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130 – Shimi Shiba – From the Hairdresser’s Chair to the Therapist’s Couch

“I feel like there’s so many different aspects of being a hairdresser. It’s like, you’re an artist, you’re a counselor, a psychologist.” ~Shimi Shiba

If only someone could take the easy intimacy that hairstylists enjoy with their longtime clients and translate the magic into a formal therapeutic setting… Oh, wait! I’ve met such a person. 

In this episode, professional hairdresser Shimi Shiba shares the behind-the-chair insights that have prepared her for a return to school and propelled her toward a degree in counselling.

Few vocations provide access to both a client’s body and brain in quite the same way as hairdressing. Routine visits strengthen the trust established through touch and conversation. It’s precisely this bonding that has prompted Illinois (the state in which Shimi practices) to enact a law requiring licensed stylists complete training to identify victims of domestic violence among their clientele. 

Now, as a graduate student, Shimi’s melding structured learning with life experience. The years she’s spent observing client behavior in front of a literal mirror will provide Shimi with a professional POV that’s uniquely her own. “One thing that I’ve learned going to college and working on my bachelor’s as an adult, the best sort of education I’ve had, like its own form of life college, has actually been being a hairdresser.” 

Call it tHAIRapy.

Shimi Shiba has been a hairdresser for 25 years (she started super young). She has a strong artistic eye and a true love of hair and makeup. She really loves connecting with people and personalizing a style to fit the individual. She doesn’t believe in the “one size fits all” approach. In addition to her styling talents, Shimi is also quite adept at astrology and is studying to become a counselor. 

For full show notes, guest information, and resources, visit:


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Authenticity, caring professions, community building, community healing, community inspiration, depression, healing humanity, helping others, mental health, mental illness, power to heal, Sarah Buino, Social Change, social issues, social justice, wounded healer


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