Thursday, January 19, 2012

Beating Hair to Death – Last Thoughts

It feels like a lot of small things are whizzing through my mind this morning. Maybe I will eventually accept that this is true of most mornings and in some way, by stating it, committing the statement to the page—day in and day out—is my way of finding the door and maybe one day I won’t need that door—on second thought, I need the door; maybe sometimes I won’t be inclined to keep it there and I’ll cut it. For now, that’s my way in.


I did get my haircut yesterday and this time the whole process was draining in how I went about it, fretting about the insignificant. There are two hair stylists that I like going to, but I took at least a three-month break from one when I went in pursuit of another. This is also something that I’ve done in the past. I like change in some things more than others. I was happy that the stylist wasn’t upset that I had tried someone else out and glad that she was able to take me on short notice. When she saw me, she thought I was going to be her other client with the same name since she hadn’t seen me in so long. She was glad to see me. I told her I’d gone to someone else. I felt like I was cheating on her. She said it’s good to try others out. She said, ”You get bored. Even I get bored of cutting the same hair.” I laughed.

For me it’s not boredom. I think its familiarity that makes me want to try a new stylist. There is a certain comfort that causes something—disinterest?  I noticed that times I’ve gone back, less was taken off when I wanted more, or that the cut just looked different than the last time. And I don’t always like to speak up. Sometimes I will but it feels bad.

The hair stylist’s job seems very challenging. To have a client sit down in their chair and ask for a cut that they truly don’t think would flatter the client. How does one handle that? Or to take a photo in of a favorite celebrity haircut and want it, not taking into account the texture of one’s own hair and how it’s not going to look exactly the same. Stylists in some ways seem like miracle workers because hair really is a great part of our being.

I like knowing there are two stylists that I like very much and whom have different styles. When they work my short cut, to me, it feels like I get two different results, both to my liking—mood being the final decision maker. This time, I decided to go to my other stylist because I think I might be growing my hair out a little and I like the roundedness that she creates, which adds more femininity to such a short cut. The other stylist is used to cutting men’s hair and she is not afraid to take my hair the shortest possible, yet trying to maintain the femininity. I like them both, but feel bad for not choosing one or the other. I’m too scared to go to Supercuts because I’ve had a couple not so good experiences there. Once I did find a stylist at a Supercuts and I kept going back because I really liked how he cut my hair. I had a feeling he would move on, probably to San Francisco. Next time I went, he was no longer there.

I’m usually a quiet client, sitting with my eyes closed. Speaking, only if I have a question. I enjoy listening to the others around me. Some people are very chatty while they are in the chair. I like the quiet. If the stylist asks me questions or chit chats, that’s fine with me too.

I’m reading a book that I found in the .99 cents store. It’s told from the point of view of Nic, a thirteen year old whose mom is an atheist and astrophysicist. He starts hanging out with a friend that introduces him to bible study. I’m about a quarter of the way through and entertained by Nic’s voice and the bantering back and forth between him and his mom and also the thoughts in his head. The book is called Believe Me by Nina Killham. I re-picked it up this morning and I thought how funny to be reading this line now. In this scene he is talking about how he finally went to a real barbershop—“no more mom cuts for me,” recalling a memory of a horrendous haircut of his first barbershop haircut. She’s sort of sassy and says to him, “What are you going to do, call in a bad hair day?” And then Nic, talking in his head, well narrating, says:

“But hair, I don’t know, it sets you up. It’s like a canvas everything else is painted on. It’s the first thing you notice. It’s the difference between acceptable and deviant behavior” (pg. 59).

I got a kick out of that. My stylist dried my hair, put three different products in it and started poofing it out at the sides. I had mentioned how I wear it straight, smoothed down, sometimes messy in the back. She was done and said, “What do you think?” I said, “Well, I like the cut, but I don’t like it poofed out,” and she encouraged me to fix it up the way I like it. So I took my hands and started flattening out what she had just done. She smiled and said, “There, now it’s how you like it.” It’s always good to have a stylist that can see and likes short hair on you. I’ve gone into places before where they didn’t seem too jazzed about chopping my hair off. This stylist though and the other seem to like me with short hair. She thinks I look a bit French. I don’t know. I’ve heard Italian before but never French. I do recall someone in my family saying that my grandfather’s father was part French and Spanish. Maybe that’s what she sees. Anyway, I think I’ve said enough about hair for now—maybe for good.

One last thought on hair. Stylists are artists and I think I like having my canvas worked on by a variety of these artists because even if I ask for the same cut, it will be different. I may not always like it and if I love it, I still like seeing what other artists could see and create.

I guess all I really had on my mind this morning was Hair! I’m haired out.

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