Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hair -- or lack there of

For the last 11 years I've gone to the same beautician. She gave a fabulous hair cut and she listened when I explained my philosophy on permanents. It took her a good three years to totally understand that I really meant it when I said that my hair was never to move during the day. Wind through my hair gives me the willies. I want hair that's been stuck on with super glue. I use Adorn hairspray, popular in the 1950's, to stick my hair in place -- and the environment be damned. Because my hair is very, very, super-fine, I want a perm that gives other women frizzies -- me, it gives body.

In the last two years my beautician has taken up with a very handsome man while still married. She sent her oldest off to college and sent the husband and son off to live in an apartment -- and she proceeded to tell me the excruciating facts of her life in long detailed discussions every time she did my hair. The mother and father no longer spoke to her. The husband filed for divorce and left her with the house, car, and business -- plus all the bill. Because her life was now wrapped up in the new bloke, she began to see her clients at very erratic times. I found the times inconvenient, the conversations uncomfortable, and the fact that frequently it took days to get an appointment frustrating.

Meanwhile the short hair continued to grow, the permanent from last June faded, and the hair began to move about my hair. So today I Googled the salons in my zip code, as well as the more up-scale zip code just to the west of me. I called seven salons and only one answered my call -- all the rest had answering machines and complicated lists of names of people I could leave a message for. The one salon only worked on hair extensions. When I asked about a cut and perm, they wanted to know if they would be working on real hair or synthetic.

So I called Fantastic Sams. Nothing upscale about that. $41 for a cut and perm. Walk right in, no problems. I drove around the block and just up the street and walked right in. Because I had dyed hair the cost was five bucks more. Because I bought a moisturizing setting lotion the total bill came to $51.78. I've been paying $135 for a perm and hair cut -- plus a pedicure. This time I didn't get the pedicure, but I also didn't have to listen to someone tell me about their love life. Instead of three hours, I was back home in ninety-five minutes.

The cut is not quite the same quality as my old beautician -- but she's had eleven years to get it perfected. The perm is lovely -- just what I wanted. The new beautician listened to me, did not argue about what I wanted, and stopped to ask questions as she went, especially as we kept getting the hair shorter and shorter. She is not tell me her life story. She did not ask me. We did not need to chat, gossip, or exchange pleasantries. I tipped her big. She gave me her card and told me to come back.

I most certainly will.

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