Therapist, physician, counselor, designer, consultant, accountant, psycho-analyst, motivator, current event expert, domestic and sanitary engineer, friend, neighbor, relative, inspirational leader, diplomat and much more constitutes the role of a salon professional (cosmetologist, nail technician, esthetician, barber). There are few professions where skill development, theoretical retention and application are essential. Yet with skill and expertise alone, there is seemingly something is missing.

After careful observation of lives being changed in the cosmetology atmosphere and after praying for an understanding, it has become apparent that this profession is more than a career.

A stylist making sure that her client was comfortable, having just completed a vigorous shampoo and conditioning process, noticed tears on her client’s face. Without hesitation the stylist put her hands on the client’s shoulder and silently whispered a prayer. The stylist did not have to ask if everything was all right, for she knew from her touch and consciousness that all was well.

An esthetician’s client shared the burdensome thoughts that had haunted her for months while relaxing during a facial service. The client spoke of feeling a renewed spirit as the esthetician exfoliated the useless cells from the surface of her skin. She described a revitalization and spiritual connection as her skin was refreshed. A healing experience was so evident as the client’s testimony embraced all nearby. Facials and all body services require unique preparation of the inner self for the esthetician to transfer the relaxing ambiance to clients seeking that inner peace.

A nail technician had a client request for special prayer after he had completed a manicure followed by a hand and arm massage. He realized that the client was displaying some stress when it was difficult to get cooperation from the client to relax. A week later the client sent a special thank you to the nail technician for being so obedient to the spirit during a very challenging time in her life saying “I could not have made it without you.”

The license and registration that one receives upon the completion of cosmetology courses grant you the legal authority to touch the human body. However, any professionals in our industry identify a calling to also touch the spirit. Many have the gift to perform these services long before they enter an educational institution. Others recognize the fascination and satisfaction that the industry delivers once they begin training. Upon completion their education and necessary examinations ordains their practice of healing, inside and out.

Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary of the English Language defines the word touch as, “to experience or explore the nature of something, to arouse a tender or sympathetic response.” That same dictionary defines the word minister as, “to give aid or service.” Substantiating this theory is the act that salon professionals are responsible or making clients look good and feel good. There is an old adage that indicates that when a person is looking good and feeling good, their behavior reflects that. People walk and speak differently when they have been transformed into new creatures. New creatures are created daily in salons, spas, nail and barber edifices. The old creature is replaced by the touch of the Master’s hand.

Are we ready to accept our true calling? Are we ready to anoint our places that we give service to render service? That wonderful feeling that was there long ago is just waiting for us to realize why we are in this profession. Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, nor has it entered into the hearts of man the changes that occur when we behold our ministry.

Betty Clawson, director of Dudley Beauty College in Chicago, has been enjoying the beauty industry for almost 40 years, working with Dudley Products Co., Inc.

Re-print from Proud Lady Beauty Show Magazine 2000.