The Day I Got Kicked Out of a Hair Salon

“We do not have a good rapport,” I was told by the salon owner with short red hair as she took off my plastic cape. “I won’t be able to work with you. You need to leave.”

Who gets kicked out of a hair salon? But I had rubbed the hairdresser the wrong way and was being told to leave.

While I was waiting my turn, Ms. Salon Owner finished with another customer and waved me over to her chair while she escorted the customer to the register. “I cannot believe your transformation!” she gushed. “When you came in here you looked dull and blah, but now, you positively glow! There’s even a light in your eyes that wasn’t there before!”

While I took my seat in the chair, Ms. Salon Owner took hair products off shelves and piled them into the arms of her customer. “You will need to start using this to build up the protein in your hair before your next appointment,” she said. “This one needs to be put on first. You will need to let it soak in then rinse it out.  Then this is the finishing rinse to protect it….”

With three or four bottles in her arms, the customer held up a hand. “Okay, okay, that’s enough for now.” Ms. Owner continued gushing over the customer’s makeover from dull to dazzling as she rang up all the purchases.

Lacking Protein

Then, Ms. Owner returned to put a plastic cape on me and began examining my hair. She cut off a strand and held it up to the light, looked closely and broke it. With a look of concern, she informed me that my hair lacked protein and would need to be built up over time.

Considering what I had just witnessed, I needed some evidence. “How do you know that my hair lacks protein?” I asked.

“By looking at it,” she said.

“Of course, but what about my hair tells you that it lacks protein?”

“I can just tell.”

“How you can tell?”

“I have years of education at schools in the United States and Europe,” she said indignantly. “I do not need to share my secrets with you!”

“I am not asking for your secrets,” I said. “I just want to know what my hair does to show that it lacks protein?”

That is when the cape came off and I was asked to leave. I was stunned. I had never made a scene before, but I was getting kicked out of a hair salon for crying out loud! There were other customers and hairdressers there to witness it.

“You are scamming people!” I said loudly. “You told me that my hair lacks protein but refused to tell me what is wrong with it. You are taking advantage of people like that poor women you loaded up with your products. I am happy to leave!”

I had no previous experience making a scene, but left, satisfied—although still a bit shocked— that I had given the other customers something to think about when they were told their hair lacked protein.

Religion Outside of Church

I had completely forgotten about this incident until after I read Beyond Sunday: Becoming a 24/7 Catholic, Teresa Tomeo’s latest book on integrating our faith into every moment of our lives and not just calling it good if we show up to Mass every Sunday. The book is about experiencing God in a whole new way, beyond just the pew on Sunday. It is about a relationship with God, walking with him, and letting him change our lives.

Tomeo talked about living our lives with real joy and taking steps outside our comfort zones, sharing our faith, asking for God’s mercy and showing mercy to others. Since I was once a bare-minimum (or less) Catholic, I contemplated how my life is different now that God is in everything. That’s when that memory popped up out of the blue.

I am a different person today than I was the day I got kicked out of the salon, because I take my faith beyond Sunday into every moment of my life. But how would the beyond-Sunday-me have acted any differently if I was placed in that same situation again?

Today, the first thing I would do under such circumstances would be to pray. I turn to Jesus and ask him to direct me in everything now. Although it’s conjecture on what I would say, I’d like to think that I would have had a gentler tone and said: “I am sorry that you feel that way. I only wanted a simple answer. I will pray for you.” Would that have touched the woman instead of probably angering her against me?

Back in the day, what happened in church stayed in church. I look at conflicts and disagreements through the eyes of faith these days because I take God with me everywhere. I always pray for people who trouble or hurt me, right away and sometimes even for years afterwards. It’s because once we go beyond Sunday, we don’t walk alone, we walk with Jesus. He defines and guides our actions and thoughts. Nothing happens apart from him and how we treat others outside of church always matters.

I never thought to pray for that hairdresser or to include God in any of it. But it is the difficult encounters, the challenges, and temptations, outside of Church where we need God the most, to do the right thing and to act like a Christian.

I’m glad Tomeo wrote this book, aside from resurrecting that long-forgotten memory in me. Just as in her own life, going beyond Sunday changed everything, it has done so in mine too and I hope her book will inspire other Catholics to encounter Christ and religion every day in order to be transformed by him.

Patti Maguire Armstrong, is the mother of 10, and has a B.A. in social work and M.A. in public administration. Her newest book is Holy Hacks: Everyday Ways to Live Your Faith & Get to Heaven. Others include Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families and the Amazing Grace Series. Follow her at @PattiArmstrong and read her blog at PattiMaguireArmstrong.com.