I get asked quite often how long I’ve been a hairdresser and how I started doing hair. The answer is that I was a hairdresser from conception.. I came outta my mama and scanned the hospital room, taking note of everyone’s hair, and quickly deciding how I could make it suit them better. I have been blessed and cursed with this quick sizing up of hair habit ever since. I don’t remember names very well, but I promise you I will remember your hair.
Then, when I was big enough to crawl, I got a hold of my first pair of scissors. If my dolls could talk, they would be crying because they are bald. My parents quickly learned to keep the scissors hidden and out of reach.
As a young child my mom would french braid my hair. I can’t recall ever enjoying anything more than that. I remember wanting to be able to share that feeling with other people. That is probably a big part of why I have always loved doing hair.
My first DIY haircut was somewhere between 5-7. I can’t quite remember. I have cut my own hair exclusively since then, with the exception of a drunken after hours night in a restaurant, when my boss gave me an earth-punk do. This was the same person who first shared with me the quote “stuck in hair, stuck in life.”
Then, there were the years of experimenting on my siblings and friends. I remember the year at summer camp when I got away with cutting the hair of all the campers in my cabin. Then, the counselors wanted in. I gave them all crazy chopped up hairdos to return to their parents with.
At ten, I decided that my given name ‘Jane’ was not bold enough for someone who planned on leaving her mark on the world. I went to school that day, and told my teachers that if they expected me to listen to them or participate, they had to call me Roxie. My friends and family knew better than to try and talk me out of it, and I’ve been Roxie Jane Hunt ever since.
In high school, It became obvious that I wasn’t a collage bound academic achiever. I was independent and creative and not the least bit interested in school. I was lucky enough to have a school counselor who had taken notice of me at lunchtime charging $5 a head for haircuts and banking. She said “look. You obviously like doing hair. Go to beauty school, and I will write off the rest of your high school credits so you can graduate. ”
So, I went to the junior beauty school at Seattle Vocational Institute, where I press-n-curled, chemically relaxed, finger waved, and roller set all the grandmas of my inner city high school’s (Garfield) basketball team.
Right before my junior year begun, I had been stirring up trouble at home and one thing led to another, I ended up moving out and renting a room in an old house of frat row. I got an after school job working the front desk at a salon, and attended beauty school during the day. My house was the hang out spot because there were no parents. Those were the good old days. I still don’t know how I pulled it off.
I finished beauty school and graduated high school at just about the same time, miraculously. I was career ready in theory, but not yet in reality. Several years spent building my incredibly wacky clientele doing house calls, waitressing, serving coffee, styling editorial work, working with incredibly talented artists, playwrights, and photographers around the great Northwest, taking over a small salon and then having to give it back, prepared me to start my official hairdressing career at Vain Seattle.
A couple years there, then my move to Arkansas (another story for another day) where I had my first daughter, then opened up my current shop Mayapple Salon and Boutique. Had another daughter. Started blogging because I was stuck at home with too many hair ideas to share. And here I am.
I have always felt very compelled to share this story with young people who are struggling to navigate their own lives. There is so much pressure to succeed and to excel and to live up to the expectations of others. I often think that it was some divine stroke of luck that kept me safe and on my path through my years of foolishness. Who am I kidding? I’m still in my foolish years. I think that’s just my life. But if I wasn’t foolish, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be where I am today and I am thankful.
Somehow I always had a picture in my mind of how I wanted things to be, and I kept my eye on it until it was a reality. I like to use mantras “make it work” “fake it till you make it” “keep your eye on the prize” “let it go” etc. They help get me through to the next phase.
Someone once said something about a blog being a platform for self involved people to stroke their egos. I like to think of it as a way to share ideas that otherwise wouldn’t get shared, with the hope that someone out their will value them as well.
Kinda like a little tiny treasure box strategically placed for the right people to stumble on?
Thanks for visiting! do you have any DIY hair stories for me? Please share them using the Your Stories drop down ot the HTHG homepage. XOXO