She’s been cutting and styling my hair since my toddler years until now. I have watched her grow from strength to strength just as she has looked on at my life. She had been schooled in hairdressing and styling from as early as I can remember. In those days this art was very much in high demand as it is now. However, she was a salon professional understanding the foundations of the retail of product, the dynamics of hair care, the styles to better frame one’s face and quality customer service. She was not only trained in hair but aesthetics too. She did facials, pedicures, manicures, waxing and makeup too. She built her brand very strongly from then until this week. The advent of social media and new trends in hair and beauty regimens did not leave her behind. She was an exceptional professional who believed in her brand. She always stood ahead of the hair game by educating herself on the latest techniques, tools, products and styles. Despite her stellar looks and dreamy service she remained humble, her prices were unbelievably affordable and the quality of her work ensured her clients remained loyal. Undeniably, the attention their hair received brought her even more clients.
Truly, she grew into a hair icon that believed in her brand, worked hard for what she wanted in life and enjoyed her passion. She loved to challenge herself to be one of the best in delivering extraordinary hair colouring techniques to her clients. Her gift to the world was using her passion to make others happy. She took her role as a hair professional very seriously. She would often talk about the regularization of standards in the local hair and cosmetology industry. During her earlier years in this profession persons in this industry were trained and qualified in their field. They also served a considerable amount of time working with senior professionals and learning from local and international brand ambassadors.
As times changed and the digital era sprung into effect more hair and beauty professionals popped up over Trinidad and Tobago. Some were untrained in proper hygiene practices and others were millennial youtube hair and makeup stylists. The beauty industry catapulted into one of the most lucrative and at times tax free income earners ( for the increasing number of freelancers who are unregistered business owners) in Trinidad and Tobago. She adapted yet she was still an avid attendee to hair and beauty shows for salon professionals. However she too would notice the lack of regularization, policy, guidelines and standards in the industry. It became as though aspiring beauty professionals were starting to take advantage of clients. They were cutting corners, burning out their clients hair with low quality hair care, diluting products with their own mix ins and selling mediocre products and services at exorbitant prices. She never failed to mention her concern for professionals’ apathy and her fear for what the booming hair and beauty industry could soon become.
Albeit there are still quality beauty and hair care professionals in the country there will be none like this one. She used high quality products. She did house calls to clients as she was saving up for investment into a salon. She never cheated her clients and always sold at affordable prices. She even had an option where the client who brings her another client gets their next haircut or hairstyle free of charge. Also, since she was a salon professional she had access to salon products (these products are not readily available for the public) for her clients at reasonable rates. Her hands were so gifted that I trusted them to dye my hair for the first time in my entire life this year. We had that type of relationship where I would say to her, “I have no idea what colour I want or what I want to do but I trust you so do whatever you want with it. ” She decided and she went in for the cutting, styling and colouring and I loved it! Despite not having her own salon yet her home was outfitted with salon chairs, sinks and the latest hair products and tools. She gave the most amazing hair wash and head massages.
Salon professionals double as clients’ therapists. The experience is a personable one where the client inevitably develops a friendship with their salon professional. She was no exception as her clients offloaded their lives on her while she renewed them with beauty therapy. She held her own too as she had her own family. She was the “dopest” mom to two of the coolest boys I know. You see even though she had the opportunity to live her passion and use her gift to help others she had other roles to play. She was a doting wife and mother. She did all her domestic duties to her best and took care of her family. She was a soul in a body fulfilling her role here on earth as a mother and as a wife. She never faltered in any area. She listened to her boys. She disciplined them and she always made sure she spent time with them. They even learnt a thing or two from her styling skills by just being around her. The kids even slayed the latest undercuts during their vacation time.
She had an insatiable appetite for life and for striving to be at her best in life. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worst yesterday afternoon. I learnt from phone calls and a television broadcast the terrible news that she was on her way to pick up her eldest son from school with her younger son in the vehicle when a truck skidded off the road and slammed into her car. She died on impact, her son was injured and taken to the hospital. Many wailed and bawled and many remain shocked by the sudden death (including myself). We have lost a valuable soul because that is what she was a beautiful soul in a body here to fulfill her role as a mother, as a wife, a sister, a cousin, a friend and a salon professional to share her gift with others. Whether it was or was not her time to die is something I cannot say nor you or anybody else. No one will ever hear her side of the story as to what happened that fateful day that she passed. We can only pray for her soul and hope that she finds peace and that she crosses over to the other side (for those of you who believe in that stuff). I believe we will meet again if not in this lifetime perhaps in another lifetime. Until then I will keep her soul in my prayers and the fondest memories of her closest to my heart.