To tickle the head is nice

Fifteen girls between 10 and 12 years old participate in the Beauty salon; an after-school activity of ten meetings in Amsterdam South East. Every week another aspect of beauty is the subject of attention.


All girls stand in a large circle. I ask them to turn a quarter making them look to the back of their neighbour. Today in the Beauty salon it’s all about tension and relaxation, but they don’t look very relaxed. They wait in tension on what is yet to come.


We have recently made a list of all the things that are relaxing. It’s a long list. Watch tv, hang out, be creative, to put something on your eyes, massage, yoga, to eat chocolate, listen to music, to read, Lijst 2 beautysalon f mirjam van klinkto stare in the distance, to lay in a bubblebath, manicuring, be quiet, to take a foothbath, gaming and to chat are quickly spelled out. Striking and beautiful other examples are: to eat soup, to jump in puddles when it’s raining, to make a rhyme-poem and to watch the sunset.



The circuit starts to become a bit restless. I ask the girls to put their hands on the shoulders of their neighbour in front of them and to massage the shoulders and neck. They start to giggle for a bit, but soon it becomes quieter and it turns peaceful in the circle.

Hair tickling

After a while I tell the girls that I actually still miss a way of relaxation. I let them all put their hands on the head of the one in front of them and once they have done that one of the girls calls out: “Ohhh Yes, we’re going to tickle the hair!” and that is indeed what I was looking for.

We quickly put this form on the list as well. “This is actually, the best way of relaxing,” says one of the girls and everyone agrees. It’s funny how we didn’t think of that before…

Photocredits: Mirjam van Klink