I went to the hairdressers today. First time in three years. It was time for my daughter’s bi-monthly trim, so we made a girlie mother-daughter date of it. When the hairdresser heard how much I wanted cut off, she sounded surprised. Kept asking if I was sure. Yes, yes I was. My hair wasn’t long because I liked it like that. I’ve always liked having pixie hair. It was long because I can’t bear going to the hairdressers.
It’s not the chit chat that bothers me. Not so much. Or the music. Not in my local hairdressers. Which is usually full of old dears getting their wash and set. So you know it’s not fashionably expensive. I knew it would be quiet on a Friday afternoon, in fact we were the only ones there. And the music is one of those soft Christian Rock stations. So no loud techno beats. And the Polish hairdresser doesn’t talk as much as her Irish colleagues. Just asks me if I’m really really sure I want my hair that short. And to keep still.
And, really, I realised today, that’s the actual issue. The keeping still. Sit up straight, she says. I thought I was. Face forward. Again, I thought I was but apparently my head is turned to the right. She keeps having to adjust it. And then my neck aches. My back aches. And I desperately want to fidget, to move, to jiggle my feet.
The worst is the blow-dry. It always comes just as I think the ordeal is over. And seems to go on for ages. And the hot air on my face makes me want to pass out. I never use the blow drier at home. I don’t need to. My hair dries really quickly. I feel like running away, but I don’t.
As a child, a local lady used to come round to our house to cut our hair. Then, when we moved, a neighbour opened a salon in her garage. Just her and one apprentice, and two seats. I used to play with her daughter. Well, kind of. And I loved the fact that our houses were identical, so I knew the door at the back led to her kitchen, and that behind the far wall was her toilet. I used to distract myself from it all by imagining the similarities and differences between our two houses.
When I got older, I discovered Turkish hairdressers. Who, according to the tradition there, are mostly male. And who work incredibly fast, and charge very little. They really are masters of their craft, and take it very very seriously. And so began a tradition of getting an annual haircut while on holidays in Turkey, and letting my hair grow out in between.
But, we haven’t been to Turkey for a few years. Given the volatile situation there at the minute, it’s uncertainly when we will be there again. And so, my hair having gotten to that too-long, straggly, unmanageable stage, I decided to take the plunge. And I survived. My new repertoire of relaxation techniques payed off.
End result? I’ll let you be the judge of that!
[image of me, a white, female-presenting person, wearing a pink top, wearing glasses, with long, greasy, light brown hair, parted on the left. ]
[image of the same person as above, in the same top, in the same seat, but with much shorter hair. It’s a variation of a ‘pixie cut’ but with a fringe brushed over to the left. ]