There are few things in life that I find more awkward than a trip to the hairdressers. Being caught naked by my boyfriends family perhaps and… Nope. That’s it. Nothing else sends me into cold sweats the same way a hairdressing salon does. From start to finish I’m desperate to leave. I’m an awkward person. I can’t put the gown on right (every one is somehow different & requires a PHD to smoothly navigate) & I can see them eyeing my self dyed locks with disgust. If I’m offered tea and stupidly say yes, I spend the whole hair cut drinking tufts of my own hair, rather than leave any.
When asked how I want my hair doing, my answers are so often met with a disproving look that I end up saying “or, y’know, whatever you want. Whatever you think works. You’re the boss”. Now a good hairdresser will tell you what would make your eyes “pop” (which sounds dangerous but is apparently a desirable outcome) and the kind of cut that works with your face shape (read: hides your five-head or balances your second chin). Most hairdressers however will criticize the colour you’ve got, ask “who cut this last”, and just go off and do their own thing. I would rather pay more than have to make small talk. Being asked what degree I’m doing to be met with a disproving “oh.” is bad enough, but i figured, now I have an actual grown up job I would be able to proudly say my occupation and gain some kind of moral inflation. No such luck. I told one hairdresser who replied “well, I guess we all have to start somewhere!” Ouch.
So after having a bowl of gloop slapped onto my head, I have to sit, drinking my hairy tea whilst my head itches and I can’t touch it. If you’ve ever had your hair dyed, you know it itches. But that doesn’t stop you thinking every time, that maybe this is the occasion your head blows up like an allergic tomato and you have to sell your story to a trashy magazine (which someone will in turn read at the salon whilst drinking their tuft-tea and not scratching their head.) Then comes the rinsing. You know it’ll be worth it when your hair feels like silk, but the cramp in your neck is hard to ignore. And does it really take that long?! Should I be taking that long to lather my hair?! Is that where I’m going wrong?! Should I get up an hour earlier to do my hair properly?! Am I missing out on a vital secret?! It’s weirdly intimate having someone wash your hair, and I always find myself not quite knowing what to do with my hands…
On to the cut! There’s no point stating how much you want coming off because the hairdresser code is “always do the opposite”. Chances are it’ll look alright once you get over the shock of no longer being able to fit it in a bun… Apart from the awkward small talk, the hair cut itself isn’t too bad. I mean, having to look at my face in a brightly mirror isn’t my favourite thing to do, and I notice every flaw and stray eyebrow hair, but there’s not a lot that can cause your cringe glands to go up is there? Well, that is until you need your fringe cutting. Even though you tell yourself everytime a block fringe is too high maintenance and makes you look like a chubby 5 year old, you decide maybe this time it’ll look great, like Zooey Deschannel. It doesn’t. There’s the weird moment when the hairdresser looks you dead in the face and ritualistically strokes down a strand from each side. When the hairdresser is cutting from the front, there is no okay place to look. Her breasts are eye level, up is her eyes (you creep) and down is well… (Way creepier!). I always watch the way this artiste dries my hair in order to replicate it at home. But when it’s 7:30am and I can barely find my face, my usual quick blast is far more favorable. One important question I must ask, is what the hell is a ‘Curly Blow’?! It sounds like a very specialist sex service? Does it exists anywhere but Liverpool?
Finally, after your hair has been pulled in all directions and your poor scalp is throbbing, it’s done. Take a mental picture (or a physical one…( because it will never look like this again. The only time it will ever look even half as good, is the day you have your next hair appointment – the irony.
Your hairdresser extraordinaire will grab a mirror and point it somewhere near the back of your head. You can’t see anything but it’s the back of your head, what is there to see? Gush over how wonderful it is (you’ll get used to it) and remove your, now furry, cape. After paying, off you venture with your brand new hair do, feeling great, looking fine. Until a huge gust of wind comes and messes it all up. Sigh. Maybe next time.
Image Source: Eric Sanchez, Flickr