Transformative Beauty Beyond the Mirror

Transformative Beauty Beyond the Mirror

By: Katie Simpson

As we move on from 2023 and lean into the New Year, resolutions are sure to be spoken from the lips of many. The phrase, “new year, new me” is often one that’s said with a passion that’s quite nearly believable. Yet, just a few short months (or even weeks) later…that mission will be abandoned, the goal no longer seeming reachable or important. But why is that? Why is it so difficult to create a new version of ourselves?

When referring to the dictionary for a definition of “new”, it reads, “not existing before, or created”. Could it be that the resolutions being made, and the journeys being embarked on to find one’s “new” self are simply, for some, being started in the wrong place? Maybe, what’s needed is a person in our life who can help us, not necessarily find a new us, but remind us that who we are has always been enough.

For 14+ years, The Main Look Salon has been doing just that. Owner Kym McCaughy, who has been part of the beauty industry for over 40 years, has combined the love she has for her job, as well as her love for people, and created a truly special space within the walls of her salon…or as several of her staff called it, in the most devoted and adoring way possible…their home away from home.

Starting in 2006, when she opened the salon with her best friend…Kym has worked to create an atmosphere that truly feels healing. The Main Look is not only inviting and warm, but it makes you feel protected from the outside world. It doesn’t simply feel like a salon or a spa, it feels like you’re sitting down with a trusted friend who’s become more like family.

The beauty industry is sometimes thought of as superficial or shallow. But the relationships the women of The Main Look Salon have with their clients is anything but that. It’s real and it’s deep. Kym herself, on multiple occasions, has found herself being granted the precious honor of walking alongside clients when they find out they have cancer. From the shock of their diagnosis, to chemo, to when their hair starts to fall out, she’s there through it all. Then, when the time comes, and they make the choice to shave their head, she’s there for that too. She’s even facilitated private moments within the walls of her salon, for her clients’ families not only to be present for that significant moment, but to actively be involved in that often-difficult part of their cancer journey. Then, when they victoriously beat cancer and their hair starts to grow back, she’s right there with them, helping them take back a piece of themselves that cancer tried to steal. One of her favorite sayings is, “it’s all good”. Kym isn’t saying that life is all good all the time. She’s not even saying that what her clients are going through isn’t hard. It’s simply her way of saying, “I’ve got you. We’ll get through this.”    

The women of The Main Look Salon do more than cut, color, and perm hair. They do more than give manicures and pedicures, more than spa treatments and more than makeup and waxing. They’re therapists, they’re life coaches, they’re friends, and sometimes…they’re quite literally a safe space. Cut-It-Out, is a national campaign that The Main Look takes part in. The program offers training to salon personnel and equips them to not only spot domestic violence, but also teaches them how to safely support their clients. Clients who may desperately be trying to get out of abusive situations, but feel they have no options and no support. The Cut-It-Out program offers them both, which can start a journey to healing that’s truly stunning.  

The most common theme among the women who work at The Main Look Salon, is that they not only love what they do but they love Kym, the way she leads, and the environment she’s created. Brittany, for example, has only ever worked for Kym. She came to her in 2010 fresh out of school and has been with her ever since. The admiration that pours out of her when speaking about her boss is both endearing and genuine. That level of devotion seems to be the rule though among the women at the salon, not the exception. There’s story after story of how the women who work at The Main Look Salon came to be a salon family, with Kym as the joy filled matriarch. Each journey special in its own way. When asked if she could see herself ever doing anything else or going someplace else, Brittany said, “Oh no..this is home!”, a feeling echoed throughout the salon. The Main Look for them really is home. Not just them as coworkers, but them and their clients as well. They truly love what they do. They love the feel of turning someone around in the chair and seeing the sparkle return to their eyes, or seeing the smile that didn’t quite feel genuine when they walked in, now light up their face, or when a woman comes in, broken down by a divorce or a breakup and they leave feeling like they have a bit of themselves back. Those kind of moments create a bond that’s hard to put words to.

 The women of the Main Look Salon truly understand that when we’re not at our best on the outside, when our armor feels frail, and we aren’t able to do the work that’s required to heal on the inside…having someone who knows us, who’s trustworthy, who can help us navigate the hills and valleys we walk though, while also being removed enough from our everyday life that they can be objective…it’s invaluable. You simply can’t put a price on that.

With any good relationship though; kindness, thoughtfulness, communication, appreciation, patients…those things have to go both ways. A one-sided relationship is no relationship at all. So just as the women of The Main Look Salon work to remind their clients to know their worth and to stop taking discounts from people who don’t see their value. They also deserve that same respect. If we’re never able to truly value others, how can we then truly value ourselves?

So, this year, instead of trying to create a whole new version of yourself, or set out on a resolution that you feel no passion for…maybe start your journey by stepping through the doors of The Main Look Salon. Let the joy they have for what they do make you smile, let the warmth of their salon relax you and let the pride in how they treat their customers be contagious.  But more than anything, let them remind you that you’ve always been enough, that you’re worth taking time for, and that you’ll always have a friend waiting for you when you step through the doors of their salon. 

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