Hair: Part II


I’m a beautician, not a magician! – Plaque seen on most hairdressers’ walls.

This post is dedicated to the poor souls who cut hair. I currently have a hairdresser I like. She is easy to work with and we talk the same language. There have been others but it’s not always that way.

Some people have the same person cut their hair for 30 years. I’ve moved a lot and my hairdressers have changed careers; secretly moved in the middle of the night without telling me (yes, this is true); and died (I thought that was going a bit far to avoid me as a customer). Consequently, I have had many. Often it’s not about their skills. It’s about the other stuff.

Let me explain:

  • The talker: All hairdressers seem to talk a lot but this one was really bad. I went to her once for a haircut. She would continue to cut whatever section she was doing until she finished her story. My cut was a little lopsided because the description of her grandson’s Halloween costume took longer than the trim for my right side. Asymmetrical is a look, isn’t it?
  • The I-need-a-husband person: I went to a hairdresser for about a year and was happy. She was a middle-aged attractive single mom. Then, she fell in love. She started insisting I come to her home for the cut (she had a spot in her house set up for hairdressing).  She was on the phone all the time. I caught her in a series of lies. People in love aren’t very good liars. She changed my appointments depending on the availability of her self-employed boyfriend. It became obsessive. That wasn’t what took me over the edge though. She started a chemical process and went to “throw a load of wash in.”  She came back a half-hour later. My hair was fried and it took a good six months to cut it all out. Never went back. Hope things worked out with the boyfriend because she lost several customers.
  • The BFFs: This is when two friends work together. They chat endlessly. You can’t get a question or comment in edgewise. You are trying to tell her that you are growing out your bangs and in that second…..yep, she snipped them off. You just spent two weeks with hair in your eyes for nothing.
  • The one-styler: I had a few of these. I go in and say what I want but end up looking like the person who sat in the chair before me and oddly, I have the same haircut as the hairdresser. I suspect she had just been to a show and needed practice.
  • The drama queen: This person was one of my favorites until I moved out-of-state. She is the stereotype of a hairdresser. She knew everyone’s business and told everyone her business. She was cute and young and bubbly. I had intimate knowledge of all her attempts to conceive (she eventually did). I also knew dirt about everyone in the place. She did a great haircut and her color was fabulous. When I moved she was kind enough to give me the color formula.
  • The husband and wife team: This should have been a winner. They owned the salon and it was just the two of them. They were located within five minutes of my home but they drove me crazy. The wife criticized the husband all the time. She corrected him and scolded him until I left.

The hair business is tough. It’s very personal. My idea of a quarter-inch trim may not be the same as your idea. Communication is key. If you use the current slang you may end up with something that your conservative self can’t live with. Wispy, spiky, chunky, shaggy, angled, scrunched – what do they all mean? Different things to different people.

Getting a haircut just like a celebrity will not make you look like her. No matter how I try, I do not look like Meg Ryan (and believe me, I have tried!).

My appointment is next week. I have revised my hair vision several times. My visions usually have a younger me with a full thick head of gorgeous hair that just needs the right haircut. I have a whole week to go.

19 thoughts on “Hair: Part II

  1. I love going to the hairdresser, because I always have such high hopes. But I always come home looking like me. I don’t see why I can’t look like the movie star whose picture I brought in.
    My biggest complaint is hairdresser measurements – I say one inch, she says “sure” and cuts four inches.


  2. I’ve had the same hairdresser since I was a teenager. She did my hair for my prom and my wedding and now she cuts my husbands hair. We get along really well and chat when we feel like it or work in companionable silence if neither of us feels like talking.


  3. One of the best movie scenes involving a hairdresser is in Educating Rita a movie from the 80’s starring Michael Caine. The rest of the movie is worth watching too.


  4. You nailed it. I need a new hairdresser but I dread ending up with one of these. So I keep putting off making an appointment and meanwhile my hair grows longer and longer and longer… if I don’t find someone soon, I will be living in a tower at this time next year.


  5. I am very happy with my stylist. He’s a talker…but at least he is interesting. I’m going to see him on Friday, and this is birthday month! I tend to ask the impossible of him. I’m trying to figure out what I can reasonably expect when I request he minimize the matronly and bring out the fun! He is NOT a magician! Loved your thoughts on the subject 🙂 Debra


  6. Oh Boy, can I relate. I’ve had a few of those. One of my favorites, however, was a former neighbor who dyed my hair punky plum. It glowed in the sunlight and in flurorescent lighting. A real shock value when you’re going thru a midlife crisis and you can’t afford a convertible. She was a great sport and a terrific hairdresser.


  7. I have had the same hairdresser for over 25 years. I am fifty so that is more than half my life. One of these days I am going to have to actually switch because she is bound to retire. I dread that day with all my heart….


  8. Once upon a time I was a hairdresser. I wonder what description my clients had for me? I know some of them–the clients–were shall we say–interesting. I will say that hairdressing was the hardest work I ever did in my somewhat varied career. I liked it but it was hard work.


    • They probably said that you were a cat person! I had some great hairdressers. The guy who died (no, he didn’t die of AIDS) was really great and so was a woman that I went to when I lived in NJ. Neither of them had any quirks (which doesn’t make for good blog writing!)


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