Steve Reiner is a hair designer and a passionate biker who has built and rebuilt his life several times looking for happiness. Despite success and fun he enjoyed, Steve was left empty until he found the answer in service to others. He co-founded Halfway Hair an organization that empowers teens in rehab to regain their self-confidence one strand at a time.
Season 2 – EP 19
FROM CONCRETE HEAD GUY TO A HAIRSTYLIST – STEVE’S SHIFT
Steve is a hair designer whom I first met when I was shooting a music video in Naperville, IL.
My attention was caught by the juxtaposition between Steve’s tough look complete with tattoos and the gentle way he spoke and wrapped my hair around the curling iron. I had a hunch he had a story filled with good life lessons. Luckily, he generously shared it with me.
Steve was a talented, creative kid who went to college to become an architect when a summer job at a construction company turned into a successful career.
“I took some time to make some money to go back to school and just started making so much money, I never went back.”
He climbed the ladder fast, and soon became the head guy who worked and played hard, having fun and drinking with the best of them. He married a hair stylist who awakened his creative side and decided to quit his job and go to beauty school.
Steve and his wife opened a high-end salon and bought a big house on the right side of town, but before the paint was dry he was given divorce papers. Shocked, Steve slipped back into his old habits of working hard and playing harder.
“When you are in a boat, and you are flying across the lake, you got this big wake behind you. When you stop that boat really fast, that wake comes and hits you. That was kind of what happened to me.”
Steve found himself in a mess he couldn’t recover from, not on his own. He sought help and was put on medication. He gave up his salon and got a station at a much less competitive place.
And then the real change happened.
A friend asked him to volunteer at a homeless shelter and a recovery home.
“One of the things that I was missing… was helping other people… seeing what they are going through, and then seeing what I was going through was like, Pffff! Seriously?”
Helping others helped Steve to get out of his old patterns and gain a new perspective on life.
He is comfortable being himself: riding his Harley to work, where he curls and blow dries, cuts and smooths. With a few of his buddies he founded a program called Halfway Hair and on many Sundays he can be found doing hair for teenagers in addiction recovery.
“Sounds like church,” I said in our interview. “Showing up where you are needed.”
“Yea! Just like church.” Steve responded with excitement. There he found his purpose: to serve and fix more than hair.
CONNECT WITH STEVE