Hey, speaking of bad hair stylists, check out what happened to me Tuesday. You know how when your regular stylist goes on maternity leave, it can seem more like eternity leave? There’s an inescapable process of thought that occurs throughout her absence that breaks down the most resilient of us.
You start off thinking, Hey, I’ll just wait for her to get back. No problem.
Then, after a month or so, slight worry sets in. Events you need to look presentable for pop up just like that cowlick that appeared two days ago. You’ve never had a cowlick before. Suddenly, hair you assumed would grow evenly stops growing altogether or grows like a weed. SIMULTANEOUSLY. “Enough hair product will calm this down,” you whisper to yourself, nodding in assurance. This is still doable.
Wedding invites pile up. Your bangs stubbornly decide they don’t want to be a part of your face anymore and revolt by sticking straight up, like they’re about to be mugged (They know before you even do). Lunch dates and vacations are planned. Panic increases as free time decreases. Oh, I’m fine going to anyone – it’s just a trim, after all. You make the call and agree to a woman named Paula. She has lots of vowels in her name. She sounds nice, competent, and like she knows her way around Words with Friends, of which you have recently taken up.
Now, switch out “you” for “I” and give thanks that you are indeed not me. Although I tend to wear my naivety blatantly on my sleeve alongside my heart, a bad haircut is still much more noticeable. My former positive outlook on the situation, however, was positively nowhere to be found.
Process, process, process.
After the deed was done, I found myself looking into a mirror only to discover a wild-eyed, paranoid freak unable to stare back because she was too preoccupied studying her head at every possible angle for the slightest of discrepancies.
Sure enough, an uneven, ragged trim job stared back at me, daring me to make a move. It was on. First, a frown. Deeper. Deeper. Then, a slow tilt of my head slightly to the right. And, there! The back of my hair came to a perfect alignment, falling uniformly across my shoulder blades. I could angle my head like this for the next three months and no one would ever know! I thought. That’s when I realized I am officially a cheap ass. Well, I’ve never said I was good at solving immediate problems.
A word of advice – when your stylist says you would be fine going to anyone at the salon? Do not believe her. She is a lying conniver. And sure – it’s not her real nature but more likely the pregnancy hormones doing the talking. Even so, although it is not technically her fault, I am warning you now that you will be pettily determined to think her baby isn’t as cute as everyone else says it is when you finally see pictures at your next appointment. This a side effect of your bad haircut that will recede in time.
My fate that Tuesday should never be duplicated. One horrible haircut in this batty world is enough, but two is just unforgivable. Charlyne Yi’s character on House – I’m talking to you. But honestly – isn’t cutting hair evenly the first thing they teach you in beauty school? I work in the electric industry as a communication specialist, and that would be like me misspelling “public power.” (Ironically, we have had a number of people forget to put that little “l” in “public” from time to time. Yes, as a matter of fact it is always hilarious.)
As irony would have it, I couldn’t bear the idea of going back to my fill-in stylist to correct her problem (I am very much an avoider – why do you think I have this blog?), so I made an appointment with someone I had never met at a different salon across town. (I also don’t learn from my mistakes) This next stylist more or less fixed my hair, and by that I mean she informed me the middle was still shorter than the rest and that she didn’t want to mess with it.
Fantastic. Now I’ll have to walk with my head tilted ever-so-slightly up. Making eye contact with people. Heaven forbid…
I let it go, mostly because I was running out of money.
You see, the relationship between ourselves and our stylists is very fragile at first. Trust must be built and mutual respect striven for. In many ways, this relationship is not so unlike the bond we create with our significant others. Here are a few reason why:
- You consult them for big life decisions.
Bangs are one of life’s biggest mistakes decisions. Trust me.
- You use the term “we” like you’re the next Brangelina.
I found myself telling the fill-in stylist that “we were growing out my bangs” last time we met. Like my regular stylist physically stands next to me, cheering them on. Like she wishes really hard and they magically grow. Like she was the one taking the prenatal supplements that strengthen your hair and nails, thus making them grow faster. Actually…
- You seek their approval.
When the fill-in asked me what I wanted to do with my hair, I desperately wanted to check in with my normal stylist. “I want a trim, but can I just call her and ask if it’s all right first?” The fill-in then recommended cutting my hair dry. Well, I don’t know if my stylist would approve of that…I thought uncertainly. I am going to get in so much trouble when she comes back.
- You feel lost when they’re gone.
The pangs within my heart are very real. And very sad. Mostly in a pathetic way.
- After you’ve been seeing them awhile, they want to spice things up.
A part on the right side of my head? No. No, that won’t do at all. Have you lost it?! Let’s keep it on the left side. We’re comfortable with that. We know what we’re doing with that. Besides, my hair looks good from that angle.
- You can tell them everything.
They lend you an ear because there’s a good guarantee they’ll tear yours off when they snag your earrings combing through it. This really doesn’t have as much to do with your significant other as much as it is a cold, hard fact.
- After a long day at work, they soothe you with a head massage.
Sure, you have to pay for it, but that’s to be expected in any relationship. In the courtship of your significant other, it’s called “sex.”
- You trust them.
Know how I know my hair stylist is the one for me? I can tell her, “Do whatever you want” and I’ve never been led astray, left crying, or hating men – even once.
- They want what’s best for you.
That’s why they push the $25 product at the end of your appointment. Right? …Right!?
- They won’t let you leave the house like that. A good hair stylist will gently sit you down and explain why they won’t let you get “chunky” layers. Because it would be as deplorable as your boyfriend leaving the house in pleated khakis.
To close out, how about some hair puns directed passive-aggressively toward my fill-in(s)?
- How hair she!
- She must not hair about me…
- It’s not hair (the hair is in July)!
- She must be hard of hairing
- Man, was she missing an hair of confidence
- My style is now worse for the hair