The Bad Hair Years
I have been having a string of bad hair years. Or, to look at it another way, a bad hair decade. In defense of my last few hair dressers I admit I have hair that borders on difficult to impossible to train…like a cobra. Which is weird, because hair dressers usually tell me my hair has “such nice waves” and is “so easy to style” as they whip their shiny, thick, straight manes back and forth over their shoulders. Yeah, it’s easy for them to style. If I could place my head on a turn table and whirl it around under the influence of a blow dryer and styling products that would reach every angle and coat every strand, I might actually be able to make it look like….something. But I can’t. And it doesn’t.
Prior to the last two moves I made, I had a wonderful hairdresser named Rose who loved her job. Rose would sit me down and look at my hair, run her hands through it and play with it, and figure out what she was going to do based on my vague description of what I thought I wanted, which was really just don’t make it bubble up all over my head. Her station was kind of in its own little alcove, which is genius for a hair salon. Her attention was on me, not what was going on three stations down. She also understood I didn’t want a lot of product in my hair which I would have just gone home and washed out the way I did my wedding hair-do because hippy brides do not paste their hair down with half cans of aerosol hair spray. It’s bad for the ozone layer and wilts the flowers. I miss Rose. She was awesome!
But I moved away from Rose in 2005, and things have been challenging ever since. For seven years I lived in cow country and went to the Country Curl Salon. Tami was a decent stylist but she was very distracted. She was young and I admired her for having her own business, which she worked hard at. But since she was a cheer-leading advisor or something, (I’ve been a hippy since I was like thirteen so needless to say I wasn’t a cheerleader, it’s so conventional, and I have no idea what you call it), her salon was teen central. There were always teen-aged girls hanging around gossiping and rolling their eyes and checking themselves out in the mirrors. And she had a couple of young kids and all her relatives lived in town, and she belonged to the PTA and it was worse than Steel Magnolia’s around there. Generally speaking, when she cut my hair, she was not really focused on the task at hand, although once she nailed it, and thinking back I’m pretty sure it was a quiet day there–just the two of us. I was so thrilled to have a nice do for a change! I drove home looking in the mirror and practically ran off the road thru the barbed wire fence into the cow pastures, which would have sucked because my hair looked awesome and it would have been ruined if I got it all bloody and sticky with cow dung.
Now I live in another small rural town and I have another decent hairdresser who also tends to be distracted. I know, it’s a theme. She is the nicest girl but she often pays too much attention to the activity all around us and not enough to my weird hair. I want to ask her to cut my hair in the bathroom so she won’t be so engaged with everyone around while she cuts MY hair, but she would just think I was weird, and it’s a small town, and even though I don’t really know too many people here, there would be talk. So I get a decent haircut about 30% of the time, and it’s always the same cut that seems to work and I get pretty bored with it. She is awesome with color and high lights though, and that kept me happy for a while. Now, I’ve decided to go grey (I know what you’re thinking…What is she thinking?), and I’ll tell you. It’s the hippy thing again and I am trying to avoid unnecessary exposure to chemicals, and I can’t seem to give up doughnuts entirely so something had to go.
The last cut I got was a couple of months ago and it was bad. I was trying to grow it out and go for a nice bob instead of the layers I have been wearing lately. So I told her I wanted to try a bob since it had enough length and I showed her a picture. She cut the top long, the back short, and the sides medium. I think she forgot what she was going for as she moved around my head. She managed to style it pretty. I never could. It laid flat on top, bubbled on the sides, and she cut off all the wave and body in the back. The worst possible cut for my kicking down the cobblestones looking for fun kind of hair.
So I think I’m looking for a new hairdresser, which is always a weird feeling. I feel so guilty like I’m looking for a new boy friend or husband or something. I feel like I have to sneak around behind her back. Then I worry that I might run into her and she will check out my hair and know I’m a cheater-pants. So I haven’t done anything with my hair for months. And it looks like crap. But it is growing out, and the grey isn’t that bad or at least that is what my husband tells me, the one who has no fashion sense, so he’s probably wrong and I should know better than to listen to him about such things. Of course my sister, the gorgeous 50-something fashion diva, lives on the East Coast and isn’t around to correct me and tell me how bad I really look. And my one friend here is too nice to tell me that no, my hair isn’t nearly as pretty as her grey hair which is kind of platinum blonde looking even though she was a brunette like me. Some women have all the luck.
I mean it’s really not that big of a deal. It’s hair. It grows back. But it’s been a decade. A decade in which I have gained weight, found new places to wrinkle I never dreamed I would, and in which my boobs have decided to retire and move south. I guess they like my waist better than my collar bones now. So a good haircut would really be a boost for my self-esteem, something even an old hippy woman like myself needs sometimes. That and a cinnamon doughnut. Hmm, there was a salon I went to a couple of times that was next door to a cafe. I think I might need to give them a call. A good haircut and a good doughnut…seems like almost too much to ask for.