Recently, I went for a haircut. I was actually on my way to the grocery store when my phone reminded me that I had a hair appointment in 15 minutes! Talk about good timing eh? So I stopped in at my hairdresser’s studio on my way out and got a cut.
As she was working on my hair (which turned out amazing btw. She’s the best), I got to thinking… Her job isn’t so different from what I do. Oh sure, I don’t carry scissors in my doula bag and if you asked me about hair products, I wouldn’t be able to tell you much more than reading a product label would tell you. I digress. But there are a few undeniable similarities between what she does and what a doula does. Here are 5 of those:
- If you get a different haircut than your hairdresser, you don’t expect her to judge you for it. I like my hair short. When it starts to get past my shoulders I start to feel yeti-ish. And I recently have discovered the wonderfulness of a pixie cut! I loooooooove it! I also haven’t dyed my hair is almost 6 years. I’m just too busy/lazy when it comes to hair to keep up with constantly coloring my hair. So I don’t bother at all. I am all about low-maintenance and no-fuss. But my hairdresser, has mid-length hair and it’s partially pink! I love it on her. She totally rocks it! But how weird would it be to sit in her chair and have her lecture me on how my hair is different than her hair? Yeah, I’d probably be finding a new hair person! It’s the same in the doula world. My birth experience is not your birth experience! Just because I chose to have a non-medicated birth center birth, does not mean that those are the only ones I’ll attend and support. That would be ridiculous! Birth isn’t a competition. It’s a journey that is different from woman to woman.
- Once you find a good one, you tell all your friends how much you LOVED your hairdresser and that they MUST go to her for all of their hair needs. I carry my hairdresser’s business cards around with me in my wallet, and I’ve handed out several. You’d be surprised how often I’ll be talking to another mom and she’ll ask “Who cuts your hair?” Oh let me tell you! She’s the BOMB! Here’s her card! (Are people still saying “bomb”? Or am I living under a rock?) It’s the same with a doula. I’m in several mom’s groups and anytime somebody posts asking for a doula recommendation, countless women jump in with the names of their doulas! Because their doula was amazing and supportive and you need her in your life! Once you find a good hairdresser or doula, you’ll never go elsewhere again!
- Your hairdresser isn’t going to leave you in the middle of your haircut. This is a given. Once you sit down in that chair, you assume that your hairdresser is not going to just leave you at any point before your haircut is complete. She might stop to grab a sip of water or if you’re getting extensive work done (such as a coloring) she’ll grab a snack while you both wait. But how traumatic would it be to be sitting there getting your haircut and she suddenly says “Well this is the 20 minute mark. I’m done.”? It sounds utterly stupid, but the same goes for the work of a doula. A doula does not leave you in the middle of a birth. If you change your mind and decide that you actually would really love an epidural because this natural childbirth business is for the birds, she does not say “well that’s where we part ways. Happy birthing without me!” No. Or what if your birth goes past 12 hours? Your doula stays with you for however long you need her to!
- Sure, you could cut your own hair, but chances are you’d have a better outcome if you had a hairdresser. I’m always in
horrorawe of people who say they cut their own hair. Like, how?! I am not coordinated enough for that. But sure, it can be done. People do it. But is it really as good as if they had gone to a professional to do it for them? As it is in the birth world. I’m going to tell you something – I did not have a doula present at either of my sons’ births. And I wish that I had! But I cannot change the past. Many studies have shown that having a doula attend your birth has numerous positive “side effects”. But ultimately it comes down to the fact that having someone there by your side who’s only concern is that you’re supported, comfortable and informed makes a world of a difference. You’ll look back on your birth experience with a different perspective than if you had not had a support person. Sure, you can give birth without a doula present, but why?
- You expect to pay your hairdresser. Oh this can be a touchy one, but yes, I am going there. If, when my hairdresser finished cutting my hair, I went “Thanks! See ya!” and walked out without paying, there would be a problem. She rendered services, I pay for those services. I knew her price before I stepped foot into her hair studio. I know that she has a family and has taken her time that she could’ve spent with her family, took my appointment and cut my hair. Me paying her helps her stay in business and helps her in supporting her family in a sustainable way. And yep, the same goes for hiring a doula! Doulas have lives. We have spouses, children, friends, pets, hobbies. When we have a birth to attend, we must make arrangements for child care (which isn’t always easy or cheap), we give up date night with the hubby, we tell our friends that we won’t be able to make it to girl’s night this time, we give up sleep, and so many more things – because our work is important! It’s important to us and to our clients. We charge what we do because we want – no, we need – to keep doing what we’re doing. Doulas are a part of a movement to improve birth in our society. Charging our worth is how we build a sustainable life. Your doula’s time is definitely worth what she’s charging. Do yourself and your doula a favor – don’t ask her for a handout or a discount. She’s done the math, she knows that her price has a reason and being asked to reduce that simply shows that you don’t value her time.
And there you have it! What would you add? How else is a hairdresser like a doula?