Saturday, March 26, 2011

Why haircuts stress us out

Tell me if this happens to you, too.  (Sorry, guys.  I don't know if you can relate to this. )

Fifty years of great haircuts!
 The woman who cuts my hair does a fine job (no pun intended).  She, too, has crappy hair, so she knows the territory well--Shannon's not going to do something crazy that would look good only on a model for a Pantene commercial.  She never cuts it too short, either, which I appreciate big-time.  A few years ago my regular guy in Albany went though a scissor-happy period where every visit resulted in a good three weeks of waiting for my hair to grow out.  There's nothing worse than a haircut that's way shorter than you expected, don't you think? 

You know how it goes.  You're sitting there, maybe chatting away, and then, "Wait a second..."  You start to get nervous even though it's hard to tell exactly what's going on because your head is wet and messed up.  But with every snip, you're more aware of the accumulating hair on the floor than whatever the hell you were talking about.  You really want to slap the scissors out of his hand and yell, "Enough with the cutting already!" but instead you sit there obediently and smile thinly at the points in the conversation where he thinks he's being witty.

You think okay, maybe it's not as bad as you imagine and pray for the moment when the scissors are retired and it's time for the styling phase.  But inevitably, usually while the blow dryer is blasting away, you arrive at that moment of realization where your suspicions are confirmed.  Yep, it's too short.  Way too short.  You sit there seething and when he offers the hand mirror and swirls your chair around so you can see how he scalped the back of your head, you manage to eke out something like, "Yeah, it looks... good," because at this point what the hell can be done? 

Don't you hate it when that happens?

There's another salon scenario that's not nearly as bad, but still drives me nuts.  It seems that almost every haircut is about 10 minutes too long; that's when the hairdresser starts getting fancy with the "product" and styling.   He's got the curling iron going (as if!) and awards each hair with its own individual spritz.  You have no friggin' idea what your head is going to look like in real life, which will begin as soon you get out of the shower you're going to take the second you get home, but it's goofy as hell right now (reminds you of those plastic wigs you used to have as a kid) and you pray there's a baseball cap in the car because you have a couple of errands to do and you sure as hell don't want to be seen in public like this.

"Enough with the friggin' hairspray!" you want to say, but you sit there smiling like an idiot and when he offers the hand mirror and swirls your chair around so you can see the masterpiece he created with the back of your head, you manage to eke out something like, "Yeah, it looks... good," because at this point what the hell can be done?


What we go through just to look beautiful.


Mimi said...

You hit a point here with me, Linda!!
I used to have a hairdresser who came to the house, so no mirror till then end, the (inwardly) AGH!, but (outwardly) smiling and saying, "it looks...good".
Now I go to a salon, it's much better.

Mellodee said...

That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, is like an air raid siren, making you more and more wary of actually looking at the end result!

Nothing is worse than a bad or disappointing hair cut!

Caz Wilson said...

I find the whole hairdressing experience comparable to going to the dentist. It's rare I get what I want, they always talk me out of what I want and yes, my hair is usually cut too short - I feel your pain!


Unknown said...

Ha! Right on Linda! I now know to scare the crap out of the stylist before they begin. Having naturally curly hair ALWAYS results in way too short hair which is why I always look for a stylist who too has the natural curly shrinkage problem when it's wet. Great blog. I think every female can relate!

Anonymous said...

The red flags should have been up in full force when one hairdresser handed me a glass of wine as I sat down in The Chair.....

Joyce said...

And then there was the time in junior high when the mail hairdresser at the Beauty School left the perm rods in too long and burned off the front section of my hair at the scalp. I also had to go to school the next day. I wish my Mom had not insisted that my straight hair be permed.
I too have taken the "no more haircuts" path. However, I do my own color with Lady Clairol and various devices from Sally's Beauty Supply. Not ready for the gray, thanks.

Joyce said...

Excuse me. That should read "male" hairdresser, not "mail." Thanks

Jamie in PA said...

I have a cowlick on the left side of my head. Right above my eye. After years of fighting with it, I finally found (and love) my stylist who works with it, not against it. She was sick for a few months and I had to deal with someone else in the shop. She insisted on styling my hair against the cowlick and it always looked stupid and I had to tell her to redo it. When my regular girl came back she was really annoyed with her coworker cause she went against everything she was told about all the clients she covered.

gayle said...

I love my stylist but lately she has been cuting mine too short and not getting my bangs right!

She does have it looking really good when I leave her chair though!

K A B L O O E Y said...

After twenty some odd years of baaaad haircuts, including quite a few 70's shags and a few years of asymmetrical (on purpose) cuts, I finally learned to let my layers grow out. Nothing very dramatic happens to my hair anymore and frankly, that's ok by me.

Liz said...

I guess I'm lucky. I have wavy hair (bording on curly but not quite there). I've had the same hairdresser so long I can't remember when I started going to her. She is GREAT! Through the years, I've gone from long (down to my butt) to so short it looked like a guy haircut (my choice). I'm the one client that she can start cutting and then say, "Oh by the way, I found a new style/cut and I'm trying it on you" and it ALWAYS comes out great! I'll thank my lucky stars on this one. :-)

Debbie said...

I've been wanting to comment but I've been so flipping busy! My hair is a constant problem. When I was unemployed could not afford the blonde -- let it all grow out. I was black/grey and I looked 75 years old. UGH. Have been trying to find a good hairdresser since my gal became a huge flake and kept standing me up - I was loyal to her for 15 years. Anyway, Finally found someone that I decided to stick with. Do I love her ... not particularly. She's a great gal but as far as hair cut/color - just ok. One day, when I'm old enough i'm just going to stay gray - it's so much cheaper.

Plus, my hair is my only indulgence since I'm a chubby middle aged gal who can't afford an eye tuck or lipo under the chin.


I Hate to Weight said...

my hairdresser cut my bangs way too short! i look ridiculous with the bangs of a 5 yr old. and i have a cowlick, so i have this really short amount of hair sticking straight out of the front of my head.

happily, hair grows!!!!!!!