That’s what they used to be called, remember? Then they put some teeth in the truth in advertising laws and, presto change-oh, beauty shops turned into hair salons. A trip to the beauty shop was as eagerly anticipated as a dental appointment and there was nothing beautiful about it. This I know from years of personal experience. I’d arrive a little shaggy, a little tousled and wind up resembling Woody Woodpecker on Prom Night, albeit a heavily moussed and hair-sprayed Woody Woodpecker.
Once settled in the styling chair and wrapped in the plastic cape my fingers would clamp onto the armrests in a death grip, every muscle tensed for flight. The stylist, fingering my hair, would ask “what are we going to do today?” I’d freeze, I had no answer. That’s where it started to go wrong. Twenty minutes later, the stylist spun the chair to face the mirror, “What do you think?”
After showering and shampooing, I was stuck with hair cut for a style I’d never, ever achieve. With all the ‘product’ washed out I looked like, like, Lloyd in Dumb and Dumber. What can I do? There’s no remedy for it, but to pick up a book and make myself comfortable while I wait for my hair to grow back. Once, I read Shelby Foote’s Civil War Trilogy, thousands and thousands of pages. Even now, I have flashbacks whenever someone mentions hardtack, which happens more often than you’d think.
So who’s to blame? The stylist? The hair products? No and no, it’s fate and it’s genetics. I inherited my mother’s straight-as-a-stick, baby fine hair. There’s no body, no curl, no volume. Yet stylists insist they can make it look awesome, just awesome. It’s a challenge. Thus the carnage began: they’d cut and snip and spritz and lacquer and shape and curl and spray and ssssssspraaaaaaaay. Et voilá!? A ridiculous ‘do.
I’ve had wedges (think Dorothy Hamill), ledges (think a layered Dorothy Hamill), mullets, page boys, bobs, pixies, shags; I’ve been feathered, cropped, permed, highlighted, and colored. No clear winners in the lot. Not one. My hair is a sliding scale of disasters.
Lately, I’ve begun to speak up when a stylist asks “what are we going to do today?” I ask him / her to leave enough hair for a simple, low maintenance hairstyle and let them know I can only operate a curling iron (without mentioning the burns) and a blow dryer. And you know what? It’s worked. I haven’t needed a stocking cap in months, post-haircut waits are down to a few days, mirrors don’t scare me. As much, anyway. All in all, a miracle.
Just watch. Now that I’ve discovered the secret passwords to a decent haircut, all my hair will fall out.
Copyright © Publikworks 2011.