Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Million Dollar Hair Cut

Finally, I made an appointment to get my hair colored and cut. I was months overdue for a haircut and my grey roots were dramatically exposed causing me to look my age. Now we can't have that!

In my younger years I have been to some of the best known stylists in the world. I have had my hair cut my Vidal Sassoon, Jose Eber, and even Frederick Fekkai. I would make my appointments weeks, sometimes months in advance, for the opportunity to have a master snip his way to the perfect haircut. Of course, I always went with the hope that the haircut would change me completely. I expected to come out of the salon transformed into a beautiful model and as I exited the front doors, after paying hundreds of dollars, I expected to have shed 20 pounds as well. I don't know what made me so delusional.

Now, I hate sitting in my black smock, waiting for the colorist to take me to her chair and paint the grey laboriously out of my hair. I hate sitting and waiting for the color to set, and I hate when they shampoo me. The water is either too hot or too cold, they tug at my hair and it seems to take forever. They always give me directions, like lean further into the bowl and I arch my back and hope it will be over soon.

Yesterday was a unique experience. I was done with my color my 12:45 and was waiting for my 1:00 hair cut. My hair stylist was not in the shop. She was probably finishing lunch. My stomach growled with hunger. I waited. I noticed one other woman waiting with me. At five past one, the hair stylist jaunts in looking overly styled. Her assistant takes the other woman to a chair and my stylist begins to cut her hair. Soon after, I am brought to another chair--to wait. I sat there looking at myself in the mirror.

I remember all those appointments from years gone by where I waited patiently for Jose or Frederick to grace me with his presence. I waited for hours, literarily hours as model after model would prance ahead of me because they were much more important than I was. They had a show to do and they needed to be on the runway in minutes. So I waited. And waited. All in the hope that I would feel like a model myself as I left the salon.

Finally, my turn would come. It would take the hair dresser all of ten minutes to cut my hair. I would end up with the same 'do' that I had seen on all the other non-models or actresses. I wouldn't feel transformed at all. In fact, I distinctly remember Frederick Fekkai getting mad at me for my eye makeup choice. I had displeased him with my choice of colors. I left that salon with a million dollar hair cut but feeling like a piece of shit. Even my trendy a symmetrical haircut didn't please me.

But yesterday, as I starred at myself in the mirror something had changed in me. I did not expect to leave the salon with anything but a few straggly ends cut off. I wasn't expecting to look young and gorgeous. And I wasn't prepared to wait.

As the minutes ticked by I felt more and more incensed. I couldn't believe that the salon had double booked my one o'clock appointment. It was only about 20 minutes after my scheduled appointment but it wasn't right and I couldn't wait any longer. I had waited for too many hours in my life. I was pissed and I rarely get pissed with strangers. This was a completely new feeling. My haircut and my beauty had ceased to be that important to me. My time was much more precious.

I got out of my seat and walked over to the front desk. Politely, I said I wanted to pay. They gave me the price for the cut and the color. I informed them that I didn't have the cut, the stylist was busy cutting someone else's hair. The woman at the desk looked confused. "Oh," she said, "She's just giving a bang trim, we do that here!"

I asked if the woman had bangs in the back of her head? She did not laugh. Instead the other woman behind the desk ran to the back room. She reemerged with a bag full of lovely strawberries and handed them to me.

The strawberries called to me, so I took them. Something I also would have never done before. By this time, the stylist was ready for me. So, I took my bag of glorious strawberries and let her cut my hair. When I was done, I paid my $160.00 and left the salon.

I didn't expect my $160.00 haircut to make me feel like a model, but this time somehow I felt transformed. For the first time in my life, I walked out of a beauty salon feeling like a million bucks.


  1. Good for you! Thank you for doing what I have yet to have the guts to do when I am left waiting without an apology or acknowledgement that my time is valuable too. Jeesh - I still can't bring myself to cheat on my hairdresser even when she gives me a bad cut. You have inspired me. Glad to have found your blog via my co-blogger Jennifer. I will be checking in often!!

  2. Thanks so much Emily. I am amazed it took me so long to realize that my time is precious. It is so strange getting older. On the one hand we hate it, on the other we are FINALLY accepting ourselves. I will continue to read your wonderful BLOG!