When I was a young stylist in training, I developed a fear of bleach.
Not an unreasonable idea when you consider how powerful and potentially damaging bleach can be if not used with care.
I would even dissuade clients who wanted highlights.
Then, a few years ago, I was talking with a friend who told me of his unfortunate experience while trying to decolorize his beard at home.
You see, he was trying to be Santa and he wanted to be authentic rather than wear a false beard and a wig. He wanted the little ones to be able to tug his beard and trust that they could believe in him.
"Well, next time you try that, you should-" I began. But he interrupted me.
"Next time, I should come to you," he said.
And so he did.
Talk about getting thrown into the deep end!
It was a daunting project. To lift this coarse and very dark beard would call for bleach.
On his face.
It has involved experimenting with various types of bleach, some more aggressive than others, and the delicate toners that complete the process,
Getting comfortable with the my greatest professional fear,
Developing a method of rinsing his beard without drowning him.
It's quite a process and takes a few appointments to get him fully Sant-ified.
4 years in, we've worked out the kinks and I've grown tremendously from this one project, getting a little better each year.
Now, it's down to a science!
But it's fun too!
Especially hearing his stories of people meeting Santa as he is out and about!
This year, he tells me, he was stopped at a convenience store when a little boy came running up to him with a cookie for Santa.
I think that means we got this!
And I've seen him engage with children who've come into the salon while he was there.
It's really magical!
You can follow Santa on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/santacuse
-even better, you can contact him there if you'd like to enhance your (or your children's) holiday experience with a visit from Santa!