Hair We Go Again

I need a haircut. Before I get a haircut, though, I need a hairdresser. This is traumatic. Hold me.

The thing is, I already have a hairdresser – or, rather, I had one. She is a friend of the family, and every six weeks she would come to my parents’ house and cut the family hair. (Not Rubin’s, obviously. That would cost more.) As of this month, though, Carol is hanging up her scissors/ shutting up shop/ no longer available to slap the back of my hand and tell me to NEVER CUT MY OWN FRINGE AGAIN.

So, I need to find a new hairdresser. This will be tricky because I’m not very good at having my hair cut. I seem to lack the “explaining-what-you-want-and-making-the-hairdresser-do-it” gene, and this makes every haircut a trial. And, I mean, it’s not even like I ask them to do anything difficult, either. I’ve had pretty much the same haircut since…. well, since always, really… and while I sometimes entertain brief flirtation with fringes/sideways fringes/long fringes, I’ve yet to ask for anything really, you know, out there.

(I’m not mentioning The Perm. Please don’t make me talk about The Perm.)

And OK, sometimes I turn up at the hairdressers with a picture clutched in my sweaty palms, which may or may not be off Sienna Miller (WHY? Why did I do that?) but I could show them a picture of Telly Savalas for all the difference it makes, because they always give me exactly the same haircut anyway. Always. And, lacking the giving-hairdressers-instructions gene as I am, there’s never a damn thing I can do about it. The conversation always goes like this:

Amber: I’d like it to look like this, please. *Shows photo of Sienna Miller*
Hairdresser: No, you can’t have it like that.
Amber: OK, just the usual, then.

Note the complete lack of normal human interaction in the above conversation. This is because I am also lacking the “making smalltalk” gene, so while all around us, stylists and their clients laugh happily together, totally Best Friends Forever, me and my stylist exist in a bubble of uncomfortable silence, broken only by awkward attempts at conversation:

Stylist: So, got any holidays booked this year?
Amber: YES! Yes, I am just back from Florida! Florida!
Stylist: Oh.
Amber: “…”

GOD, I hate having my hair cut. I really need to bite the bullet and find someone to do it, though, especially given that my idiot commenter, Blondie, has totally seen right through me, and deduced the truth: that all of my ranting about the redhead hatrz is but a flimsy smokescreen through which I try to hide the fact that I am actually deeply ashamed of my ugly red hair, and hey, maybe I should do as she suggests, and dye it? Maybe I should dye it blonde, and ask the stylist to make me look like Sienna Miller? Because that would totally rawk, to be sure!

OK, maybe not.

*  *  *

In other news, the third (and hopefully final) migraine of the season rocked up last night, thus proving something I have suspected for a long time now: that I have a brain tumour and am going to die. Oh, it’s a fun life, being a hypochondriac, and by “it’s a fun life” I mean “It’s absolutely no fun at all, and I am totally going to buy those boots I want now, because what’s the point in denying myself when I might die tomorrow?”  Yeah.

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  • Uhm, why not just have Carol write down on a card what she does when she cuts your hair and then you can take it to the new hairdresser to work through?

    I can relate, I have short, short hair and finding someone who cuts short, short hair and doesn't end up making me look like a mutant after the cut, is difficult. I finally found one man in San Francisco. Nearly an hour drive away but I don't care. My hair was perfect!

    Sorry to hear about your migraine. I'm sure it isn't a brain tumor. But What! If! it were like a brain hemorrhage or something (yeah, that was me feeding into your hypochondria as I suffer from the affliction as well compounded with being completely terrified of germs and add to that an overactive imagination. Yeah, it ain't pretty if I get something as small as a paper cut of my finger.)

    September 19, 2007
  • It's a pain, but if you have to try a bunch before you find a good one, try a bunch! I trust my hairdresser to do whatever she thinks will look good because she always listens to me.

    Plus, the first time I went to her I brough SIX pictures of hair for all different angles. I. Want. This.

    She listened!

    September 19, 2007
  • I drive 50 miles one way for my hair appointments. Because I refuse to try and find another one. Because of all the above reasons.

    My conversation is always "I want something different." And then she asks "like what?" And I never have an answer. And then she cuts it. And it usually looks good.

    And this, my friends, is why I drive 100 miles round trip every 8 weeks.

    September 19, 2007
  • Mel


    What IS it with the hairdressers and asking about holidays? Is it part of their certification? Or is there something about being a hairdresser that makes you really interested in other people's holidays?

    I am totally like you, though — the conversation with my hairdresser last about two minutes and I spend the rest of the time feeling completely and utterly socially inept. A few years ago, though, I had this hairdresser who was some kind of Darren Brown, though, because she had me spilling all of my deepest darkest secrets within about two minutes and we would chatter like crazy through all of my appointments. She wasn't even that great at cutting hair — I just kept going back for the conversation.

    September 19, 2007
  • Haley


    It's not your fault that you can't get hairdressers to do what you want, really, you must not have found many good ones. I go to beauty school now and one of the first things they went over is that when a client brings you a photo and its something completely unrealistic for their hair/face/whatever reason, you have to ask them questions and find out what it is that they like about the hair in the photo, because it usually just turns out to be the fringe or the texture, or something else like that which can be reproduced on a more suitable style.

    They're also making a big fuss about our personal skills with clients. It turns out, that's a hairdresser's most important skill, yes, even more important than dressing hair.

    And, we're not allowed to say no. Ever.

    There's another student in my class who has red roots poking out from her peroxide blonde hair and everytime I look at her, I think, "Are you f*ing crazy? Do you know how much time and money I spend turning my hair red and you do the opposite to look like 90% of the school?"

    September 20, 2007
  • You have gorgeous hair and if I were you I would not let any ol' hairdresser touch it or even cut it, mind you. Hair is something that is visible all the time (unless hidden underneath some hideous hat) and it should be worn proudly as well as compliment the person whose head it is growing on.
    I too lack the small talk gene but I am really strict when talking to my hairdresser, which gives me the results I want. Not everything works for everyone's hair but a good hairdresser will tell you what works for you and what does not. I wish you well in your quest to find "the one".

    September 20, 2007
  • Gemma


    The last time I had my hair cut I thought I'd try a fringe. Now this is a little risky for me since I have naturally curly hair but since I straighten it all the time I decided I'd go for it. The fear of the hairdresser saying no though almost had me reaching for the scissors to do it myself. That way they look at you as if you're some poor delusional person who actually thinks they look like Daisy Lowe (for that was the look I was going for) makes me want to stay home and cut my hair with kitchen scissors forever. And thats before the awkward small-talk starts. Basically the hairdressers makes me feel like the geekiest kid in class all over again. It shouldn't be that stressful should it?

    September 20, 2007
  • I asked ahirdresser after hairdresser to cut my hair into a short bob with a fringe, and was told no for years. Eventually I saw a girl in the pub with the hair I wanted, marched up and asked for her hairdresser's name and number. Two weeks later I had my blunt, be-fringed bob and it looked GOOD!

    My hairdresser now is the first hairdresser I have ever been able to make smalltalk with because we have lots in common. AND she's the first hairdresser who has actually LISTENED to me. The moral? Hairdressers are like jeans. It takes a while to get the perfect fit, but boy, it's worth buying a couple of pairs at once when your find 'em (or some other more suitable similie…)

    September 20, 2007
  • Fashiongeek


    I totally feel you on this, I'm just like you with the small-talk gene. I do try, though, because I always do outrageous things to my hair and I frequently need a hairdresser to correct it (why, oh why did I have to bleach my dark brown hair myself four times to make it actually blonde instead of orange, I will get scalp-cancer, I'm sure I will!).

    Ahem. Anyway, now that my hairdresser-friend has moved away, I've started to grow out my hair just to avoid having to go there so much. I couldn't resist the temptation of DIY highlights, though. It took me two tries, but it turned out OK eventually.

    September 20, 2007
  • I once turned up with a photo of Gwyneth Paltrow with her short "Sliding Doors" haircut, and the hairdresser said "You know you won't actually look like Gwyneth Paltrow?" No, really? I could have sworn this was a plastic surgeon I'd come to see…

    Great blog, though! I've been reading through having come across you via something like "tooth veneers uk" (to save checking on the referrer logs – my best results so far are: "what time does the loch ness monster surface? and who feeds it?" and "how to cremate a cat").

    My main problem with the veneering (to fix a dodgily discoloured front tooth) is getting my dentist to agree to do it. I think he doesn't want to see me for a while – I have a tendency to bite him. And not in an affectionate kind of way, more of a "Dear God, you're poking around in my mouth with electric drills! Stop it! I'm terrified!" way…

    September 26, 2007