It’s not that I’m totally unselfish, or do not enjoy being pampered from time to time. But I have never been one to spend great amounts of money on my hair at beauty salons. There is a part of me that would love to have my hair dyed and highlighted professionally on a monthly basis. However there is another, larger and stronger, part of me that is way too cheap to fork over the $100+ per month that this habit would demand. Whether I have the money or not, I can’t get past all the things I would rather spend $100 on!
Between that and having longish, not-a-hairstyle hair … I typically scrape by with a combination of coloring my own hair and getting it trimmed about once every 6 months. (I know. Who do I think I am, right? Bragging all up in here about my gorgeous doo…)
My signal to call and make that appointment is usually the morning I look in the mirror and realize, “Ok. Your hair’s not pretty. It’s just long.” That means it could use a little shape up. So I go and get a good 3 inches cut off, or so. I like to get my money’s worth.
A while back, one of my more high-pressure, not so fun encounters with a new hair stylist started right out of the chute with what felt like an accusation: “So what is it, exactly, that you are trying to achieve with your hair?”
It’s not that I am an aimless person with no goals whatsoever in life. It’s just that none of them revolve around my hair. “Ummm… to not have it look like crap?” I replied, a questioning tone in my voice. I was pretty I gave the wrong answer.
Recently we had some family pictures taken outdoors, on a hot muggy afternoon. As if it’s not challenging enough trying to get family pictures taken – I have to add a glisten of sweat and wilted hair to the equation. I know, I know … I’m the MOM. It’s completely irrelevant what I look like. Silly me, for caring.
When we got the pictures back, it was the final straw for me. I realized it was time. My hair looked so unattractive, and had been bugging me enough on a regular basis, that I was pushed past the line. I was ready to try shorter hair.
So the night before my haircut appointment, I comb through (no pun intended) my one hairstyle magazine that I own. I did notice in passing that it was 7 years old, but since I’ve come to terms with the fact that I don’t really ever possess a hair STYLE … I figured it didn’t really make that much difference.
I select my picture, and head in to see, once again, a brand new-to-me hair stylist (there’s a pattern here … why am I such a glutton for punishment?). The picture I brought in was of a famous newscaster – her softly curled, long layers resting gently a couple of inches below the height of her shoulders. I present my photo, excited at the thought of my hair looking *hopefully* somewhat similar.
Hairstylist [pretends to] examine photo. Pulls my wet hair taught with her comb, and with one frighteningly bold snip…. she cuts a huge chunk of my hair off – a good 2 inches ABOVE my shoulder.
I tried to stay calm. I sat there repeating over and over in my head, “it’s only hair … it will grow back … don’t be so shallow”. I’m the type of person who will receive a horrifying haircut, not make a peep, tip the person, and then go cry in the car. So I watch her continue to chop her way around my head, and I begin to wonder if I have said or done something unknowingly to make her hate me?
Eventually, mercifully, she finishes her crazed destruction with the scissors. Styles it (what’s left of it). Pulls her fingers through the back a few times and mutters to herself, “No. This isn’t working for me. It’s still too heavy back here.” And she then starts in again, cutting even more of my hair off.
That was it. I had to stick up for myself against this Beautician Bully. “I’m sorry”, I interrupt, not sure what I’m apologizing for, “it’s already way shorter than I wanted it, and I’d like you to stop cutting now.”
This clearly made her mad. She picks up the magazine picture I brought in, shoves it in my face and retorts crisply, “You can SEE that she has layers, in this picture”.
I have no response to this, because clearly what we are each seeing “in the picture”, is not the same thing. You would think that the shoulders would prove a basic, common reference point?
So to wrap up my lengthy story, she left me with a blunt, chunk-of-hair shelf on the right side of my head – the victim of the abruptly ended Round Two of the clipping assault. And right before I get out of the chair she informs me, “Well, at least it looks a lot more stylish than when you came in here.” Ouch.
I do think part of the problem was that I was not emotionally ready for short hair. But when I got home, saddened by my new appearance, my daughter immediately declared, “I love your hair! Now you look like a GOOD mom!”
I guess that was my consolation prize. 🙂
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