Did you know that rSalon+spa exists because of my mom? I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my own beginnings with service to others. It really begins with my mom. Growing up, my mom had MS. From as far back as I can remember, my mom had to use a wheelchair to get around. It was always just something normal to me as a child—I didn’t know any other way. I would help my mom with just about everything, and we always had such a great time together.
One of my favorite memories was going to the salon with my mom. I would help her into the salon and get her from her wheelchair into the shampoo chair and then back to the styling chair. I would sit and wait for hours watching my mom get perms and, dare I say, frosted…we call it highlights now, but some of you might remember these torturous things we used to pull over our heads and through our hair with sharp hooks…I digress. I loved the salon environment, even then. I was always so amazed at the transformations all of the clients experienced while I was there. The one thing I really remember was the community that was created there. All of these complete strangers coming together; talking, laughing and sharing with each other while being pampered. Everyone was always smiling.
One day, when my mom was trying to get from her wheelchair to the shampoo sink, she fell on the floor. This was completely normal for my mom and me. It was just a part of our day-to-day life. I helped her get into the shampoo chair and never really put much thought into it. Some time passed, and I remember one Saturday morning saying to my mom, “Hey, when are we going to the salon again? Your hair looks bad.” She burst into tears, and I was so surprised because my mom never cried. She explained that after our last visit to the salon, the owner had contacted her and told her that he was concerned for her safety as well as his staff’s after her fall. He didn’t want us to come back. This was way before disability legislation, as well as just the common knowledge we have today. We never blamed him for his concern, we just moved on.
I immediately took it upon myself to figure out how I could get my mom’s hair done for her. We went to the store and bought a home perm and a frosting and tipping kit. We came home and we tried to figure it all out. I remember that afternoon perfectly. We laughed and goofed around trying to get the perm rods in her hair. We had tea and pretended to be fancy. We worked so hard and read all the instructions. Her hair came out absolutely awful! She loved it. She told all of her friends I had done it and was so proud of my work even though we both knew it was terrible. Over time we got better at it, and we would make a day of it. I began to fill the time that we would have to wait for the process by giving my mom hand massages, and when I would wash her hair, I would put a damp towel in the microwave and wrap it around her head. We would always make tea and sit around talking and laughing. It was the best memories I have of my mom.
For most of you reading this, you have been to rSalon+spa, so a few things I mentioned are familiar to you. Each time you arrive at the salon/spa you are offered tea and a hand massage while you are processing or at the shampoo sink. We use hot towels in all of our services, from the shampoo to massage. We have a community table to sit at rather than impersonal reception seating. These are my ways of honoring my mother every time you visit. She taught me that being in service to others starts with connection, touch and community—that the services we provide you at the salon start way before you are actually sitting in our chairs or on our massage table.
It was my mother that encouraged me to become a hairstylist. She is the one that taught me that the way I made someone feel in the time they spent with me was far more important than the service itself—that is how I treat people; the rest is just the icing on the cake. This is why we are so obsessed with customer service at rSalon+spa. The rituals we incorporate into all of the services we offer are high-touch and therapeutic. It was my mother that showed me that being in service to others is the best way to be in service to myself. This is the culture we create at the salon/spa. It’s all about you. Treat yourself; you’re worth it!
I have created a survey that will help me to continue to be of service to all of you. It would mean the world to me if you would take a few minutes to fill it out.
Yours in Service,