After years in hi-tech, I am moving in an entirely different direction. During the last few years, I played with the idea of changing careers, but never took the plunge. This year, just after Chanukah, I grabbed the opportunity and began to study to become a sheitel macher - hair design, cutting, styling and dyeing – wigs and ladies hair. And here is the rest of it.
It's funny but the smell of hair spray - even as a kid - was intoxicating. I have vague memories of teasing my grandmother's friends hair, back in the Bronx - how old was I then?
While the idea of hair styling and cutting was something 'others' did and the idea of actually becoming a sheitel macher was totally absurd, I loved to watch (and learn) while other people cut and styled hair. Through the years I've had a fascination for all of 'my' sheitel machers and watched their every move intently.
In my teens and early twenties, I cut anyone's hair that would let me. I cut my own kids hair until the day I called it quits and let the 'experts' have a try.
Now I am out of the hi-tech world and its madness. No more racing around and losing sleep to create technical documents and marketing materials for a product with a self-destructing shelf-life of three weeks.
Now I work with women. I work with one of their most precious external assets – their hair and their looks. Beauty may be only skin deep and שקר החן והבל היופי – but let's be serious, we are all concerned about our looks. Studies have shown that good looking people have a better chance at the 'better jobs' and are more likely to get raises. We have to stop fooling ourselves, we need it all - smarts and looks - and now it is my turn to work on looks.
Through the years I have been the kotel and therapist for many friends. Now, while I shampoo, crème rinse, cut, style (tease, pull, comb, brush and in general, torture), dye and fit, I can listen to so many more women and let's be honest, get paid for it.
One of the services I look forward to giving is helping women change their appearances. Not in the 'Oprah 20-minute makeover' approach, but in the "let's discuss who you are today and where you want to go and HOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO LOOK" approach. Taking each women on that journey and listening to what she wants.
I am converting one of my spare bedrooms into a 'heimishe' salon, where women can come to have their hair done, have their sheitel renewed, buy a new sheitel and talk. I will also go to client homes to style hair for simchas.
I know the level of service I need, want and desire and know I can give that level to other women.
I have the plans in front of me and I am now beginning the journey to my own future.