Thursday, January 29, 2009

the dreaded- UPDATED

It's time to do the thing I dread doing. I've always dreaded doing this thing, ever since '04.

I would like to think I'm a brave person. I've been through basic training. I competed at the national level in Karate. I have a tattoo... but having to do this thing fills me with trepidation.

What could bring someone so much fear?

A Haircut.

Let's face it, when you sit in that chair and they ask what you're looking for, you have already put your head image at risk.

Not every stylist has the same terminology. I like a short haircut, with a little wedge in the back, and a layered effect- nothing longer than my earlobes, nothing shorter than the top of my ear. I have tried various ways of explaining this. Once I asked to have the cut follow the shape of my head. That was THE. WORST. CUT. EVER.

I'll post a picture, it's a poor quality picture taken on a 2mp camera at least four months after the haircut in question. Later I'll see if I can find a better image, closer to the time of the actual hair cut. You'd be shocked. I was. My poor boss thought I was having a mid-mid-midlife crisis.

(The background is Bellengrath Gardens, in Mobile Al.) This was, as I said, several months of growth. I know it's hard to see in this picture, and I'll see if I can find a better quality shot...but it was a disaster.

The silver lining to it was that E, when he first saw me, was so taken with how cute I looked with short hair, that he just had to talk with me.

Here's a better shot from the same day (keep in mind, this was several months of no-cuts or trims growth). The picture I really wanted is apparently old fashioned (a print out!) and the last time I saw the shoe box of print outs it was in storage.

Still, ever since then, I've been nervous to sit in the chair.
After a few false starts for haircuts here in NY, I found something I was happy with. While we lived on Roosevelt Island (between Queens and Manhattan), I found a stylist who, for a cheep $30 would give me a nice wedge cut. If I asked for anything else, well, too bad. I once wanted her to give me my natural color and it came out the same as always.

You see, I have yet to find a decent, affordable stylist in Manhattan who speaks and understands enough English for me to express my haircut desires. I have nothing against people who speak English as a second language. I just want to be understood when it comes to how I look.

The last time I went to someone who was proficient in English, it was in Forrest Hills which is in Queens. That haircut was $70. Before that I went to a place by my in-laws that was only $60 unless you wanted your hair dried. And you need to give a tip to every person who touched your hair (and bet on at least three people being involved in a haircut), so if you walk out paying less than $100 for your haircut, you're pretty lucky.

The last place I went to is nearby and I knew it was expensive, but I thought I'd try it, since the lady on the phone said they'd give me a two processes for one price deal (um...that conversation actually never happened according to the salon, so I paid for both the cut and the color. grumble).

I used the same description as I had been using at the old place, and got a totally different haircut that I hated after the first day. On the day they did it, she spent almost an hour on after-cut stuff that I don't do at home (blow-dry, curl, spritz, spray, primp). Oh, and that color process? Once again my ability to get the natural color (despite a good inch of roots to go off of) failed. I got the exact same color (though the managing stylist or owner or hostess whoever she was spent time delighting over how good this "new" color looked and how much better it was for me than the previous color). grumble.

Now it's time to get a new cut. I know it's time because I am wearing my hair half up, half down. If I can pull my hair into any type of "up" it's too long. I do like short hair, just not boy-short hair.

I'd really like to not have to pay $100 for it, too. In Alabama, for $12 plus tip I got my hair washed, cut, and dried. If I'm going to hate it anyhow, I might as well go for something cheap and buy myself something fun with the extra money.

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