Monday, September 01, 2008

Hair today

I've always been pretty easygoing about haircuts. I walk in, describe what I want, fairly secure in the knowledge that even if it's really badly screwed up, it will grow back. And the reality is, it never really is screwed up that badly. In fact, usually I ask the stylist to take off several inches, and it's never short enough. I think many of them don't want to take a risk. Sometimes I've wished they would, that they'd surprise me with something really different.

Two weeks ago I replayed the same instructions: shorten here, trim here, bring back the layers so it will curl when I want it to. The stylist made "tsk-tsk" noises about how uneven it was, but promised she'd even it up nicely. She held up pieces and described other things, but you know, once I'm sitting in that chair with my glasses off, I can't see a thing. So I just smile and nod.

(Oddly I find that I can't carry on a conversation with a stylist when I have my glasses off. I have decided this means I use facial cues more than I think. But without my glasses, I'm so blind that I see nothing but a blur and my hearing becomes a blur, too, and I am constantly saying, "excuse me?")

As I'm sure you expect by the tone of this post, this last haircut didn't follow the pattern. The stylist stepped away to get some hair product before starting to blow dry, and I glanced at the floor and was surprised at the pile of hair. She really cut a lot off. She came back and dried it, and, since my hair is never blow-dried (I have lived in my new apt for 6 months and have not plugged in the blow dryer), it always looks nice and shiny and smooth and straight - pretty, but not a true reflection of what the cut will look like going forward. I thought I looked a bit like a mushroom cap, but the receptionist praised me (they always do, of course, right when you're ferreting in your wallet to decide on the tip) and I thought, okay, this will be okay. I mean, it's kinda helmet-like and poofy, but it'll grow back, right?

The blow-dry lasted only a couple of hours, as I was caught in a surprise rainstorm that evening, so I had less time than usual to get used to the length before having to style it myself. Luckily, this is a cut that requires only a fingerful of curling gel and some scrunching and I'm good to go. Unluckily, it also is a hairstyle that looks like hell every morning when I wake up, so there is no option to skip washing it every day.

But the worst part is that I can't make a ponytail. Which means I can't get the hair off the back of my neck when I'm sweating at the gym, and in general, look like a Bozo-clown attacked by a hack saw when I'm working out. I've taken to wearing a bandanna, but that's getting old.

Naturally, I've gotten more compliments on this haircut than on any in recent memory.


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