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Hair’s the Rub

“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries or the way she combs her hair.”
~Audrey Hepburn~

Do you ever notice how beautiful and seductive long hair looks in commercials? Women sway their heads, and their glistening tresses flow  this way and that in a whirl of feminine seduction.

But my hair doesn’t do that. I don’t know any woman who really has hair like that. Well, for any more than a few hours after she’s had it done and styled to death.

The hair on my head and I came to peace without an official treaty many years ago.  I surrendered to its natural, fine wave, and it surrendered to my styling tools the best a wild beast is ever able.

I know few men, who ever get a bad hair cut. I mean truly bad. I’ve seen some cropped a bit too short, and a couple of slightly crooked, freshly shaven hair lines at the nape of their yummy necks, but that’s about all. 

Women on the other hand are as loyal to their hairgurus as they are to their priests and spiritual advisors. Once we find one we like, it’s heartbreaking when they move. When we feel we need to expand our horizons to see what another one has to offer, we  feel guilty. Guilty as sin.

I’ve been confessing my mane sins to the same woman for about five years now. The last couple of times I’ve gone in, the spark just wasn’t there. She was distant. Absent. Not totally tuned into my needs. 

In fact the last time I was there I came home feeling like my hair had been in a fight and lost part of a limb. I had one or two patches that looked as if they’d been chewed out by a goat. Not good. Not sexy. Not a big confidence booster for a single gal.

Ah, there’s the rub….confidence. Like a really good counselling session with your spiritual advisor, a good hair cut leaves you feeling fresh, rejuvenated, and  most importantly, confident that whatever comes next, you’ll be able to handle it with grace and finesse.

I have been overdue for a haircut for a couple of weeks. The past few weeks have been so hectic, I just couldn’t think clearly about whether or not to dump my hairguru.  Feeling guilty, as I do with anything or anyone I’m committed to, I called to giver her one last chance.

She was booked. Solid. All weekend. That never happens. She’s always had time for me in the past, and was so glad to see me. I took it as a sign that I should be seeking more stylish pastures. My guilty fingers dialed another number. 

Yes. Yes, they could fit me in. Tonight.  Close to home and work. The same price as my previous guru. Sold.

I made my way to the new shrine-of-the-holy-hairdo, photo of the hairstyle I desired in my sweaty palm. I had my purse, and enough cash for a good tip should I like the new hairguru. Just enough to let her know she was good, but not too much that I set a dangerously pricey precedent. If this was going to work, we had to establish boundaries.

It started off pretty sweet. She gave me the most relaxing head massage I’ve had in a long time. Slow and gentle, none of this quick scrubbing and getting right down to business. Wow. I was impressed already, and I was only at the sink!

I had to talk myself down, “Don’t get too excited girl. Just because she has magic hands does NOT mean that you’re going to be on cloud nine walking out of this place. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to see her again.”

I took out my photo and she tossed it onto the shelf in front of the mirror. Uh-oh. I was coming in for a major overhaul. Major chopage was about to happen. I was giving up my longer-than-I-liked-locks and giving in to my desire for short, sassy hair, and she just tossed the holy book of hair-doing aside. For shame.

I’ve missed my short hair. It suits my face and my lifestyle better. It’s quick to wash and dry after a run, after a practice in the muddy river, and after work before a hot, steamy night with a juicy piece of man-steak. Not that I’ve had a lot of man-steak lately, but I digress……

So there I was, a prisoner in the chair at the shrine of hair-doing. Without my glasses on ( I never wear contacts for a haircut as I usually get a razor-sharp piece of hair-shrapnel in my eye). I could see her chopping away massive lengths of hair. A lump caught in my throat, and a trail of what if’s ran through my head, what if I look like a boy, what if she cuts it so short I look like a dork, what if it makes my cheeks look fatter, what if I hate it, what if…..

She proceeded to blow it dry, bending it this way and that with a round brush. I looked like a dork. I looked like someone had turned a large mushroom onto my head and left my ears sticking out. I  looked like a fat-cheeked-dork-boy.

Even without my glasses, I knew that this do would not do. By the look on the face of my hairguru, (whom I was beginning to think was a fraud) she thought I looked like a dork too. That made me feel slightly better. At least I knew she wasn’t a twit.

As she was standing back with her head cocked to the side, looking like some kind of curious red ( like crayola red) feathered bird, I leaned forward and bent over, mussing my entire head of hair up. ” I want it messy like this,” I said, flipping my head back, looking wild-eyed and even more strange than I had before.

She understood what I meant, and suggested cutting off another inch. I suggested another two. We compromised at one and a half, and she set to work again.  We looked again. I mussed it up one more time, and pointed out where I wanted another half an inch taken off. She obliged.

Together we managed to come to a style that we were both satisfied with. She lightly stroked my locks with Moroccan oil, but didn’t offer styling spray. Wise woman. This was the one. She knew I was going to go home and fix my hair the way I liked it, just like 100% of the other women who go to a professional stylist.

My new hairguru took twice as long to give me the cut that I came in for, and to learn about my hair. “Your hair is thicker and wavier than the picture.” Yep, but it still looks and feels great.

I thanked her, took her business card and added ten percent more to my tip. I’ll be going back to worship at the shrine of this hairguru again very soon.

If I would have just nodded and left after she had finished cutting my hair the first time, I would have left disappointed and never come back. This is what I would have done in my teens, twenties and maybe even my early thirties. Not now though. Now I have the confidence to ask for, and get what I’m paying for.

That’s the rub isn’t it? Confidence. Confidence doesn’t come from a haircut, it comes from wisdom and experience. A good haircut doesn’t hurt though.

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7 thoughts on “Hair’s the Rub

  1. I worked at a salon and spa and definitely loyalty mainly was with the hair stylists and their clients never liked to cheat on them or be moved to someone else. A good hair stylist is had to find and once ou find them you don’t wanna let me go, so I’m glad you found yourself another hair guru!

  2. Love this post! It really is all about confidence, but sometimes it can be kind of hard! I went to get a small trim one time, and I went to see someone new and she was literally asked, “how do you style your hair since it’s so thin?” …I know my hair isn’t thick, but ouch!

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