Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Haircut horror stories

I’ve been walking around with this picture of Kate Winslet in my back pocket. It’s a little wrinkled because her face has been pressed up against my left butt cheek all day.

I’m getting my hair cut tonight and when the stylist asks me how I want my hair to look, I’m going to whip out Kate’s picture and say, “Like this.”

The hairdresser will probably roll her eyes and stifle a laugh. And then she’ll explain that my hair is too thick, too dark, too dry and too frizzy to even attempt to emulate Kate’s soft, wispy, bouncy waves. Sigh.

I hate getting my hair cut. I really do. It’s not like I actually expect to leave the salon looking like a dark-haired Kate Winslet. I just want to leave looking better than when I arrived.

But it almost never works out that way. At best, I leave disappointed. At worst, I leave in tears. Well, not literally. I usually save the tears for when I get home. I’d be too embarrassed to cause a scene in public.

Plus, being surrounded by glamorous stylists makes me feel frumpy and unhip. Could they maybe just hide their stares of disapproval when I enter the salon with my chlorine-damaged hair up in a ponytail and my face free of make-up? I'm not *that* hideous.

Anyway, I’ve spent the last six months growing out one of the worst haircuts I’ve ever had. I was trying a new stylist so I told her exactly what I wanted: 1) No shorter than shoulder length, 2) If you’re going to give me layers, make sure they’re long enough so I can put my hair up in a ponytail.

She then proceeded to give me the exact opposite haircut. So I’m going back to my old hairdresser and taking Kate Winslet with me. The thing is, this isn’t the first time I’ve cheated on Nathalie and crawled back begging forgiveness.

The first time I was unfaithful, it was with a woman on Main Street who didn’t speak English. She seduced me with her cheap prices but left me with a head of hair that looked like it had been cut by a lawnmower. When I went running back to Nathalie, I could tell she was a little annoyed but she did her best to fix my hair.

We were happy together for a couple of years until temptation struck again. This time, the girlfriend of a friend opened up a hair salon two blocks from my apartment and I felt obligated to help support her new business.

Daisy left me with bad, stripy highlights and a cut I would spend the next two years growing out. But I kept going back out of a sense of loyalty. Besides, I had to pass their little salon every time I left the apartment. They would smile and wave at me as I walked by. I couldn’t exactly stop going.

So I was relived when they moved the store to a different neighbourhood last month. It gave me a good excuse never to go back. But it left me conflicted about making an appointment with Nathalie.

My inner dialogue went something like this: “Are you allowed to cheat on your hairdresser twice? Is she going to make me feel guilty? Is she going to take her resentment out on my hair? I could tell her I moved to Toronto for a few years. But what if she starts asking me questions about what I was doing in Toronto? No, too risky. I’m a bad liar. She’ll see right through me. Maybe she won’t even remember me. That’s dumb. Of course she’ll remember me. I don’t want to sit in that chair and feel bad for an hour. Maybe I should go to someone new. No, too risky. Nathalie was good. I liked her haircuts. Why did I ever cheat on her? I’m such an idiot.”

So I called and made an appointment for tonight. I figure a little time in the penalty box will be worth it if she can make me look a little bit like a brunette Kate Winslet. My fingers are crossed.


Carrie said...

LOL I've soooo been there!

My former hairdresser was excellent, until she got married. Then her mind seemed to be elsewhere and she gave me the worst cuts ever. So I left.

Since then I've tried a couple few - both expensive and cheap. No one as good but my hair has found Aveda styling products so I can work with it :-)

I take a photo in too. It does feel stupid. But I can never explain myself well enough so I figure, what the heck.

Hope you had/have a great cut!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are unhappy with both the haridresser who just moved shop AND your present one. Time to move on Sarah. Don't go back to the person you cheated on-- you cheated on them (twice!) for a reason, girl. She no good.

So, what next? Stop people in the street when you like their hair, and ask where they go. Then go there. Sure would beat the same old, same old, don't you think?

And as a guy, I have to empathize. You girls have it so hard. It seems that so many hairdressers are intent on totally butchering their client's heads. Me, I go to a barber, so I have no real trouble, except for maybe deciding between the #2 and the #3. 15 minutes and 15 bucks later (includes a 20% tip!), I am out the door.

Actually, maybe there's a catty girl element here, where you-- a fit, fun person who doesn't need to substantiate herself with makeup or a haircut-- comes in and instantly offends the stylie-types in the salon. They then proceed to provide a haircut that could have been done better with a butter knife.

My answer: go find a gay male hairdresser?


Anonymous said...

Seems like you found a new hairdresser - Cam is offering to do it, Sarah!

Julia said...

I found a good stylist at a very reasonably priced salon. Then my larger salary (at that time) seduced me into thinking I should go to a more upscale place (the cuts were only $2 more than my usual spot). That lasted 2-3 haircuts and 1 highlight. The highlight is what sent me back to my other stylist, Danielle. She was very forgiving and even took it like a champ when I had a long-time friend (and fabulous stylist!!) do my hair for my wedding.

So you can always go back. Just consider if the cut made you happy. If it did, you can always tip a little extra for the next few cuts.

Sarah said...

So, I went. And, yes, she remembered me. But she was okay with it when I explained the whole story about how a friend opened a salon, etc. (see above).

No, I don't look like Kate Winslet. I still kind of look like the cartoon drawing (see above) but a little shorter :)

As for Nathalie, I went back to her because I actually did like her cuts. It was the other stylists that were a horror show.

Do men go through this crap? Wouldn't it be nice to go into a barber shop, pay $5 and get a trim? So not fair.


Kathryn said...

Sarah --- I feel your pain! My hairdressers have a habit of leaving the country. I have super curly hair with about a milion cowlicks at the front and I am rather picky, so it is a bit of a challenge to make me happy. Since I have lived in Vancouver (12 years now) I have been through at least 7 hairdressers. I finally find one that is fantastic, they woo me with their cutting and styling skills and then announce, calm as can be, that they are moving to Martinique or similar. BUGGER!!! Now I wait for my bi-annual trips home to Montreal and go to my mum's "girl", who is fab (and Mum picks up the tab). In any event, I am sure you look gorgeous!

britney shears said...

I agree with Kathryn and her experience with hairdressers and would like to add that as long as you realise they're hairdressers not cosmetic surgeons or miracle workers, everything should work out fine! ;)

Sarah said...


That's my point exactly. They can only do so much with what they're given to work with. It's not about me disliking any particular stylist, it's about me disliking my own hair. I wonder if there are hair cosmetic surgeons out there? (kidding) true. Sigh.


britney shears said...

say it again, sister! whenever i have these doubts, i just pick up the phone, call kevin and he makes everything better...well, sometimes anyways...we're in the middle of a crisis (thanks to a meddling ho and her cantankerous friend) and we may not make it through...i hope we'll still be married by the time i give birth to our child...

Anonymous said...

Hi, friend of Kathryn's here, I live on Saltspring. We have a FAB Aveda salon here w/two great stylists. You just have to move to a small hippy island to access it!

Anonymous said...

As Sarah can attest to, I am definitely no hairdresser. You should have guessed that by the barbershop comment.

And Sarah, it really is that easy for guys, unless you are Jean Charest. Quarter-hour, quarter of the price. Just like drycleaning.


Bill Doskoch said...

It's now Friday night. You were going to get your new glam 'do on Wednesday night.

Where's the picture of the chlorine-damaged-brunette-haired-but-otherwise-now-a-bit-closer-to-curly-tressed-Kate-Winslett-haired Sarah?

Or did the operation go horribly, horribly wrong? :^)

Bill D.
Who was once left with a cowlick that required literally a handful of jell to hold down

Gotta love $25 stylists!

Anonymous said...
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the bride, aka black mamba said...

great idea about the photo!

Sarah said...

Bill...The haircut did not go horribly wrong. However, it did not go that well either ;)

No photo, however, you can go back to the self-portrait. I still look the same, just with hair that's an inch shorter.

I hear you re: the cowlick thing. I have about 20 cowlicks myself.

Cam, you're a nice guy but I wouldn't trust you with a pair of sciccors (did I spell that right? It looks wrong. But I'm too hungover to check).


Sarah said...

Er...make that "scissors." Feeling much better now.


Anonymous said...

Good call Sarah, as I don't even trust myself with a pair of scissors! I am a product of the school that had four or five lefties per class but only two pairs of left-handed scissors. Suffice it to say, me with scissors near your head would almost certainly be injurious, and could even be fatal!