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Fingers of a goddess
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Professor Locs, aka Charles Easley, is an educator who explores race, class, gender, sexuality, media and popular culture with humor and insight. His column is published here each Wednesday. Opinions expressed are solely his own. Click here to read his blog.

I called my girl, Nena, at “Always Ahead” to see if I could get in the chair and get my hair did. Since my corporate liberation, I have been trying to push the time between getting my locks done, but I was beginning to look like a wooly mammoth.

Nena said she could get me in later that day. I was elated because that meant some time with my shampoo crush, Shauna.

For years I wore a low-cut fade and frequented barbershops like most men, but it was not until I started growing my locks that I was introduced to a salon environment and the experience of having a shampoo and scalp massage.

I remember my first shampoo, which was surprisingly enough more satisfying and less traumatizing than my first sexual experience...lol. The sister knew my hair and scalp were virginal territory, so she was gentle with me. Shampooing is an art form, and you can always tell a person who is committed to the craft. Which leads me back to why I was so excited to get my hair did, because that meant shampoo bowl time with Shauna.

Don't get me wrong; my stylist, Nena, is my main girl, and I have much love for her skills and artistry, but the right shampoo really sets the tone for a wonderful hair experience. (Men, we have been missing out all of these years.)

I have to admit I was enamored with Shauna the first time we met. Maybe it was her soft voice or the way she asked if the water temperature was fine or how she gently wiped a stray trickle of water from my face, but what cinched it were her finger nails and scalp massage.

This is a stark contrast to some of the ill-tempered, soap opera-watching, gum-smacking, talon-wielding, inappropriate cell-phone-conversation-having shampoo banshees I have come into contact with over the years.

Anyway, I got to the shop at the agreed time and greeted Nena, who was working on a client in her chair. Nena said to have a seat and that Shauna would be with me soon. I had gone to the gym that morning and had lost a few pounds since the last time I was in the shop, so I wondered if Shauna would notice. I quickly smoothed out my appearance and tossed back a few breath mints before she walked casually by and told me to take my place at the shampoo bowl.

I tried to be casual while adjusting myself, but I lost all pretense when I felt Shauna’s fingers on my scalp. I have had bad shampoos, so I’ve learned to appreciate a good one.

Shauna started by wetting my hair and with deliberate intent and begin to scratch out all the tension in my scalp and psyche. I swear, when she is in full shampoo mode, I get flashbacks of Ms. Celie scratching out Shug’s hair when she was ailing…lol.

If you have never enjoyed the rapture of someone who truly knows how to shampoo and massage a scalp, then you have not lived. I felt like my boxer when I scratch him under his chin and make his leg shake.

Shauna has magic fingers that hit certain spots that leave you in such a state of euphoria that you question when you come to your senses: “How long was I out? Did I drool again, and was I dreaming or did I just scream my social security number?”

My shampoo was over and I was led weak-kneed to Nena’s chair. I regained my composure and spent the rest of the time cutting up and sharing funny stories. Nena worked her talents and my hair was snatched and laid like Stevie Wonder’s before the Grammys.

I tipped Nena before I left and also tipped my shampoo goddess, although a sonnet would have been a more appropriate gift. Before I took my leave, I could not resist an overly pantomimed “Call me” to Shauna to the delight and giggles of the salon.

If loving Shauna’s shampoo skills is wrong I don’t want to be right.

Give a shout out to the person you think is the best shampoo artist in town.

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August 30, 2015
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