We interrupt the recap of last weekends event for a very important rant.
Two universal truths govern my lifetime haircut experience: 1.) I cannot get a decent haircut to save my life; and 2.)The more I spend on one, the worse it will be. We have a couple of extra bucks lying around this month, so I decided to splurge. I took myself down the block to the little salon where I had my nails done this past holiday season. The nails were fabulous, so I figured the place could be trusted with a BIG job. I asked for a cut AND color. WHAT WAS I THINKING???
The Cut: Before I ever hit the door of this place, I had decided to be very assertive about what I wanted done to my hair. I tell the stylist to take a good look at the way I wear my hair, and REMEMBER it, because I want it to look exactly like this, only shorter, when he is done. My hair is (WAS) nearly shoulder length in the front, longer in the back, parted on the left side, with bangs sweeping across my forehead and blending into the hair on the right. (I wish I had a "before" picture ) I tell him, "DO NOT layer the back my hair is already too thin and doesnt need thinning. DO NOT cut it longer in the front, a la Catherine Zeta Jones in "Chicago." The last person who cut my hair did this, it might be very stylish, but it doesnt work with my hair. Just cut it slightly shorter in the front, all one length in the back, and angle the front to blend in with the back."
What is there in what I said that translates to, "My deepest desire is to look like Dorothy Hammill"? Thats right I have a "wedge." Now, back in the seventies, when wedges were in style, I thought they were cute. I never got one, though, for two reasons: I look terrible in short hair, and my hair is not thick enough to carry it off. Why didnt I stop him? Well, he was doing all right in the front. Then he started in on the back... He hacked off this huge piece. I stared wide-eyed as it hit the floor. What was I going to do? Tell him to put it back?
He spent a minimum of half an hour blow-drying it, determined to force my hair into this hideously outdated style that doesnt work with my hair, my face, OR my life-style. When he was done, I looked like Bozo from the front and Peter Pan from the back. I tried to get him to fix the Bozo thing by feathering the front to blend in with the back. Hed cut some off, comb it out, and it would look exactly the same. It was bizarre. I finally told him to leave it alone, because if we cut anymore off, Id be bald.
The Color: I have not had my hair professionally colored since 1989. I had a frost job done in a salon exactly once. It cost me sixty dollars, and ended up looking exactly the same as it did when I colored it myself with a $10 box of Clairol "Frost n Tip." That put me off professional color jobs for a REALLY long time. Until yesterday. I decided to treat myself with a weave. Never had one. Thought it would be fun.
Mr. Stylist shows me this big card with curled up fake-hair color swatches on it. I had just been saying that I wanted golden blonde highlights, NOT ash-blonde. To me, ash-blonde looks gray...I have very little gray hair, and I want it to stay that way. He points to the card: "This is your natural color (a dark mousy brown.) Now this is what it will lighten to---(points to a color that looks like a dye job on a ninety-year-old Jewish matron in the Bronx. It is ash blonde.) No, I tell him, THIS is what I wantand I point to goldy, coppery, yellowy colors on the card. After picking out the colors, we spend some time trying to determine HOW it should be applied. We decide on big streaks, NOT an overall blonde look, gold highlights.
He goes off into his laboratory to mix it up. Comes back with a bowl of goop. If the color of the stuff in the bowl is an indication of the final result, we are right on.
I didnt get a chance to absorb the result at the salon, since he started butchering my hair immediately after rinsing out the goop. When I finally called a halt to him hacking on my hair, I TOLD him the color was fine, but the cut sucked. (Yes, I did use the word "sucked." He wasnt very happy.) But when I got home and looked in the mirror, a slightly jowly Dorothy Hammill with bifocals was looking back at me and there were no blonde streaks in her hair. In fact, you really couldnt tell her hair had been colored at all.
When he ran my card, he mistakenly punched in 90 cents, insteadof $90. How very appropriate it was WORTH 90 cents. I didnt tip him. He wasnt too happy about that, either. And I am saddled with this horrendous haircut for the summer. Im rethinking my loathing of the Sinead OConnor look .