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One of the Greatest Friendships in My Life is With My Hairdresser

One of the Greatest Friendships in My Life is With My Hairdresser

I’m lucky to say that friendship isn’t something I’ve ever lacked in my life. My mum has always taught me to keep a strong group of gal pals in my corner, and to nurture and cherish the friendships I have. Because no matter what happens, “you’ll always need your mates,” she’d say. I always thought that finding friends at school, in college, or at work was the norm, and it never occurred to me that one of the greatest friendships in my life would be with my hairdresser.

I was introduced to my hairdresser, Nadia, by family friends after my original braider moved out of town when I was 12 years old. They’d both been long time clients of hers, couldn’t recommend her enough and, most importantly, their hair always looked good. I quickly became a regular of Nadia’s, visiting every six weeks to have my braids done, a simple style I’d usually wear during term time.

As I got older, I began experimenting with lace front and lace closure wigs, with eccentric colours and huge, curly sew-ins, all of which Nadia took in her stride. Although an appointment meant walking through the rows of men and boys in the barber’s half of the salon to sit in Nadia’s chair for hours at a time, I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Nadia and joining in with the hilarious conversations in the salon about life, hair, money, culture, relationships, the lot.

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When Nadia announced she was renting a chair elsewhere, I knew I’d follow her, there was no doubt in my mind. Finding a new hairdresser is a struggle itself, but one that you actually get on with, without having to sit in hours of silence, was a bonus and I wasn’t going to pass that up for a bit more travel. You can imagine how glad I was to find her new chair was even closer to my home and in a nicer shop, with golden mirrors, floral arrangements and a banging soundtrack, which made my trips to the salon less intimidating and more of a luxury experience to treat myself to.

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By this point, the regular steams and treatments had paid off, and my hair was stronger, longer and healthier than ever. I was able to style my natural hair, booking in for a silk presses, microlinks and other sew-in styles that blended with my hair for a half and half style. Nadia also educated me about my curls. I’d come to her with a popular product the YouTubers were loving, or questions about a new brand that just launched, and she’d share her thoughts on how these would work with my hair, if at all.

She’d teach me how to use different products correctly for optimal results at home, and while being open to experimenting with my hair, she’d always tell me if something wouldn’t work or be good for my hair. Essentially, I learned everything I know about my curls from Nadia. For the first time in what felt like forever, I was confident with my natural hair and knew how to properly care for and nurture it.

One of the Greatest Friendships in My Life is With My Hairdresser

Outside of hair business, I could tell Nadia had become restless and more determined to get a shop of her own. So, to help get the ball rolling, I took a hold of her social media account, revamping it as a portfolio for all of her work, because while she had clients galore (and booking in with her proved to be a scramble) her skill in hairdressing was barely seen online.

With regular posts and positive reviews from loyal customers, business cards with loyalty stamps soon went flying, new and trending hairstyles were successfully tried, tested (by me) and posted onto the Instagram page, resulting in a boom in requests for Goddess Braids, the popular style at the time.

Then, one random afternoon, I received a phone call from Nadia. I thought maybe I’d left something in the shop, or that she needed help with something on Instagram. I answered, and to my surprise, I was greeted by an excited squeal. “I’ve done it Laur, I’ve got my own shop!” she told me. I can’t put into words how happy and proud I felt. Not only because Nadia’s dream had come true, but also because I was one of the first people she told. We sat on the phone for hours discussing plans for the salon, an opening party, decor, a flower wall, colour schemes and the name: Divine Hair Salon.

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After our chat I told my mum the news and she said: “You’ve made a really good friend in Nadia, haven’t you?” and I honestly have. It may be common to have a hairdresser as your confidante, but having the salon chair as the most inviting and comfortable place to open up about your daily struggles and recent endeavours is a luxury I hope everyone can experience in their lifetime. From the endless advice about boys and careers and side-achingly funny chit-chats about everything under the sun, to the salon being the first place I went after losing my family pet — because even when mourning I wanted my hair to look good — Nadia’s chair has been a haven for me.

I recently popped into the salon to tell her I’d be writing this piece as part of National Hairdresser Appreciation Day and we laughed as we reminisced on my decade-long loyalty, from a young teen to a working woman. At the end of the day, Nadia isn’t just my talented hairdresser, she’s also an amazing friend.

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One of the Greatest Friendships in My Life is With My Hairdresser

This Clarifying Shampoo For Curly Hair Has Saved Me Hundreds of Pounds Lauren Gordon is the editorial coordinator at PS UK, where she creates lifestyle and identity content. Lauren has a degree in journalism from University of the Arts London and previously worked as a showbiz and TV reporter at The Mirror US. Lauren specialises in pop culture, hair and beauty, focusing on trends, sharing in-depth tutorials, and highlighting hidden gems in the beauty industry.