I don’t get my hair cut often. I wear it long and keep my bangs long and shaggy. This serves three purposes- The first is that I am able to trim them myself because precision is not important. The second is that as long as my bangs are long, I don’t have to worry about plucking or shaping my brows. And lastly, haircuts can be expensive, especially if you fall into that salon trap of making your next appointment before you leave the salon. The last time I got a haircut was about nine months ago. I walked into the local Empire Beauty School and got lucky. There was a good stylist available, a girl who was set to graduate in a couple of months. She was sweet, kind, and listened to what I wanted. It did take her about two hours to cut my hair, but when she was finished I had one of the best cuts I have ever had. She even listened when I told her to leave my bangs long, and that they shrink when they dry. By the time I left the salon, I felt like we were old friends. We even hugged good-bye.
Having had such a good experience before, I went back to the Beauty School yesterday. I have been starting to realize that I dread combing out my hair and blowing it dry after my shower, which is a sign that it is time to have it cut. My experience was the total opposite of my first visit there. As soon as I saw the girl who had been assigned to me, I knew I was in trouble. Maybe it was because she was wearing a wig. Uh-oh, what was wrong with her hair? What had she done to it? I should have cut and run then, but I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. She took me straight to the shampoo chair and not until my hair was washed did she ask me what I wanted her to do with it. Her supervisor listened as I told her that I wanted her to trim about two inches off the ends but to leave my bangs long, trimming them just enough to even them up. I even explained to her that they shrink when they dry, and get shorter during summer days as they react to humidity in the air. During the haircut I almost had the feeling that I was on a candid camera show. The stylist was the most bumbling awkward girl I have ever been around. At one point she left me with a black towel plopped on my head while she went searching for “product” to put in my hair. When I told her that I don’t really put “product” in my hair, she told me that this is what she “usually” does. (By this time I was pretty sure this was the first haircut she had ever performed on a head that wasn’t made of styrofoam, so I don’t know what “usually” might mean.) So she proced to put some kind of oil and some “Root Volumizer” in my hair. Then she cut….. and cut…. and cut. Finally she was ready to cut my bangs. Her supervisor had told her to save them for last and to cut them dry. I told her again that I wanted them barely trimmed. Then she cut. And cut some more. I said “You’re really making me nervous.” She said “I’m just evening them up.” Finally, as pannic set in, I made her stop. My bangs were somewhere in the middle of my forehead. As she had “evened them up” she had managed to not only leave them crooked, but to take off about an inch and a half of hair. Two different supervisors came and expressed their sympathy. In the end, I left with a terrible haircut and a fear of going out in public for the next two years or so, or however long it takes them to grow out. The place was kind enough to not ask me to pay for the terrible cut, but that is little compensation.
While I really hate how I look, I am working hard to put this into perspective. Every time I look in the mirror and hate what I see, I remind myself that chemotherapy has robbed Anne of her hair and it really is unimportant. But still I wonder- does this mean that i have to pluck my eyebrows now?!