BEAUTY CORNER: Salon garbage is harmful to society

  • Posted: Sunday, April 6, 2014 12:01 a.m.

Dear Scott: The gossip that goes on in the salon I go to is very bad. I hear the hair stylists talking about people every time I go there. It's very annoying and upsetting to hear the constant chatter of the other stylists.

My stylist is the worst of all of them. He is usually finishing up with someone's hair when I come in.

When I sit down to have my hair done, he always has something to say about the person that just left. It makes me uncomfortable, and I wonder what he says about me when I leave.

I like my hair but I don't like hearing the things he says about people. What should I do about this problem?

Answer: This is a serious problem that extends beyond the walls of a beauty salon. The introduction of social media has intensified the problem. The same social media websites that present themselves as the answer for solving the problems of the world intentionally invite conflict.

All of the words of wisdom, cuddly fuzzy photos and feel-good moments of euphoria cast a shadow over the true purpose of social media, to make money.

Gossip happens to be the easiest and most cost effective way to lure the public onto their websites. Unfortunately, the ramifications are extremely detrimental to the evolution of a compassionate peaceful society.

Gossip is a mechanism some people use as a way to cope with their otherwise empty lives. The kinds of people that gossip about others most likely have some kind of weird issues of insecurity about themselves. It is sad state of mind when verbally tearing someone to shreds will make a person feel good.

Many times clients know each other in my salon. I will occasionally explain an issue that a client has overheard while waiting, if it has something to do with hair. Anything else is none of their business, and I tell them so.

If anyone asks me anything about anyone's personal affairs, I tell them to mind their own business.

My bedside manner could use some improvement, but I have always been this way. I really don't care if they are offended.

Sure, it would be easier to just nod my head in agreement with whatever they are saying. I have seen people do this quite often when confronted with gossip about people they call their friends. It is an easy way to stay out of it and avoid confrontation.

To choose a passive stance adds affirmation, leaving the gossiper to believe that it is OK for them to say negative things about your friend, or client as in this case. I don't think its OK. I have a habit of defending people who are not in the room.

Simply put, I stick up for people. I have lost friends, family and clients because of this thing I do. Regardless, I will continue to practice this abnormal behavior all the way to the gutter if that's where it takes me.

Everyone has issues. Everyone has secrets. We've all done stuff we shouldn't have, made stupid mistakes in the name of love, or maybe we just have a big rear end. The fact is, nobody's perfect, including your gossipy hairdresser.

Everyone has heard the old joke, “If you don't have anything nice to say about someone, come sit by me.”

My version goes something like, “If you don't have anything nice to say about someone then shut up and go away.”

I don't win any popularity contests by defending a client, friend, or relative who will never know I did it. It actually costs me money when the gossiper doesn't get their fix and moves on to a place where they can.

There are a lot of people in the world that seek the company of a person that rummages through the trash of others. The two of them bring the garbage to the table to dine on.

After devouring each others contribution, they vomit, stir the pot, and create a combination of the two, savoring the moment as if it were a fine dinning experience.

I think there is enough vomit in the world without taking a bag of it home from a beauty salon.

What should you do about the problem of gossip? You can be a real friend to someone.

Speak up in their defense instead of turning away, especially when you are in a group conversation or lured into a distasteful social media situation.

As far as the salon and the hairdresser goes, run.

Scott Terwilliger is an Aiken salon owner and Master Colorist. He can be reached at 803-979-2126 or for questions or comments.

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