Happy Valentines' Day!
No matter where you are in your relationship - just getting to know each other, happily attached, complicated, married, there're always times you feel down when the relationship hits a snag. Sometimes we're lucky enough to have close friends to confide in but for the rest of us who don't? Many of us will share our secrets with our most intimate confidantes: hairstylists.
This got us at Beauty Undercover curious; how do hairstylists get affected by customer stories? Does it change how they conduct their relationships?
As we celebrate this season of love, we kick off a new series where we talk to stylist couples about their views on love and sometimes, on the challenges they face in their love life. Our first stylist couple is none other than Tiffany and Ziwei, both Creative Directors from Picasso Hair Studio.
Those who've spoken to both Tiffany and Ziwei will know that their personalities are as different as night and day. Tiffany is loud and extroverted and Ziwei is much more shy and reserved in person. But when it comes to values and the way they live life, they are much more similar than you'd think.
Ziwei: Both of us work at Picasso Hair Studio. When Tiffany first joined, I didn't really like her at the beginning.
I thought she was very haolian (proud). She had like many male customers who looked for her, then I thought, oh she's that type of stylist.
Ziwei: After working with her, I thought, she's pretty alright. She works hard like the rest of us and does her best for every customer lah. When I felt more comfortable with her, I started teasing her, like I do to the rest of the female stylists.
Then one day, our boss Shiyun decided to send me to another outlet.
Tiffany: At first, I was really irritated with him for always teasing me.
But when we got split up, I started feeling like something was missing..
Issit I like him?
So we started texting. At first, it was about work stuff but eventually we talked more and more... and yup... hahaha
Tiffany: We weren't sure how our bosses were going to react so at the beginning we tried to hide the relationship.
Like when we are eating lunch at the salon, we'll try to make sure that we don't sit together. It's funny because some of them will try to matchmake us together... when he's already my bf :P
It was really hard to keep it under wraps as we only had an off day and it was just difficult to conceal things.
As we didn't want our colleagues to find out through other people, we decided to come clean.
Tiffany: There are all sorts of possible complications with workplace romance but the number 1 question is always: what happens if the couple splits up? So my bosses grilled us individually, is he/she really the one? If anything happens, can the both of you still collaborate professionally?
Unlike huge MNCs where people come and go, a salon is a tightly knitted team where every single member matters, so they really cannot afford to have us go our separate ways if things go wrong.
This got us talking about it as a couple - of course, none of us want things to end up badly but if it really did, we promised to still be friends and handle things professionally - after all, we love Picasso and we don't want to rock the future we've already built here.
Ziwei (the usually quiet one burst out saying): But why do we have to give them up? I'll fight!
Tiffany: Not every salon owner is as understanding as the bosses at Picasso. When I first came out to work as a stylist at another place, I fell in love with a fellow stylist from the same salon. The boss actually took me aside and told me that I was "obstructing his career" by being with him. This got me really mad and we both left the salon.
So yes, as much as we love our job, it is not easy to meet someone I love.
So I think it is worth it to follow your heart. A salon owner that doesn't take his stylist's long term future into account isn't someone I want to work for in the long run.
Ziwei: Actually no leh. It's part of our job so we have to be professional.
Jokes aside, I think one must be confident and not let the insecurity taint the relationship. It's very difficult to sustain if I have to worry about who he's serving all the time. So I think we just have to trust each other.
In fact, I think that's one of the benefits of dating a co-worker. I previously dated someone who wasn't a hairstylist and he just couldn't understand why I can't go out with him on weekends and why I could only reply his messages at the end of the day.
The truth is that sometimes, we can get so busy that we don't even have time to eat or go to the toilet for the entire day.
That's possibly why so many of us choose to date a fellow stylist - I don't need to explain and they'll understand what it's like.
Tiffany: Lesser than what I'd think because we manage different outlets, so we actually don't see each other 24/7.
Ziwei: We also talk quite alot after work, so we are each other's counsellor lah.
Ziwei: As with all stylists, there are definitely some friendly competition somewhere but instead of competing aggressively, we help each other improve our skills by talking through things. I'm actually very proud of Tiffany for her perms! Last time, she had a lot of male customers but ever since she joined Picasso Hair Studio, her perms became so much better that her customers are mostly females looking for her perms now.
Perm by Tiffany
Tiffany: If I need help about balayage, Ziwei is always the first person I'll go to for help. That was how we started actually!
Grey Balayage by Ziwei
Thank you Tiffany and Ziwei from Picasso Hair Studio for sharing your story with us this Valentines' Day!
While workplace romance is often frowned upon, this cute couple showed us how you can tread the balance between career and love, and get the best of both worlds.
Interestingly, their story matches experts' advice to the tee:
Otherwise, stay tuned for more stories about stylists here on Love at the Salon.