Mel Johnson talks about living in a right-handed world

I don’t  know about other left-handed people, but over the years I have sometimes felt being left- handed meant I often felt singled out.


I feel that being left-handed in a right-handed world, means you do have to learn to visually watch and adapt your own movements and techniques. Which when reflecting back on my career, particularly in hairdressing, I think has actually helped me become more creative.


Reflecting back to my training as a young hairdresser, I realise now, that many educators found it incredibly hard to teach a left-handed trainee. They needed have  a lot more patience, but I felt a lot of the time, I just had to work it out myself. It wasn’t easy when I was always watching right-handed demonstrations and trying to follow very intricate hand movements. I cannot remember ever being taught by another left-handed tutor in those early years.


Left handlers

However, I really do feel a positive came out of this  negative position. Being left-handed made me realise that to really succeed in hairdressing, I just had to learn to watch, adapt and have the confidence to create things  for myself. This belief in my own confidence and skill sets has stayed with me right to the present day.


I remember often thinking what really irritated me when I was working for other people in their salons,  was the simple things like the positioning of plug sockets. So when I needed to use electrical styling tools, the positions were for right-handed people. I am very fortunate that when my husband designed all of our salons,  we were always able to put sockets on both sides of our work spaces, to accommodate either left or right-handed hair-designers.


So it has been a long time since I experienced such frustrations as I did on Sunday, when I felt once again what it feels like to be left-handed in a right-handed world. This is really what spurred me on to express my feeling in words.


We went to An adventure park in Yorkshire  for my daughter, birthday.  What an amazing place with lots to do and it really does  cater for all ages. My daughter was celebrating her 8th birthday with her special friends they had such fun and really enjoyed it.


I booked for us all to go on the low ropes on this activity, you were fitted with a safety harness which was attached  to a zip wire which you then used to move  along the rope course.  I realised  straight away that when I began the zip wire was on my right side, which was the same throughout  the course.


This actually caused me to feel very nervous because I could only use my right hand to move the wires across. It was OK when I was actually doing the obstacles, because I  could use both hands, but the transfers between wires meant I could only use one hand, my right! Which for me was really not a great experience . Eventually by the end of the course, I did gain my own confidence and work it out for myself. I did mention it to the guy who was instructor at the end, who said he had never really thought about it and had never thought it might be such a problem But he wouldn’t  would he?  Because of course, he was right-handed!


I do feel strongly that on activities like this, when safety equipment is necessary, then it really should be a part of the design process to factor in needs of both left and right-handed people.


So please if you are right-handed, do give a thought for those of us left-handers! Thank you so much.


Love and light
Mel Johnson xx