This is a frivolous post in these hard economic times, but who doesn’t need some frivolity now and then? So, my hair. Since I like to keep my hair fairly short and in some sort of a coif, salons and stylists are on my mind every six weeks. I have really thick hair that without the proper stylist and haircut can wind up looking like a) a wig or b) the hair twin of Javier Bardem in “No Country For Old Men” albeit his female, sane, Caucasian hair twin. For the past 20 years I’ve looked high and low for the salon and stylist that is somehow going to transform my locks into flowing tresses. I’ve only had two long-term stylists in 20 years. One was Juanita in Wilmington who I went to religiously for three years. Juanita told it like it was and once made me promise to never, ever part my hair in the middle ever again. And I never have. She also had a perpetually itchy toe that she underwent acupuncture to cure. It didn’t help. Juanita was also a good hair stylist because she kept up her end of the bargain of entertaining her client with good stories. The other person I saw for an extended amount of time was Elaine in Raleigh. I went to her for six years. She did an awesome job and introduced me to Bumble & Bumble products which I love and scrimp and save up for months to buy. Elaine was also the stylist who let me in on the secret to celebrity hair – products, products, products. She said that when you see celeb hair in a magazine, it has so much product in it that it’s mind-boggling. I last saw Elaine for a farewell haircut in 2007 and my hair as been in precarious hands ever since.
One huge problem is that I’m “only” willing to pay a certain amount to get my hair cut. Right now, that amount is in the pretty reasonable $40 - $50 range (including the tip). If my mother is reading this, her jaw just dropped because yes, that IS a lot of money. But in my experiences, I consistently get bad cuts at the “cheapie” places and this amount seems to be the threshold of where you get into competent stylists.
Where in the hell am I going with this? Here: I got my haircut the other day at a yet another salon. Hi, I’m Lisa, it’s been two months since my last salon. This was a pretty nice upscale salon in West Hartford that uses deliciously overpriced Aveda products. So, I look at their prices online and am surprised to see that a haircut is $33! Crazy, right? I book an appointment, go and get my haircut. Since I get a shorter cut (ear-length) the stylists I go to usually blow-dry it and cut more after it’s dry. I go to pay and am presented with a receipt for a $63 haircut. You seriously could’ve knocked me over with a feather. I almost started to cry right then and there. According to the manager, who was nice when I walked in and snippy when I questioned the online prices, $33 is the price of a haircut. It’s an EXTRA $30 for a blow dry. Has the salon world lost its mind? The only thing I could sputter out was that it wasn’t clear on their web site and I’ve never been to a salon where the charge for blow drying was almost as much as a cut. The next morning after I woke up and washed my hair, I decided I didn’t even like the haircut. Every since then I’ve been clawing my eyes out when I look at my hair. I’m typing this with no eyeballs because I just went to the bathroom and looked at my hair. Now I have no eyeballs AND Javier Bardem hair AND I’m poor.
One solution to this issue would be for me to learn to cut my own hair. But I don’t think that’s possible. So I’ll continue to be at the mercy of hair stylists and salons until I decide to just go with a buzz cut and a bow.