We all go a little Steel Magnolias when we hit that shampoo bowl.

Steel Magnolias
Credit: TriStar Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

What is it about a beauty shop (old-school Southern for "salon") that makes sisters of us all? Maybe it's the whir and soothing warmth of the dryers or the pleasant scents of citrus, coconut, and peppermint wafting from all that product. Together, they work some kind of mojo on us. They flip our bonding switch. We'll tell our hairdressers stuff that Mama doesn't even know, and we value Truvy's advice on everything from our shampoo to our husbands.

We might fudge a little when a doctor quizzes us about our daily diet, but we'll confess every last Krispy Kreme to our hairdresser. Why? Because we're hoping she can slim us down with strategically placed fringe around the face. And it might help her formulate a plan of attack if she knows just how many chocolate-covered doughnuts she's dealing with.

All kidding aside, whether you call her a beautician, hairdresser, or stylist (the term you use depends on your generation), the bond between Southern women and our Truvys can be familial and life-long. "My mother's hairdresser even did Mother's hair at the mortuary," wrote one devoted son. "That's friendship. I sent her the most beautiful flowers I could afford to thank her."

Most beauty shops in the South would be perfectly justified in hoisting a sign that read "Hairstyling & Life Coaching." Sometimes a sister will show up for a blowout with trouble on her mind, and every woman in there will offer helpful advice. Other times . . . we just share the latest gossip. And the requests we make of our Truvys? Have mercy, girl. It's a wonder they don't pull their hair out.

Pay attention next time you're having your roots done. You can pick up some killer salon quotes in your quest for Southern beauty.

What we ask of our Truvys:

"I just love the name of your shop. How'd you come up with Curl Up & Dye?"

"I need my summer colors."

"Tease it big. No, I mean BIG. The higher the hair, the closer to God."

"I need a little root work and a trim."

"It needs more volume."

"It needs a little umph right here."

"Do you think my hair's thinning on top?"

"Honey, just make me look 30 years younger!"

"This hair's got a mind of its own."

"Time to up my blondage."

  • "I want to look JUST like Reba McEntire."
  • Response: "Sweetheart, I'm a beautician, not a magician."
  • Alternative Response: "Sugar, this is a comb, not a wand."

How we relay all the town gossip while we're at Truvy's:

"Now you didn't hear this from me, but . . ."

"Now this is not to leave this room, but . . ."

"Now this is strictly between us, but . . ."

"If you repeat this, I'll swear you're lying, but . . ."

"Judy's sister's cousin's choir director said that Heather's neighbor and her husband were splitting up because she didn't want to live way out in the boondocks any more."

WATCH: Things You'll Only See At A Southern Wedding

If you want to see Mama'n'em stampede the local beauty shop, just let the date for a big wedding roll around. There won't be enough spaces in the parking lot to accommodate all the ladies.