Mark Beldan – Only Your Hairdresser Will Know – 2nd August

The hairdressing salon should be a sanctuary. A safe place to reflect on the horrors of home. To see the household as the cradle of dysfunction, lined with a quilt of pale jealousies and dark resentments.

Music floats through the salon. Music that rails boldly against the oppression of family and lovers. Songs that intentionally or inadvertently kick against housebound strictures and give voice to still-taboo desires. Girl groups, soul singers, torch singers, punks, singer-songwriters, crooners- they all recognize the dangers of staying in.

Eschewing magazines with questionable fashion advice, the waiting area is stocked with frank and fearless reading material- publications that look unflinchingly at the varied nefariousness of human existence (Take A Break, Pick Me Up). There are also books provided for the more voracious reader (psychology, true crime, memoirs of difficult domestic situations).

Rather than being unnerved, the clients will doubly enjoy their appointment. After all, being in the salon represents an escape from home and the maniacal clutching of significant others. The hairstylist will be on hand as a sympathetic and impartial listener. Not that anything need be said. Sometimes a glance is enough to communicate shared struggle and brave overcoming. The exultant possibilities of life and art begin with a new hairdo.

After all, everyone has problems, but not everyone has fabulous hair.