Ask Chuck: Get a new style or massage for Valentine's Day or both

By Charles Colson
Jan. 30, 2014 at midnight
Updated Jan. 29, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Would massage therapy be a good Valentine's gift?

Oh yes, anything that will improve your health would make for a perfect gift - whether for men or women. It is a great way to tell them how much you love them because you are giving them something just for them. Sometimes, a therapist may give special prices when it involves a couple.

Many of us do have professional gift certificates that can be purchased, so it gives that extra touch on the gift. Most certificates will last for a year in advance. This gives him or her plenty of time to get the courage to get the treatment.

After that happens, guess who argues about who gets the next massage? Make it a special Valentine's Day this year and see who gets the sweetheart crown of the year.

I have been doing my hair myself for a number of years. I have had several bad experiences with hairdressers in the past doing only what they want to do. Should I chance this once more?

As I have said many times, you know your hair better than anyone since you have lived with it the longest. I am sorry you have had bad experiences in finding that right hairdresser.

They say the hardest thing to find if you move to a different city is a good hairdresser and a good doctor, right? It is quite simple - just locate a hairdresser who will listen to you completely. Tell him or her about the past experiences you have had, and I bet they will be much more attentive.

You are paying good money for their services, so you deserve their undivided attention. Take a picture of what you like and let them work together with you. Many times, a picture does say a thousand words and makes it easy for you to explain your needs.

Also, give them more than one chance to get it right. I had one client who was new in town once, and she said she tried to give a hairdresser at least six months to really get to know her hair, and the results were always phenomenal.

Charles, I have been to you quite often for haircuts and am amazed how you get better results from cutting my hair dry opposed to wet. Don't all hairdressers cut either way, too?

This is an excellent question. I was one of the lucky ones who was taught to cut hair either way. It sometimes works out best to get a dry cut, so when the stylist is finished, you know exactly what length your hair will remain.

This goes for both men and women. I am asked this quite often, and people seem to like it best since the hair stretches when wet and is difficult to manage if it is shorter than you requested.

Many times in cutting hair dry, it is easier to tell the areas that might be thicker than others. Hair seems to bunch up easily when the hair is too wet. However, I do cut it wet but always towel blot the hair so it is easy to manage for the stylist and client. Hair has a tendency to be bulky no matter the texture or thinness.

Ask your hairdresser which is best for your hair. Usually the problem isn't as major as you might think.

Charles, you have given me several massages, and I have felt wonderful after each one. I often think a deeper massage might be better for my pain. Would this be wise for me to request this?

Of course. I am trained in several techniques of massage treatments. Depending on the severity of the pain level, we could go deeper in certain areas. Believe it or not, many of our pain problems are quite superficial. Therefore, even a lighter touch can be as beneficial.

Remember, you really don't need to hurt worse than when you come in for your treatment. Studies have recently shown that too deep of a massage can cause other problems later. It is wise to discuss everything with your therapist since it is kept extremely confidential.

I always remember working with a doctor for a number of years each week, and he used to tell me how we can learn to think past the pain. However, using a good breathing technique is a valuable routine to put into your daily life.

When you feel stressed, simply get to a quiet place, maybe with soft music, and breathe in deep with your mouth closed and slightly open and exhale slowly. This actually releases carbon dioxide from our lungs and is a perfect way to relax.

Do about 10 rounds with this, and I know your day will go much better.

Charles Colson is a local hair stylist and registered massage therapist. You may email hair or massage questions to or call 361-575-5331.



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