I have worked in a few places in my lifetime, but none of them was as fun as working at a high-end salon in Lekki. Everything about the place was just beautiful, and to make everything perfect, the management was not abusive to staff; physically or verbally. So the workplace environment was very smooth and easygoing. It had nearly 40 workers, including management staff, pedicurists, hair stylists, barbers, and cleaners. I always thought that it would make for a great reality show at the end of the day. I also liked the aesthetics of the salon which was just very white walls, bright lights, comfortable sofas in the waiting areas, full-length mirrors, and a very cold temperature because of the AC. I used to wear a jacket to combat that cold.
I was there to market beard products, so I talked to any customer I wished, as long as they had a beard or even a goatee. I made great sales. There is money in Lagos, without a doubt. I love talking, so marketing the products wasn’t such a problem for me, and in those months I spent in that shop, I discovered certain things about men and haircuts.
First of all, most men who can afford it care a lot about grooming. This was a pleasant surprise to me, because I’m a broke kid, and from my side of the fence, most men say “I can’t be using products because I’m a man, not a woman.” And so to discover that it’s indeed a Sapa-induced thing, was very refreshing knowledge.
I once talked to a man in his 40s, who was quite honest with me about his beard struggles. He talked about using all kinds of products but to no avail. He also talked about how it felt being the only beardless man amongst his brothers, and how he was the butt of jokes. He told me that the only thing he hadn’t tried was a hair transplant. So based on these experiences, he doubted that using derma rollers would help. I may not have made any sales, but I enjoyed talking to him. It was quite illuminating to see that men could care so deeply about their looks. I always felt that they didn’t and that they grew laxer with it as they grew older. Turns out I was wrong, thankfully. Funny thing is, this man still looked pretty hot without the beard, but when I said it, he thought I was trying to patronize him, but it was the truth. I don’t have a preference for beards I’m rather used to men that don’t have a lot of beards, and my past has had a lot of men without a full beards, but men don’t want to believe that people like me exist.
There was also this man I talked to, whose reply was that he had gotten some Tom Ford products in Dubai, and so I told him that I didn’t think Tom Ford was specially formulated for the African texture of beards like our product was. He ended up buying a box. This very man was a regular customer at the store, and I just liked to watch him. He was very svelte and sophisticated, had very neat fingernails, and was a baldie too. He had just this very nice and very polished manner, plus he smelt good. Whenever he was waiting for his barber, he would sit and cross his legs so elegantly, and just sit as he walked out of Vogue or something. When you’re fine, you’re fine.
There was this other man, he had a goatee, and was bald. So when I went to talk to him, he protested that he didn’t have a beard, then decided to listen to me, and said something along the lines of “I’m not going to buy, but let’s see what you got.” And I liked to pitch because I felt that the more I did it, the better I was at doing it. When I was done talking, he said that he feels like I should have his number. I smiled and then saved it. He was a regular too, and we started to have conversations when he came in. He had this aura of power around him, and his body looked like he worked out, combined with the fact that he always came to the salon with this athleisure style, which led me to one day ask him if he used to come in from the gym. He said he didn’t, but wanted others to think so. Well, I decided that I found him interesting and very alluring. The more we conversed, the more alluring he became.
And then there were the fine men of Lagos. It was fun to just sit and watch them strut into the salon with full comprehension of the effect of their hotness on onlookers. There was this day, a man with salt and pepper hair, looked to be in his 40s, but his hotness gene was alive. He was wearing the bottom part of a tracksuit, and a t-shirt and his bum just looked very taut and perfect. Mentally, I grinned like a Cheshire cat, as I looked on, drinking in the handsomeness of the tall, dark, and handsome stranger. There were also celebrities coming in and out of the salon. There was this particular one who was a regular, and a past BBN housemate that is doing quite well for himself. I never spoke to him because he didn’t have a beard, but I low-key wanted to tell him that he was really fine. But to avoid projecting creepy energy, I shut it.
Some men would ask if I was South African, or Kenyan, and said that I sounded and looked like a woman from there. My hair was in a buzz cut, so I understood the South African part, but I don’t know what Kenyans look like. Also, I realized that most people did not expect my English to be good, for some reason. Well, I went to proper schools, so I can’t speak bad grammar; it would be preposterous. I did get compliments on my marketing and grammar, though, sometimes even from co-workers. I have always taken English for granted because everyone around me speaks it, but I guess it’s something.
Another thing that I dropped is the misconception that rich men/people are rude. I would say that 99% of the men I spoke to were quite polite and I had less than 5 unpleasant experiences altogether, in the 6 months I worked there. I think that rude people exist in all spheres of life, and it is not necessarily induced by one’s financial status.
Unfortunately, working there wasn’t in line with achieving my general life goals, so I had to leave quite early. But it showed me another part of life and the fact that I make a good marketer. Plus, I made new friends/acquaintances from working there, so zero regret. It is also noteworthy to say that I was hired based on my personality. My boss saw me on Facebook, we hung out once, and when the position was open, he thought of me. There was nothing I found mentally tasking about the job, because it came with such ease, and was about doing what I love: talking.