If Only I'd Had a Doula When I Switched Hairstylists

night nanny fredericksburg

My husband and I moved to Fredericksburg because we loved the sense of history, the feeling that this was a town with both a rich past and a future.  A community that existed in addition to the fact that it was on the commuter line.  We knew no one, had no family nearby, and while my Soldier commuted to work every day, I was pregnant for the first time and staying home, and I didn’t have much connection to the community we believed to be here.

And I needed a haircut. 

When people ask how I’m able to accomplish being a wife, mom, doula, and a small business owner, I have a tendency to tell them that getting your hair done is can give me the confidence to conquer the world.  It just makes you feel… fabulous.  So when we moved, the root of my power, my connection with the world, was shaken, and I had to start anew.  I knew no one to ask, and had no idea where to start.  While I do believe that “it’s just hair” I also know that a haircut can make or break your outlook on life.

Which is why I wish I had a doula when I was searching for a hairstylist in Fredericksburg.

If I'd had a hairstylist doula...

...she would have met me at a fabulous coffee shop, shown me around town, and really gotten to know me.  She would have validated my feelings about being overwhelmed and not knowing where to turn.  She would have asked me questions to get to know me, to form a relationship with me and learn about the things that are most important to me in a haircut and a stylist and a salon.  Do I want someone who looks the way I want to look?  Do I care about the environment of the stylist?  Do I want a spa?  A big shop?  An independent stylist? Do I need to be able to call at the last minute and make an appointment or am I ok with having to make my appointment three weeks in advance?  The questions aren't important today, but would have been imperative then.

She would be familiar with many different stylists in town, where they work, and give me options that fit my requirements. She would make sure I had the language to tell my stylist exactly what I wanted, so we could communicate well.

Once I made my appointment, she would go with me that day if I wanted, for emotional support.  My Hairstylist Doula would ask me how I felt about the experience.   How I felt when my hair was colored, cut and dried.  And if I was happy with the service, she would tell me how amazing I look, even if it was totally different than what I said I wanted.  She would cheer for me that I had found a stylist that I could call home.   If it hadn’t worked out, she would have listened to me, validated my feelings, and helped me find someone else who could get my hair to heal.

But I didn’t have a stylist doula, so instead, I almost five years finding a place that could read me the way my imaginary Stylist Doula would, who understood me and could meet my needs.  Years of learning how to communicate with my hairstylist so that I know we’re on the same page.  I’m pleased with who I have found, and (finally!) once again, I LOVE the way I feel after a great cut.  I finally found “the one” on my own, but it the whole experience would have been so much more fabulous if only I’d had a stylist doula when I needed a haircut.

Victoria McCollum

Victoria McCollum is a birth and postpartum doula and owner of Doulas of Fredericksburg, in Fredericksburg, Virgina. She resides there with her husband and three precocious sons.