I know the subject of this piece may sound weird considering I do hair. But I’ve dedicated my life to the beauty industry, and I have some thoughts on the whole ritual of it. I feel like when people talk to me about their hair issues, they speak as if they’re talking about the boyfriend that hurt them or the father that never hugged them. I think having a routine with three things: hair, skin and nails a.k.a the accessories you cannot take off, is essential for every woman. I offer one suggestion: just take care of it, do little things regularly so it doesn’t become this huge disaster on your body that everyone sees and that you’re trying to ignore. Now we all can admit your hair, when it looks amazing, can make or break your outfit, your attitude and your mood for the day. I think we also can say when we just leave the salon, we feel like a million bucks. Your mind is rested because you’ve just been able to take out the stress on your hairdresser! Trust me, we don’t mind… therapy is part of the job, so my suggestion is this: why not take a few hours for yourself once in a while—for therapy’s sake.
Once a month, get a great facial and twice a month, a mani/pedi. Make it an appointment that you don’t break (I find scheduling in advance helps). I know, we think “man, that’s a lot of money” or “I don’t have time for that” or ” I don’t have a great hair dresser,” so I don’t want to spend the effort. To all the people who say well, “I just don’t care. I don’t want to work at it,” I offer this to you: your image is the nonverbal communication that you speak to the world . When you don’t make any effort, it says, “I don’t care about what I look like.” I don’t think it’s being superficial or high maintenance to just take care of yourself. Again, don’t make it an issue, just do the simple stuff regularly to stay well maintained in your day-to-day life.
After all, this is an act of self-love. Establishing that you made up your mind to put yourself first, if only for a little amount of time, is well worth it. I live in New York City, the city that never sleeps, and we hustle day in and day out. My happiest clients are the ones who have resolved to take time to feel beautiful. I encourage my clients to take their hair out on the town after they leave me. Let the world see how beautiful you feel.
I used to look at these women walking around the city looking so effortlessly elegant and wonder how. How do I get to be the girl that walks into a room and commands attention? I started to take these practices of self love into my own life and all of a sudden, I could care less about what my image was to the outside world because my confidence was so lifted that I now can’t go back to feeling any other way. By default, that confidence attracts the positive attention that I couldn’t figure out how to get. I want for all my sisters to practice self-love. Don’t stand in your way, make positive shifts, your heart will thank you.
Fatima Sheikh is the principal stylist and founder of Rare by F.S. Charlie Salon, named in honor of her grandfather, Noor Muhammed Charlie, the legendary comic of Bollywood’s silent film era. A New York transplant by way of California, Fatima has a colorful background, stemming from a long line of celebrated film and television actors. Although her Tribeca salon specializes in hair, Fatima is also known for her editorial shoots and high-profile fashion shows for brands like Rock & Republic. RareNYC.com