Kristal Eastman is my hair stylist. I was trying to figure out how long I’ve been going to her. I think it’s been about eight years. I first met her when she swooped in and saved the day after one of her coworkers (at a different salon) gave me a terrible highlight job. I had been bouncing between stylist for a few years trying to land on someone new who worked closer to where I lived. One trip to her chair and I was sold and have been following her ever since.
When asked how she would describe what she does, she simply answers, “I make people beautiful.” She is a true artist and her medium is hair. Whether styling, coloring, or cutting, her business is transforming people. In the classic, but literal sense, Kristal is a beautician (I call her my stylist. It makes me feel glamorous to have a “stylist”. I think a lot people want a stylist. I do! In my mind a stylist has a different and unique perspective on … me, and an ability to guide me to enhance my own personal style. But this isn’t about me. Lol.)
Kristal has been styling hair for 11 years, beginning her career straight out of high school. She realized early on that doing hair was a real passion for her. Life before this started as it does for most of us. Going to school and trying to uncover what she wanted to do. Kristal shares, “I always had a natural skill for hair. I’ve always done hair.” I actually envy the fact that she was able to identify her passion at such a young age (as it has taken me many years beyond my young ones to figure out what my passion is). Kristal agrees by adding, “I never really had a chance to waste my time doing something else, or paying attention to something else. I found out exactly what I wanted to do at a very young age and [have continued] sticking with it over the years. There were definitely times when I thought, “Oh maybe I should be doing something else. Maybe I want to sit behind a desk,” but I always enjoyed doing hair.”
Says Kristal, “For myself, [I’m inspired by] whatever is around me. Art is all around me.” But professionally, Kristal is inspired by her clients. She says, “A lot of my inspiration is actually from [clients]. To me I always want to stick to whatever is going to bring out your style versus my style, and then follow that, and enhance it with my knowledge and my skills.” An avid follower of fashion trends and what’s current in Hollywood, she uses a lot of pictures and visual inspiration to assist her and her clients to achieve their style goals.
Kristal is so proud of how far she has come and her consistency. She shares, “The fact that I haven’t given it up or tried something else. I mean I stick with it, which to me is really good.” She is also proud of all that she has learned over the years whether with regards to products or techniques. She’s proud of her work and how many people really depend on her to make them look good.
Kristal is always striving to provide a style and cut that her clients can recreate on their own at home. She says, “That’s always my goal. [I hope] that by the work that I put into their hair and the style of the cut, that [my clients] can go home and achieve the look that made them so happy when they left here. That makes me really happy.” She jokes about how good of a “therapist” that she is. But in truth, she says, “I’m actually really good at listening to people. That surprised me.” After seeing Kristal for the last eight years, I’ve come to know what a grounded person she is. Admittedly, she is an old soul. She laughs, “I actually enjoy giving people advice. And I’m like, I hope you take it.” (Fingers crossed.) She has gained a tremendous amount of incidental experience because of all of the personal stories that she has heard from her clients over the years. She has an excellent grasp of what is right and wrong. She goes on, “I’m really into core values. That helps a little bit. Although I’m not that great myself, but I try. That’s what’s important. Making that effort to be a decent human being and a great stylist!” LOL. (What a great combination!)
Kristal has come to realize that an unexpected byproduct of being a professional hair stylist is having clients unload their problems on her. Kristal says, “When you listen to people, it’s so easy…you know, you care and you take their problems home. I found myself being worried or concerned about that person the next day. Or [wondering] how are they going to feel tomorrow. How are they going to deal with that issue when they get home? Whether it’s with their husband, or girlfriend or a “side chick”, [you hear] all of those different things and problems. I can’t help it. I take it home. So you really have to find a way to separate it and that’s probably the hardest thing to do, just listening and helping them and leaving it here. But peoples’ problems are concerning.” (She is such a sweet soul.)
I asked Kristal how she felt about her impact on her daughter. She jokes, “I hope that she can definitely eventually figure out how to do her own hair. I’m trying to help her to really understand how to do that. That’s the goal here.” LOL. She goes on, “I think she definitely picks up a lot from me. I hope she learns that it’s fun getting up and doing what you love to do, which is what she sees me do almost every day. I really want her to be like, “You know what, this is what I love to do I should go out there and do it.” And have fun doing it.” Her dream is for her daughter to find her own passion one day and follow it. To find something that she really wants to do and not what Kristal might want her to do.
Eventually Kristal would like to own her own salon. She describes it as a little boutique with a little more style to it. Her dream includes being able to also offer a fashion element as well as incorporating a little bit of the healthy lifestyle too, by including a small gym. Says Kristal, “Ideally, owning something of my own would be the big goal, whether it’s short term or long term, eventually I hope to achieve that. So [I’m] working towards it.”
Kristal adds, “I actually love what I do and think that’s what really keeps me going. It’s fun for me. I enjoy talking to [my clients]. I’m intrigued by people. I feel that they are all special in their own unique way and that’s really what I’ve learned. No one is perfect in this world. We’re all unique and perfect in that way. Uniquely perfect, I guess.”
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To schedule an appointment with Kristal, Call LifeTime Fitness Spa at 703-266-6200. You won’t regret it.