Wednesday, April 1, 2009

warning: another haircut story

But at least this time it's mine, and not Marianna's, or heaven forbid, Adrienne's. And even though you know I have been prone to take matters into my own hands in the past, rest at ease that I did not attempt a home remedy for the current situation. I know that if I had, this story would no doubt be much, much worse.

Fortunately, it wasn't two days ago that I posted this, so it was difficult to get truly upset with how the cut unfolded. After all, who hasn't at some time had a haircut turn butcher job? So sit back, read on, and let this bring back memories of the day when my story was your story.

As is usually the case with my hair and me, I woke up and came to the abrupt decision that today was the last day I could live without a trim. So I made my appointment and looked forward to the fresh cut feel I would be enjoying come evening. It was an appointment with someone new, but I had very few worries. Today I was going to ask for something conservative, something I have had done before and been very happy with. It was a "safe" haircut day.

My first indication that there was going to be a problem came shortly after meeting Annie. She asked if I wanted my hair washed, and I told her whatever was easiest for her worked for me. She opted for the wash. When I was little the wash used to absolutely terrify me because of the pain that was usually present when someone else shampooed my head, but 20 years has separated me from that last unpleasant encounter.

Until today.

As Annie began working the shampoo into a lather, my not-so-formally tender head memories came rushing back full force. I tried to focus on the pretty modern lights hanging above me instead of the sharp, follicle pulling, sensations that were zapping my scalp like a machine gun. It didn't work. I hated to be a wuss, but I had to admit that she was really starting to cause some pain. Several minutes passed and things escalated. Tears (not just pretend ones) sprung to my eyes, and I knew I was at the point where I was going to either risk sounding like a jerk or else start wiping the water out of my eyes. And it wasn't until that do or die moment that she finally switched to rinse mode and I was able to put on a smile before I was found out.

Hoping the worst was behind me, I followed Annie back to her station where I described the haircut I was hoping for: inverted bob, front to hit below my chin, minimal stacking in the back. And she was off.

I try and look somewhere besides the mirror when I'm getting a haircut because it always seems that if I look too closely, it will come across like I don't trust the person, and whether that's true or not, I hate to give that impression. So I took in all the details of the shop while I waited for the verdict.

And I waited.

And waited some more.

The haircut was not getting anywhere fast, and again, that made me worry.

Finally, it was time for the moment of truth, better known as the hair dryer. I sneaked a peek, and in that moment, I knew it was one of those haircuts. I tried to keep a calm, panic-strickenless face as I surveyed the result.

But that got harder and harder to do as it became apparent that Annie's hair pulling ways didn't begin and end at the washing station. With each stroke of the round brush, I began to feel the individual "pings" of hairs being torn from the root, follicle and all. Emotion rides high enough with a haircut without pain, so let me tell you, things were not pretty. I began wondering how many hairs had prematurely lost their hold with my scalp during the ill fated 45 minute period of time, and that thought didn't make me any happier. To add insult to injury, my eyes watered again, giving every impression, no doubt, that I was crying over the haircut.

Finally my hair was dry and the torture was over. I steel myself for whatever the end result is going to be, determining ahead of time that I will not let my tongue get away from me! But it didn't end there. Before turning around the chair, she pulled the hair clippers (the ones that buzz) out of her drawer and put those bad boys to work on trimming my neck. That was the final nail in the coffin. If the clippers are a part of the equation, nothing good ever follows. I look in the mirror and confirm what I had expected. My definition of below the chin and Annie's most definitely did not see to eye, or should I say, chin to chin. Oh well.

I was ready to leave it at that when Annie asks, "So, are you happy with it?" It just had to be that, didn't it? Am I HAPPY?! I scramble for something delicate to say and end up blurting out, "Well, I had in mind something a little longer when I said 'below the chin'."

Annie was not going down without an explanation. She grabs her comb and, you might not believe this but it really happens, she pulls my hair, roots straining, as far as it will go, to illustrate that when taut, the tip of my hair almost touches my chin. I said, "I was actually thinking that below the chin meant it would hang below my chin when dry, without pulling it."

Ah ha. That seemed to clear the air for Annie. She informed me, very nicely, that if that's what I wanted, next time I should detail those specifications- that I didn't mean I wanted it below my chin when it was wet and being pulled, but that I actually wanted it below my chin when it was dry and it was hanging loosely on its own.

Believe me, next time I will make it clear.

But, truly, Annie was a very nice person. In fact, she hardly charged me a thing for my cut, which she certainly didn't have to do. I won't go back, but there are no hard feelings.

Just a sore head, and a funny story.


Jennifer said...

Here is what I did to find a hair lady (because before I got married, my mother always cut my hair).

I tested many many people until I found one I liked. I went in to each one with nerves and told them I was petrified that it would "wind up too short" or that it would revert me back to 4th grade when my mother cut off too much and I spent hours in the bathroom resulting in only trims until the 10th grade.

I would tell them .. I want a trim. I let them wash, trim, dry and style. If I walked away in pure disgust (IE angry they had cut too much off b/c .. well "it needed some shape.), I never went back.

Finally I walked into a lady's salon and told her all of my trepidations. She explained to me that my hair needed "more" than a trim, but that she would do exactly as requested and that maybe in the future we could discuss layering & thinning (my hair is EXTREMELY thick). So she washed, dried, blow dried and styled my hair. I left happy. I came back in two months on a whim asking if she could give my hair some kind of style. (b/c I hadn't had style in FOREVER)

She said ... well how much do you trust me? I said .. well enough to have you be the only one I came back to after visiting 20 salons. She laughed and proceeded to layer and thin out my hair. Long enough to make me happy and it looked good .. great .. fabulous. I go her about once or twice a year to shape it up and that's it ...

until this year when I walked in and said, "CUT IT OFF." She knew I didn't mean "cut it off." BUT she cut it shorter than I would have preferred, but in the end ~ it looked marvelous.

Now I have decided that I'm going to her every 6 weeks or so because I am tired of looking so drab and dull!

And there's nothing to say that after a shampoo you can just say, "I changed my mind. Blow dry and style my hair. No cut today."

Emily said...

I'm glad you can laugh about this too! And, even though it wasn't what you had in mind, you still look beautiful. Just take a lot of vitamins and hopefully it'll grow fast for you! =)

Kim said...

It is very cute, but did she razor cut the ends? They almost look like she tried to thin out your hair too! Goodness! Poor gal! I can't imagine being that tender headed.

I would definitely say that your hair falls AT the chin. And I would also say that most hairdressers know that when you say below the chin (or any descriptor) mean when dry and styled...anyway. :) It's very cute! :)

asplashofsunshine said...

No pictures?! Go to the mirror and snap one... go ahead, we'll wait...

You have such a great attitude. I am sure it looks absolutely wonderful, as anything would look great on you. Have fun with it, and maybe you can get away with being a little sassy for a week or two. :)

5Petersons said...

Hey girl. I have someone you should use and he always does a great job. He's at Gould's in Cordova...Mark Schmidt. I have never had a haircut or color go bad with just gets expensive so I can't go super regularly! Try him.

Megan said...

I feel for you. I would say that I had Annie last summer except that my hairdresser was a male. He too PULLED on my very hard, non-tender head so hard during washing and drying that my head was litterally being YANKED around. I have very straight, easy hair to work with but I think I nearly lost half of it during that haircut. I also chose to never go back.
That's crazy that she said you needed to be more specific. Um, if we say chin-length, wouldn't you ASSUME that would mean dry? crazy!

Five Musgraves at Ten Oaks said...

I am so glad to know that I'm not the only tender-headed adult around! I used to try to hurry and comb my hair after the wash before the person cutting it got to me!
Hoping it grows on you . . . . =)

les said...

where are the pictures!???

les said...

where are the pictures!???

Kim ( said...

Hey Angie,
Just checking in - you can always make me smile:)
love you friend,

Tonia said...

At least it is hair and it grows back. I am sorry though for all the hair pulling!

So where are the pictures? Do we get to see this haircut?


Tonia said...

Oh nevermind about the picture, I think I just can't see it on my computer :)

Anonymous said...

Learning to speak up for yourself is a must - for if we don't, how will we raise strong, confident, polite young women? Telling a hairdresser to be more gentle is a good start! You can do it! Would you speak up for your babies if you felt their hair was being washed too roughly, or pulled too tightly? Yes! Speaking up for yourself is no different and no less important! You go girl!

Jana said...

can't wait to see your new do! I'm sure it looks great! and if it makes you feel any better, Olivia's hair was butchered this past Mon - poor thing looks like a boy. at least we know it will grow!

Matt and Bethany said...

I definitely had not read this when I saw you on Saturday, but this completely explains your reaction to "Your hair is so cute!". Your ability to tell stories is unmatched! We had a great time visiting!!

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