Nothing can make a girl feel cuter than a great haircut. A woman’s love for her stylist knows no bounds. She will do whatever it takes to Make It Happen; to get that appointment with her soul mate. It doesn’t matter if the stylist has moved to the next town, or possibly even the next STATE. She’s going. It doesn’t matter if the stylist can only see her on a Saturday, and on that particular Saturday she has fourteen sporting events, three birthday parties, a dinner party, and a shopping trip planned for a new dishwasher, she’s going. Women who would consider cheating on a boyfriend would never, ever, cheat on their stylist.
My quest for the perfect stylist has taken me in many directions. Some of my stylists- and their work- have been great, and others were, well, misguided. I had a love affair with color- I’ve been red (I’ve been every red from natural to I Love Lucy to Crayola Red. Guess what wasn’t a good look?), blonde, red-blonde, dark brown, and light brown. I have sported a seemingly Whole Foods inspired repertoire: caramel, toffee, eggplant, cinnamon, coffee, latte, nutmeg, and cappuccino. I’ve had high-lights, low-lights and mid-lights; applied with both foils and caps. I’ve had both long and short hair. I have sported bangs (still growing those out. Last bang trim was January 2010). I am a perm virgin, only because my mom refused to let me get one in the early 1990s. (I technically wanted to get bangs and perm them, like my BFF at the time, Carolyn, but as my mom was and still is firmly Team No Bangs, I was denied both.) In college, I firmly believed I was a Blonde and no amount of my father asking me why I dyed the roots to my blonde hair black could convince me otherwise. (He quit asking when he realized that it cost him $150 a pop for me to fix it.)
In the past year and half, my world has been changed. (I originally had the word ‘hair’ in parenthesis, but then I realized that if my hair is good, so is my world. So, literally, my world, and not just my hair world changed.) The
Heavens spoke to me, and God is Good! Now, Heaven used the forums of Groupon and my friend Emily (who is my stylist), but they say Jesus takes all forms, and, as Good Catholics, it is our job to listen. Groupon delivered the Keratin Commandment. Keratin is a long, time consuming treatment that smoothes hair, giving it the appearance of flat ironing. It is labor intensive to perform- it takes about three hours, but as the results last at least six months, it so worth it. Keratin treatments are VERY expensive for the average mortal. (I have long, fine hair. A lot of long, fine hair. So, for me, a Keratin Treatment would run about $400. I KNOW!) Thanks to the Angels at Groupon, I only pay $100 for my treatments! Thank you Baby Jesus! My friend Emily has not only provided me with great TRIMS (everyone else who “trimmed” my hair WHACKED off at least two inches), she told me about Dry Shampoo. She explained that washing my hair everyday was detrimental because it was drying it out. She said to use dry shampoo on the days when I didn’t wash my hair so it wouldn’t look filthy and I wouldn’t look homeless. She was SO RIGHT! (At this point I could wax poetic about my hair- the length, the softness, the incredible beauty of it… but I feel I would lose interest at this point.)
Conversely, the WORST haircut of my life almost broke me (to say nothing of the carnage suffered from those around me). I have had some doozies before, believe me. I have had the kind of haircut that makes one do crazy things, things that a rational, upstanding, educated woman such as myself should never, ever consider doing. (One haircut found me Googling ‘how to make hair grow faster’ and making subsequent purchases of “hair growth shampoo and ultra conditioner”. I informed Thomas that there would be some unusual charges on the AMEX that month, and that I did not want to discuss them nor did I expect to be questioned about them. He saw the look in my eyes (bat shit crazy) and never discussed any of it.) The Worst Haircut In The History Of The World happened to me. I was eight and a half months pregnant at the time, so I was already in a ‘state’. I was so emotional that I was crying for no reason, it was the beginning of August in the south, so it was slightly cooler in Hell than in my backyard, and I was reduced to only wearing a gross pair of Birkenstocks from college because my feet were so swollen I had no other options. I was, to sum it up, A Hot Mess.
Because I knew a cute haircut and color would make everything in my world better, I booked both at my favorite salon.
I sat down in the chair, giddy with anticipation. I really liked my stylist, N. (I found her three years ago, after a disastrous experience. New to the area, I booked an appointment at the salon with ‘whoever’. ‘Whoever’ turned out to be a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad stylist. So bad in fact I actually went back and had someone please-sweet-Jesus-fix-it. ‘N’ was the lucky fixer of the hatchet job that was supposed to be my haircut.) “Just a trim, I am trying to keep all the pregnancy length. There has to be some up side to this whole Pregnant Thing!”, I told her.who However, despite her good work in the past, this time, N took “trim” to mean cut off three inches of hair. My hair was SHORTER after 37 weeks of pregnancy that it had been BEFORE I got pregnant. Also? I had what can only be termed a mullet. A longer mullet than most, but a mullet none-the-less. The layers in the front (I know! LAYERS!)were too short to stay behind my shoulders and the longer layers were in the back. I wish I could tell you that I had a wonderful color job, and that it balanced out the Billy Ray haircut, but I can’t. “Just a little bit darker, my husband really likes it that way” was interpreted as “your husband must be a total freak show because he wants you to look like a Goth chick”. There I was- Birkenstocked, clad in a pregnancy tent (dress), with swollen ankles and a GOTH MULLET. At the time, it felt like it could not get any worse than that.
I spent the next three weeks alternating between terrorist anger, trying to plan a plot of revenge against everyone involved in the train wreck-formerly-known-as-my-hair, and having hysterical, sobbing meltdowns. (At the OBGYN’s office, they actually noticed an increase in my blood pressure and asked me about it.) My poor husband didn’t know what to do, or say. I think he contemplated committing me for both anger issues and the ongoing meltdown…
The good news is, Hair Does Grow Out! The bad news is that if you are me, It Takes Forever. And the worse news is that if you are my husband, you have to hear about it again and again and again. (AND you have to be nice about it!) I now have Emily, who is a gift from the Hair Angels as far as I am concerned. I wish an Emily for you all, because it IS life changing!