Social media has forever shaped and changed how we acquire information, keep in touch with our friends, and find daily inspirations. With over 500 million people interacting on Facebook daily1, Instagram has over 700 million active monthly users2, and Pinterest has over 313 million monthly users. It has never been easier for us to obtain information, connect, and feel connected via the world wide web.
In the salon I use Pinterest with my clients and it has proven to be a helpful tool. I have different boards dedicated towards different hairstyles; from women’s haircuts, hair color, Ombre, men’s haircuts, and kid’s haircuts. It is a great tool to have access to for the client that wants/needs inspiration for their hair. Although there is a catch side.
I have clients who will show me pictures of hairstyles found on social media platforms all the time. Which can be a tremendous help for me during their consultation. Occasionally the photos have zero similarities to what the client has. Let me elaborate on this.
The other day a client showed me a picture of a J-Pop (Japanese pop) star with longer, straight, fine hair. The sides are shaved down, the top is disconnected with the sides, pushed towards the face and is extremely texturized. The man in this picture had a feeling of edge, high fashion grunge, wore heavy eye makeup, and looked like an all around bad ass! I see what my client liked about this style, it was edgy, different, and cool. The client in my chair had none of these qualities, he is conservative looking, t-shirt and jeans, has massive density in his hair that is extremely curly. Two different hair textures, two distinctive styles. In this case I feel that it is very little about the hair but more about the feeling my client wanted to invoke, the feeling he had towards the overall style, the hair style was a small component to the larger picture. Which can be a wonderful! Shifting how you feel inside through your outwards appearance. That saying, “Dress for the job you want.” is exactly true; my client is a musician and is finding his style through inspiration online and through his musical experience. The flip side can be more dangerous for us, if we are comparing our lives to the people we see on line can be mentally unhealthy. In the case of my client he may be thinking that since he is a musician he needs to look a certain way, this can give him a false sense to his own identity.
I personally have been treating social media like sugar, in moderation, it is great and can make us feel good, but to much of it and we start becoming unhealthy. With sugar it’s becoming physically unhealthy and addictive, and social media it’s mentally unhealthy and addictive. A study published by PLOS.org states that the more we use Facebook our overall subjective well-being declines. Sharon Salzberg commented about social media saying, “People are competing for the perfect life.” That can be seen in some respects, people posting their ‘perfect’ lunch, the ‘perfect’ makeup application, the ‘perfect’ hair color/style/cut, etc. I use quotation marks around the work perfect because the idea of perfection is different to all of us and is only in our mind and egos, therefor perfection really does not exist, but that is a different topic for another time.
Next time you find yourself on social media looking at thousands of hairstyles or makeup tutorials ask yourself, “What do I like about this photo?”, “Is it the hair?”, “The person?”, “Is it really about the hair or makeup?”
Try shifting your consciousness into the world around you, not the virtual world, find inspiration from people in your community. Once you open your awareness into your everyday life you’ll be surprised by how inspiration can be found everywhere.
I have grown in my relationship with social media, years ago I would post whatever, but what I was posting I didn’t even care about, I was trying to perceive I was living life and enjoying it, now I realize I don’t need to prove that I’m living a fulfilling life to anyone but myself. Currently I use Instagram and Facebook to share my blog, quotes that inspire me, photos of work that I’m proud of, a moment where I felt overwhelmed by emotion, and community events.
I’m not saying to abandon social media, but like sugar, use it wisely.
I would like to invite you into my own personal inspiration journey. I encourage/challenge you to open your awareness to the world around you. Close the social media apps, don’t look at people online for inspiration, because with all the filters on these apps are you getting the authenticity of the photo? Find something out in the world that inspires your hair, makeup, fashion, or your life. Let it be someone in the community, the amber softness of a sunrise, the deep redness of a rose, the first snow fall.
Inspiration is everywhere, all you must do is be open to its gifts.
Chaykowski , K. (2016, October 13). Pinterest Reaches 150 Million Monthly Users, Boosts Engagement Among Men. Retrieved December 6, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathleenchaykowski/2016/10/13/pinterest-reaches-150-million-monthly-users/
Kross, E., Verduyn, P., Demiralp, E., Park, J., Lee, D. S., Lin, N., . . . Ybarra, O. (2013, August 14). Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective Well-Being in Young Adults. Retrieved December 07, 2017, from http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0069841&mbid=synd_msnhealth
Osman, M. (2017, October 17). 18 Instagram Stats Every Marketer Should Know for 2017. Retrieved December 07, 2017, from https://sproutsocial.com/insights/instagram-stats/
Walton, A. G. (2017, October 03). 6 Ways Social Media Affects Our Mental Health. Retrieved December 07, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2017/06/30/a-run-down-of-social-medias-effects-on-our-mental-health/#5ed30b142e5a
 Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective Well-Being in Young Adults
 18 Instagram Stats Every Marketer Should Know for 2017
THE GEOGRAPHY OF HAIR
The Geography of Hair is devoted to share experiences and stories in cosmetology and how it has affected people, myself, or us as a society.