This week on The Plus Factor, where we showcase here—and in our logo—the most exciting, transformative trends and ideas that add wellness to your life, we’re exploring the crystal-loving, energy-healing intuitives that the beauty and style world is obsessed with right now.
Imagine you're sitting in your hairstylist's stool, and instead of looking at a Pinterest collage you created or magazine pages you've ripped out for inspiration, she just pulls some tarot cards for you and knows exactly what cut you need at that moment.
Or how about this: You bring an expert into your home to tackle your closets (and your wardrobe)—and instead of asking what sparks joy, she reads the energy of your clothes to decide what stays and what goes.
Sound like a nightmare? If you wear the "control freak" label proudly, it just might. But more and more, women are using intuition to do things that might've been a spreadsheet-driven operation (among the most type-A of us, ahem) just a couple of years ago.
"I see a lot of lady bosses, and because they always have to be in charge in every other area of their life, they just want to hand the reins to someone else."
"I see a lot of lady bosses, and because they always have to be in charge in every other area of their life, they just want to hand the reins to someone else and see what steps forward as we work together," says Style Rituals founder Colleen McCann, a fashion stylist-turned-shaman.
The design pro—who uses her skills as an energy practitioner to help clients develop a look that resonates on a vibe as well a visual level—is part of an emerging community of healers and creatives who can meet your (unspoken) needs, whether you’re decorating your home, revamping your wardrobe, or fine-tuning your skin-care regimen.
With the increasing popularity of all things woo-woo—and as inboxes and data plans reach max capacity (PS did you know that making decisions actually weakens your ability to make good choices?)—it's becoming more essential give your left brain a break once you're off the clock.
After all, when you're trying to lessen your load via digital detoxes, phone-free vacations, and more, those Instagram-Pinterest-Google deep-dives can go from inspo to intolerably anxiety-provoking fast.
So really, why not tap into your intuition? (Or even better: The intuition of an expert.) "The world is nuts out there, and, as my mother says, there are no atheists in foxholes," says Andi Scarborough, a Los Angeles-based hairstylist who incorporates everything from crystals to tuning forks in her sessions.
"There is a real desire to be told what to do, to relinquish power, to trust that someone or something knows more than we do and will just handle things for us."
How to find the right people help you make inspired choices? Here's what you need to know about these sixth-sense style pros.
How intuitive beauty and style sessions work
When Britta Plug sits down with a client for what she calls a "facial attunement," the New York City aesthetician—who works out of Space by Mama Medicine (the airy, palo santo-scented Soho spot founded by super-buzzy shaman Deborah Hanekamp)—she's taking in info on many levels.
"For example, a client will sometimes think they have very congested skin, and need lots of extractions, but when I hear what they're telling me, and what their body is telling me, their system is way too stressed and spun-out to handle deep extraction and recover from it," Plug says. "The last thing I would want to do is send that babe's nervous system even further into fight-or-flight, and give her body something to heal when it has no resources to direct to that task."
Similarly, for stylist-shaman McCann, it's important to take a mental snapshot of the energy coming from you personally—as well as your closet. (Kind of like the clothes-and-accessories version of getting your aura photographed.)
"I like to give a small intuitive, psychic, and energetic assessment of what is happening within my client's energy field, personal life, and physical health before they even say one word about why they have come for a session," McCann says. "I’m there to align the energetic and the visual, to provide a full makeover of mind, body, and soul."
Can letting go of control be healing?
For those who take the plunge, working with an intuitive pro is more than just a way to make things easier on yourself (and, best case, to be delighted by something you would've never thought of). It can also be a breakthrough moment.
"It's a radical act of self-care to relinquish control entirely, especially because we live in an era where we are allowed to control too much," says Roxie Darling, a NYC-based hair colorist known for her distinctive, dramatic hues, who describes her work as facilitating "spiritual transformation through the physical art of hair color."
"It's a radical act of self-care to relinquish control entirely."
And Scarbrough believes that getting a new 'do can be as profound an experience as a shamanic cord-cutting ceremony (AKA that thing your friend who loves vision boards did after her last breakup).
"Years ago, I learned the experience in the chair is really about so much more than the hair," says Scarbrough, who offers crystal treatments on the seventh chakra (on the top of your head, where you connect to higher states of consciousness, according to yogic traditions) as part of what she calls her "hair ministry." "A hairstylist already holds rank as a trusted confidant, and a safe place to explore ideas about themselves or their worldview without repercussion."
“It’s a type of energy healing,” she says. “[This process] brings up the subconscious things people need in order to transform into a better version of themselves.”
What to look for in an intuitive—and what to watch out for
So, let's say you're ready to give it a go. Remember this: Just because you're yielding control doesn't mean you should be completely passive in the process. Working collaboratively (AKA putting your own intuition into the mix) should be the goal, says NYC-based interior design pro Elana Kilkenny.
Just handing over the keys to some aspect of your life "can be very disempowering and addictive for people," says Kilkenny, who began working with clients as a sacred space designer as well as an intuitive counselor (kind of a life coach who gives otherworldly advice, literally) after becoming aware of her psychic abilities in her 20s.
"I would be wary of people in intuitive fields who broadly promise they can heal you....that assumes there is something wrong with you to begin with."
Her advice if you're starting a search: "I would be wary of people in intuitive fields who broadly promise they can heal you. First of all, that assumes there is something wrong with you to begin with, and also healing is really something that only you can do for yourself."
In other words: Think guides, not gurus. Ultimately, Kilkenny says it's best to use this new breed of cosmically talented pros to help you develop your own discernment. So yes, you're probably easing your "decision fatigue" a bit when you start working with intuitives—but the ultimate empowerment is getting to a point where you trust your own gut.
If you're in touch with your intuition, you've probably discovered...crystals. Here's how to give your home an energetic makeover using super-charged gems and 3 unexpected ways to use healing stones in your life.
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