant. One thing that many people don’t know about me is that I when I moved to Chicago in 1992, I didn’t have to work for while I wrote my first book. I was so bored that I just had to get “job-job.” I landed a job as counter manager of the Christian Dior counter at Lord & Taylor in the Water Tower! Some job-job, right?! I sold so much of the Dior polish, as well as their great skin care and color that we had to expand the counter. I love Dior polish because it truly is superior in lastability, shine, and color.
I have a problem. I’m a guy. And, like most men, I don’t always know what I want. Thank God for women; they always ask us that basic question, “What do you want?” If they didn’t, we’d always be breaking hearts, contracts, agreements and every guy would be that guy.
To illustrate our handicap of not always knowing what we want, I give you today’s drama tale. It will seem like a big or small happenstance to some, and tragic or stupid to many. But throughout the whole morning I felt like I was in danger of eternal mortal pain until I asked myself that basic question, “What do I want?”
This morning I got an email from a wedding coordinator who, every year, books me as a hairdresser for a few weddings. She’s one of the best. She screens her clients and matches them with the right service people and it’s easy and usually fun for me. The wedding coordinator and I are also friends.
The email contained a revised contract that I had sent the bride about my pricing and what she could expect from me. I didn’t read the whole returned contract when I opened up the document, all I saw was two lines in red (there may have been more) that the bride had added. One of the sentences stated that if, for any reason, I could not make my commitment to her and her three bridesmaids, then it would be my job to make sure she had an adequate back-up hairdresser. (Like I knew someone as good a me?! NOT.) The second point changed was that she was going to include the “pre-trial-run” of her hair in the pricing package that I was offering. Not an excessive or unreasonable request from a bride, I must admit.
I wish I would have just emailed my friend back that I simply did not accept revisions and that would have been the end of that. But before the emails started going back and forth between me and my friend, the wedding coordinator, I thought about the bride: this is the girl’s first wedding and she’s probably a lawyer. And it was that thought alone that began my stress-out.
I immediately wanted to back out of the wedding. Because of the changes in the simple contract, I felt dis-trusted, and yet the bride was obviously trying to cover herself. And furthermore I immediately judged her for being young and therefore trying to control every part of “her day,” which goes against my airy-fairy way of doing things; I’ve become a guy who goes by his instincts and trusts everyone to do what they’re supposed to do and I believe the universe will take care of the rest. In my mind, I pictured the bride micro-managing the day of the wedding and watching the clock and telling me how to put every hair on her head as well as her mother’s and her bridesmaids. By neck was in knots just thinking about it.
I had all sorts of scenarios frightening me in my imagination of who this bride was or wasn’t, and I didn’t like any of them. So I smoked a cigarette. I worked out. I ate a hamburger. And I painted the trim in one of my apartment bathrooms. But my morning dragged-on, dreading negotiating with this bride, or worse, telling the coordinator that I didn’t want to do this wedding. Not only did I agonize over the bride’s feelings, her requests and the impending negotiations I had heartfelt-obligations to the coordinator; I could damage the relationship between me and my wedding coordinator friend (at least the professional one).
And then I asked myself the question: “What is it that I want?” How I learned this secret to inner peace was from my women clients. They are always blustering about how their relationships with men are so hard because men don’t know what they want. Whether it is a love-partner, friend, or business associate, when their men get quiet and pull back, or when the men just up and walk away from situations, get angry all the time, or drink more or just begin to respond inappropriately or differently than they used to, then the man has “an issue.” Not all women have the maturity or the self-assuredness to understand that it’s not about them. But most women know to (sometimes) leave the man to himself for a while, and yet all women know how to cajole, badger, taunt, beg, plead and then ask the question, “What is it that you want?”
When I asked myself the question, at first the answer was not as loud and clear as I would have liked. The voice in my head said, “I simply just don’t want to do this wedding.” I didn’t feel comfortable with this bride whom I had yet not met and the red flags that her changes to my contract signaled scared me. Again, I’m a gut-instinct guy. And that might be a legitimate enough business reason to back out of a job. But thinking about the big picture of the question it became apparent that I also had “an issue.” I began to think that this wasn’t my about weddings or brides or contracts. After beating my head against the wall a couple of more times I realized that I really didn’t want to give up a Saturday and do another wedding for someone I didn’t know. (‘been doing this for over 30 years…) It used to be fun and the money was okay. But I’ve begun to like writing on Saturdays more than weddings. And if I do hair on the weekends I’d prefer working in the salon on my clients who have become my friends. Hmmm. I don’t like doing weddings anymore!
Not a big epiphany but I didn’t know that I felt way about my work schedule or weddings. I didn’t know what I wanted or I didn’t want… Sound familiar ladies?
Well I emailed my friend and I backed out of that wedding and now I’m retiring from doing any. So, to anyone reading this, “you can’t pay me enough—unless I already know you!” And I don’t feel too bad about cancelling that wedding because the bride has three months to find a hairdresser. By the way she re-worded my contract; I have a feeling that she’s already got a back-up in mind. And, guess what?: she’s a lawyer!
My friend let me off the hook, but not without telling me first that this original email was already 3 weeks old and that was bad of me. Of course I felt bad about that. Three week just shows you how I don’t take care of the business of my business end of things… sometimes. And then again, if I was consciously or unconsciously avoiding that email for three weeks, my wedding coordinator should have known something was up and that I had “an issue.” She should have asked me the question.
When I was in Kindergarten into 1st grade, I was allowed to roam the block where I lived after school. Around the same time, each day after school, I would make my way home and then suddenly turn away from the house where I’d lived at teh time and run to the house across the street. Then I’d quickly knock on the door while hoping my mother wasn’t nearby or looking through our front windows where she’d probably spy me looking over my shoulder being suspiciously impatient while waiting for the door I knocked on to receive me.
The neighborhood house that I was regularly visiting was that of an older woman and her name was Ruby Keyes. I don’t remember if she was married, or a widow, but I remember she didn’t have any kids that lived at home and that she had a pool in the back yard of which I was never allowed to swim in. I was so young then, so I cannot recall her exact age. But I definitely remember that she was older than my mother which could have put her anywhere from 30 to 60. Age is relative, you know?
Mrs. Keyes always knew I was coming and she would joyfully open her door for me, promptly after I’d knocked, and then she’d whisk me in for our daily time together in her family room. She had large bay windows with big black-out curtains that she had always drawn closed in preparation for my visits. This was to insure that my mom wouldn’t find out what we were doing. We weren’t up to anything bad, we were just going to share something that my mother would never approve of.
I suppose she fed me cookies and lemonade. And most kids my age would have visited any “old lady” just for that. But I don’t even remember any of that kind of childish type of reward. And Ruby Keyes was not just some old lady whom I was trying to score candy or cookies from anyway. We were equals, she and I. We shared a passion. Me and Ruby Keyes loved drama and fantasy and horror and storytelling. And every day that I went over to her house, we’d sit in her dimly lit family room and together we’d watch the gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows.
Dark Shadows was filled with tortured characters who kept scary and hideous secrets from each other. The sets were filmed in a black and white noir. And the creepy segue music between scenes alluded to the horrors that were going to befall the hero as he got too close to the mystery in each episode.
The main character, Barnabas Collins, was tall and ominous. And he seemed to be in charge of a large family, and he ruled his mansion by hiding near his secret passages where he’d eavesdrop on his family’s conversations. And yet I also remember that he seemed afraid and vulnerable because he acted like his family and fortune were always at risk by outsiders. Barnabas was a wonderful character. He was also a vampire.
I do not know how or when or how long it took for Mrs. Keyes to know that I was the kind of kid who wasn’t scared of monsters or never had nightmares from scary movies. And did she ever realize that I had a spark in me that would end up loving cinema, theater, TV, and writing? Or did she see that light in me all along so she fanned the flames? She took the risk of pissing off my mother (if she ever found out) by letting me watch Dark Shadows. After all, Dark Shadows was not for children. I didn’t tell either of my parents about my secret afternoons with Mrs. Keyes and so they never found out till later.
Ruby Keyes was one of first women in my life who shared something special with me that changed me. Because of her, I was able to tap into that love of story, a love of character development, acting, and TV and movies at a very early age. And for that, I thank her deeply.
When I was in high school I finally told my mother about Ruby Keyes and our Dark Shadow afternoons. You know what she said? “Oh, that explains everything.”
I was planning on firing one of my favorite clients today. But she has just texted an apology for her latest explosion of emotions, of which I regularly have had to put up with, for many years; and now I don’t know what to do. I’m in a phase of self-growth in my life and I seem to gravitate to more peaceful evened give-and-take relationships. On the other hand, she does pay me…, if not for her hair, then for me to tell her that she’s beautiful–on the inside, even though her bipolar highs and lows seem to be at odds with that truth.
My first inclination that mine and “Tina’s” relationship was not going to materialize without a bit of escalated drama occurred to me when one of the front desk staff came to my hair cutting station, ten years ago.
“There’s a nutty chick on the phone who’s been trying to get an appointment with you,” the young girl said. I cocked my head as if to say, soooo. “She’s been here before, to almost all the other stylists, and none of them ever want to do her hair again.”
I’ve not worked at a lot of salons, but in every one of them, I’m the guy you give the hard-to-handle clients. They call me the Mafia Hairdresser because I’ve been a hairdresser to real mobsters and I don’t mind a little crazy. Not only are people who might seem odd to others intriguing to me, I find that they can be the most fascinating individuals who have chosen or have been “gifted” idiosyncrasy, they inspire me to be different as well.
Much to the chagrin of the front desk staff, and even some of my co-workers, I began to do Tina’s thick, down-to-her-waist, long blonde hair. She’s has come into the salon every three weeks for ten years and I color her mousy brown roots to a soft blonde shade. Aside from attracting men with her 33DD boobs, Tina’s hair has always been a source of pride. She even has other women stopping her on the street to tell her that she has lovely hair. It’s part of her mojo. But Tina literally has a mental break-down every time I trim her ends and she obsesses about the condition of her hair. About every three months she has me add highlights and then has me strip them out on her next appointment and then accuses me changing the way I do her hair; which I have learned never to do unless she has begged me to. While doing her hair I nod and listen to her stories of being victimized by her Botox doctor, her last dentist who drilled too deep, or why she was in the hospital again: a fever, new bigger boobs, an infection as a result of her anus bleaching or her new lips—either set. And try and apply color or cutting the ends of on a moving target… Tina constantly fidgets like a five year old in my styling chair while answering her phone or trying to show me pictures of her latest “boyfriend.”
I’ve done a lot of “professional” girls in my 30 year + career. I’ve always thought that I would write about one of them in my fictional books. But most of them are not so much bigger than life, or exotic, or more bad or good than anyone else. Most of the girls that I’ve come to know and befriend, like Tina, receive big gifts, cars, expensive clothes and shopping sprees, and they get years’ worth of their mortgages paid for by their “boyfriends.” The boyfriends are different ages but many are married. Some of them are Indian or from a country and family where a “fun girl” with giant tits would not be considered a suitable mate for them. All of the men are rich and enjoy spending time with girls like Tina, however compartmentalized or long or short a period of time that they can steel away from their “real” lives.
One girl I knew was a dancer at one of Chicago’s strip clubs. Her name was “Laurel” and her apartment was fully paid for and furnished by a head coach of one of our town’s major league baseball teams. I used to go to baseball games where Laurel would get tickets in the wives’ section, behind the net, between home and first base. It was strange to me at the time, but it was apparent that many of the wives knew who and what she did to get those seats. Now I realize that those particular wives were not worried that such a girl could be kept by their own husbands because those wives were there keeping an eye on their husbands.
Laurel and I parted ways when she began “dating” an A-list player on the same team as the coach. After all, the coach had to go home most nights to his own wife and kids, but she had the time…to secure more gifts. This particular famous player was single and sometimes Laurel would be whisked away with him so he could take her to his original home, a small island country, or a quick San Francisco date. Unfortunately for me, Laurel would cancel her appointments at a minutes’ notice as well and she began to cost me money. So I fired her as a client. The baseball player fell in love with Laurel but his own mother didn’t take a liking to Laurel and hired a U.S. private investigator to protect her son. When the mama of the star major league player found out that Laurel was a “kept woman” of the coach, her son’s relationship with her came to an abrupt end. A fact of note: very few of the exotic dancers in men’s clubs are “professional girls.” I know because the ones who are have told me so.
I’ve met many of Tina’s boyfriends. I’ve even become friends with one of them, a great guy. And please don’t judge him for “cheating” on his wife. If I told you his circumstances of how noble he is to keep his wife in his life, both to support and protect, while not being able to actually receive any love from her, you would like him too. He also adores Tina. He puts up with her bipolar disorder. He takes care of her. But I’ve come to the point where I might not want to anymore. This makes me sad.
If you are reading this, you probably want to know what the tipping point was for me to consider firing Tina. Last week I trimmed her hair. The whole ten minute ordeal made me sweat. My back was tight as my hands clenched around my comb and scissors while Tina screamed that I was pulling too hard and that she could actually feel the nerve endings in her hair die. Then, two days later, I got an emotional and angry text from her. Why had I made her looks so horrible? She asked me if I hated her. Of course I admitted that I may have neglected to taper her hair around the edges and had her come back in. After her hair was fixed, I thought we were finished with that “cycle,” but nooo. In the middle of the night I began getting zany texts and pictures of her before and after hair-disaster. More accusations and nasty names. After one more apology and another offer to fix her hair, I thought it was the end—until she said, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” And I think I was done.
But if there is one thing that I’ve learned from women, it is to be patient. Women like Tina and Laurel have opened up to me and I have learned not to judge and that it must be very complicated to be them, bipolar disorder aside. So I’m going to sit tight on this subject for a few nights. As I’ve stated, I’ve already received a full apology text from Tina. I just don’t know if I need to give any more of my patience to her anymore. It might be time to let another hairdresser receive what I’ve received from her these past ten years.