Thursday Volunteer Work

Today at the salon, we had two perms to do. That was enough for me to call it “Perm Day”. When you have two perms that each take about two hours to do, it passes the time pretty quickly. First, we wash their hair. Then, we put the paper and perm rollers in their hair. Next, we spray on this cold perm solution which is almost always met with, “Oh Jean! It’s cold…” Then comes the bag atop the head and the sitting for 20 minutes. After that, the bag comes off and a neutralizer solution goes on (which we warm up) that keeps the curl in. Next they sit for 7 minutes and then we take out the rollers, wash their hair, put it in rollers to set it, and stick them under the dryer for 30 minutes. After that, we brush the curls into a nice style, spray it with hairspray and send them on their way.

Today I learned that perm solution reeks. It stinks something awful. I can’t imagine sitting there for 20 minutes with that chemical concoction wreaking havoc on my hair. Plus, mine is so long that they would have to piggy back it. That means more rollers, more solution and thus, more stink. At any rate though, it does turn out nice. I didn’t learn anything deeply meaningful about myself today, but if I ever need a perm, I will know how to administer one.

The only problem I faced today was the washing of hair that belonged to people in wheelchairs. Let me tell you that somebody needs to invent something the keeps the water from running everywhere (and I literally mean everywhere). We might as well not use a cape. It just runs off the cape and onto the floor. Or, if we use a bucket, it runs off the cape and halfway in the bucket and onto the floor. There has got to be a better system than wash the hair, ruin the floor, and clean the floor, repeat. I’m not saying I know what the solution is – I’ve thought about it and I’ve come up empty every time – I’m just saying it needs to be fixed.

Even though I didn’t come up with a solution to the problem today, I hope that this will prepare me to identify and solve problems with efficiency in the future whenever I am in my own leadership situation and something goes awry.


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