On this lovely spring day I started to reminisce, basking in the cool sun. Even though it’s only been a matter of years that I left college I realised that I’ve developed a lot as a person more than I realised. One of the biggest independent steps I have taken in my role of…independence is getting my hair-cut- at a hair salon.
In the past I use to scream the whole place down, making many ears bleed in the process. I was very talented at that back then. 😉 We can all laugh about it now, especially me, but I was severely Autistic back then. I absolutely hated change. If I needed a new pair of shoes, my Mum would have to get the exact ones but in bigger size. Same applied to getting a new coat, new pants, new toothpaste, and new duvet and so on…
So, with all these “quirks” in mind, getting a hair-cut was a nightmare experience. My thought process at that era… I have to sit idly in a chair whilst someone was touching me (I hated close contact and being touched). And I hated change, I.E., getting rid of hair that was on my head, which I grew accustomed to for many months. With that hair gone it was like losing a part of me as an individual…and made the back of my neck very cold!
What did work one time is when I bought a Thomas the Tank Engine toy with me. It made me feel safe, and I was engaged with the toy rather than having a hair-cut. The toy I bought along was Devious Diesel…a true scoundrel he was. I still have that very same toy with me today, safely placed in my very own Thomas the Tank Engine carrier case. ;-D
I did gradually get used to getting my hair-cut, especially after I found a certain hairstyle that I liked (that’s not an interesting story though, so I won’t delve into that. XD). But what was a bother though was every time I kept on changing hair salons and hairdressers. I needed familiar faces and familiar routines.
I went to the one in my local town but I was quite uncomfortable with it because it was very tiny and made me feel squashed. I went to another local salon for a good number of years. I do think I was quite successful there since I gradually became more independent and actually started to walk on my own. I still felt vastly uncomfortable though but I still managed. Sometimes I would get a hair-cut with either my mum or sister if I felt uneasy that very week. I think what made me nervous was how busy the whole place was. It wasn’t as cramped as the other local salon but it was much, much busier.
My confidence did grow every time I did go out independently to the hair salon, especially when I went to a new hair salon based in Westhoughton. The person who owns the hair salon or co owns the hair salon, actually used to work as a hair-cutter at the salon before I came to here. So, that especially enticed me to going to the hairdressers based in Westhoughton. I’ve known this person for… 10 years or so? Familiarity can be quite key for an autistic person, especially for me. Hey, that rhymed. =D
In all seriousness this is the ideal salon for me. It’s very spacious and the most people that will get their hair cut at the time will be three. It has a familiar face and it has a general nice presentation, especially that plant in the corner. XD Now I can talk without any worries. I do still get anxious every time I go there though but I’m like there every time I go out.
The Autism side of me surfaces at the thought of going out and harbouring the guilty feeling of doing something “wrong.”
So yes I’m very happy at the hairdressers I have now as it’s the first time I’ve been myself when getting my hair-cut.