I’m linking up with the always lovely, Always Josefa for her Conversations Over Coffee linky. At first I thought I didn’t have anything to contribute to this linkup because I’ve never really had a steady hair dresser and I tend to prefer to NOT talk while having my hair done. I just want peace, and to enjoy someone massaging my scalp and making me look pretty.
But I was reminded of a conversation I had with a hairdresser almost a year ago. There was a new salon that opened up around the corner from our place, and it was advertising a cut and a half head of foils for just $99. You know that saying, if it’s too good to be true, it’s probably not? This was very much that.
I had decided I was going to go short. I don’t mean shoulder-length short, I mean short-short. I even had a pic of Mandy Moore with her short hair. Hip, trendy, young, short. Like, this short:
I’ve had quite a few hair styles over the years, and I feel like short is a look I can pull off.
But this hairdresser tried to talk me out of it. I was adamant though, and told her that was what I wanted. So she set about colouring my hair. While it was being rinsed off, they were discussing which toner to use. “Does it need toner?” I asked. “My other hairdresser doesn’t usually use it” (I was forewarned about added expenses). “Well you can sit under the heater for 2 hours or you can have toner, which do you prefer?” “Toner is fine,” I mumbled.
Then she started cutting. And cutting. And cutting. And it was getting shorter, but certainly not trendier. While she was cutting she asked if I had kids. “I do, just one, a boy, he’s 3 and a half.” If I could go back in time and tell myself to shut up, I would. “Oh, just one? Must be time for another one then. You can’t have just one, that is selfish.” Ummm, what? “Kids need siblings to play with and grow up with, you don’t want him to have the burden of looking after his elderly parents on his own.” I was floored at this stage. But it was only going to get worse.
“I had a client the other week who had 8 children. 4 from her first marriage, 4 from her second. You would never see that in Iran. Iranian women taking parenting much more serious than Australian women.”
If she wasn’t holding my hair in one hand and scissors in the other, I’d have told her to fuck right off at this point. Clearly everything I was doing as a mother was wrong. It took all my restraint to tell her she could go back to Iran if things were so much better there, or that she could fit the IVF bill for us to have another child. As it was (remember, hair and scissors!) I kept my mouth shut.
Even when she finished the shitty job she did, I smiled and pretended I loved it because I couldn’t stand to be in that salon one second longer.
At the check out, she said, “That will be $174.” On the verge of tears, “Oh, but the sign says $99?” “$30 for toner, $30 for blowdry and $15 because your hair was medium length.” It’s times like these I wish that when I got angry, I could rip into people, rather than sob into them. I paid it and walked out, vowing never to return. Unfortunately for the sake of this blog post, there is no photographic proof of the terrible job she did. I walked out looking like I’d aged at least 10 if not 20 years. It was teased and sprayed all the way to the 1980s and back again.
A few days later it was our wedding anniversary. I couldn’t believe I’d chopped off my hair so close to an important date. I think I managed to salvage the look a little bit.
But it has taken me almost a year, and 4 trips to Sally at Stefan (who has since left me!) to get it to where I am finally happy with it again.
Needless to say, I have never returned to that salon and never will! And now that Sally has moved and left me, I’m hoping a friend of mine will be able to pick up where Sal left off. Because I am getting to the dire-straights stage in needing it coloured again. But I think next time I visit a salon, I’ll be keeping my mouth shut and just enjoying the experience.
Do you have a conversation with your hairdresser to share?