Industry News

Sweet Adaptation

Ann Mincey | July 10, 2011 | 11:26 PM
"The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water moulds itself to the pitcher."

-Chinese Proverb

In just six weeks, everything can change-for you and your clients. They may not have the same concerns or even be the same people they were during their last visit. And chances are, you've undergone a change, too. Are you ready to adapt to whatever life brings?

Change can be scary, if you feel inadequate to a task. I discovered this over the last six weeks, finalizing plans for a Redken reunion in Los Angeles, hosted by our Founder/Chairman Paula Kent Meehan. I've always been a presenter/trainer at the events, never the meeting planner/organizer! My new role has given me such great appreciation for my friends Debbie Dalton, Nichole Rescildo and Kerrin Perez, and their abilities to create and act from their left brain-logical, sequential and rational-not my gifts! And yet, I'm learning that with a little help from my friends, I can do what it takes to bring all the pieces together.

If there's a challenge in your life that requires you to acquire new skills, adjust your work habits or adapt to new ideas, just believe, you can do it. And ask some friends for help.

Change can be both heartbreaking and happy. I realized this when I got involved with the Beauty Bus Foundation-a volunteer organization in Southern California that trains and supplies salon professionals with what they need to serve home-bound clients, who have terminal and chronic diseases. A few weeks ago, I visited with Pilar, a Parkinson's patient whose arms and legs were flailing so drastically when we arrived, that I thought, "These professionals-Janet and Crystal from Robbie Schaeffer's salon-will never be able to work their magic due to her muscle disruptions."

Was I wrong! The moment Pilar's feet went into a pedicure basin and her hands were held and massaged during her manicure (which included a sexy, red OPI nail polish), her tremors stopped. She talked about her former life in New York City, where she worked at Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue. Reliving those memories, she was transported from a body that betrayed her to one of stillness and grace. If I hadn't witnessed it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it. There is power in your professional touch!

If you're ready to volunteer your time to help someone whose changes bring sorrow, but to whom you can bring some happiness, it could change your life in ways never imagined. If you're in Southern California and able to adapt your work to another's unfortunate circumstances, please consider The Beauty Bus:

Change can be disruptive, permanent and humbling. The most challenge changes are ones you can't do anything about. Over the last six weeks, I experienced one of those, too. One of our family's best friends had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. After seven surgeries, this strong, handsome, winsome man of 40-a tri-athlete and marathon runner, massage therapist and nature lover-has been reduced to a vegetative state. Now, it's only a matter of time before he makes his transition. When I visited him and his family at UCLA Medical Center, I realized that sometimes, all we can do is be there. Hold, hug, pray and offer family members the relief of humor.

As hairdressers with whom your clients share their life's wins and losses, you can only prepare yourself to adapt to their changes with dignity, compassion and empathy.

Finally, change can be fun! I'm now on my way to my university homecoming in Oklahoma. When I was there on the private Christian campus from '65 to '69, the student count was 1,900. I serve on the Alumni Board, and am proud of how the institution has kept pace with the changing currents of education, while holding on to the mission: Character Culture Christ.

This is bound to be another opportunity for me to be adaptable, when I reunite with former classmates. And I'm ever so grateful to all my salon-professional friends who prepared my hair, skin and nails for the weekend. Thanks to the changes they made, I feel more like the 22-year old who left 41 years ago, than a 63-year old alumna!

Those were my six weeks' worth of changes; imagine how many your clients have gone through since that last time you saw them. Their changes may not be as demanding of various adaptations to circumstance as mine-or they could be even more compelling. Just don't assume they are the same people who sat in your chair six weeks ago.

I know I'm not.

"If you live in a river, you should make friends with the crocodile."
-Indian Proverb

Sweet AdaptationAbout Ann Mincey
For 35 years, Ann Mincey's training programs have helped beauty professionals reduce stress, refuel creativity, open their hearts and enrich their lives. As one of the first women to teach motivation, inspiration, confidence and well-being, Ann worked for Redken 5th Avenue NYC, where she advanced to Vice President of Global Communications before recently retiring. She remains a spokesperson for the brand, in addition to developing her own speaking and enrichment business. Having been recognized with numerous leadership awards and philanthropic honors, Ann is a sought-after public speaker and author of "Get Glowing! You are a Star Right Where You Are!". She can be booked through Equanimity, Inc. speakers' agency ( Salon industry inquiries should be made to [email protected].

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