The last time I got my hair cut, my hairdresser cheerfully suggested that I come back in 6 weeks for another trim. When I visibly balked at this advice and shrunk away from her warm smile like a wounded puppy, she– a bit flustered–downgraded the recommendation to 3 months and handed my debit card back to me without another word. That was in November 2007.
Sure enough, 3 months passed and I received a stylish postcard in the mail. “We want to thank you for choosing us!”, it read. “We look forward to serving you again soon!”. The flip side of the card reminded me what my stylist’s name was and kindly requested me to phone in and book a trim.
A part of me wanted to book another appointment just then, because in all honesty, I had loved the haircut and the stylist, too! My hair was growing fast and yes, it could use a little reshaping. However, the other (cheap thrifty) side of me refused to book a new appointment when 3 months had passed. You see, when I had short hair, I had cut it myself for years and years (for free!), so paying for a haircut in the first place ruffled my frugal feathers and made me determined to stretch my haircutting dollar as far as it could possibly stretch. It was the principle of the thing.
So I conveniently ‘forgot’ about the postcard (aka, I recycled it) and let another few months pass.
Meanwhile, my hair kept growing and growing (and growing!) Friends would comment about how long my hair was getting, and each time it would be a guilty reminder about the Follow-Up Trim I Never Booked. ‘It doesn’t matter’, I convinced myself. ‘I want to grow my hair very long’.
And very long it was. It started getting tangled in the straps of my bag every day (very annoying), and it even started getting caught on the hooks on the back of my bra (very painful)! Enough was enough– when your own bra begins pulling your hair with the force of a screaming child on the playground, it is time to put your foot down. So I lamely phoned the hair salon and asked to be booked in with my stylist of yore. That was at the end of March 2009.
I walked into my appointment, guilty as sin. Fortunately, my stylist was very warm and understanding (again!), and she didn’t make me feel like a total loser cheapskate for waiting 16 whole months to come in for a ‘trim’. (Ah, the joys of customer service!) We were able to take about 7 inches off right away, before she even washed my hair. She literally hacked it off, swept up the pile (which resembled a small dog), threw it out, and got started from there. (Note: I was going to take a ‘before’, a ‘during’, and an ‘after’ photo, but I was so embarrassed at being such a delinquent hair-trimmer that I silently left my camera at home.)
Anyway, my appointment was conveniently timed for before work, which meant that there would be at least one day in the history of my employment where I could walk into work with decent hair. Fantastic. My stylist dabbed a bit of coloured lipgloss onto my lips before I left, underlined the 3 months recommendation on my follow-up card (twice!), and cheerfully sent my beautiful new self on my way. I had went in with my hair falling halfway down my back, and I walked out with my hair bouncing gleefully, right above my shoulders.
It is only a 2 block walk from the salon back to my work. I made the commute looking like I was carefully balancing a book on my head– gliding forward as smoothly as possible, lest one hair from my newly perfected head of hair get disturbed. I caught a glimpse of myself in a window as I passed, and (aside from my awkward and rigid posture), I thought I looked quite good. I imagined how my coworkers would react, when I nonchalantly breezed through the front door looking like a trillion bucks. Yes, it was true– I was sort of expecting compliments.
What I wasn’t expecting was the passionate flood of comments from my coworkers, which ranged from ‘Oh. My. God– I don’t even recognize you!’ to ‘Can I see some ID please?’ After inducing cardiac shock in all of my colleagues, one by one as I climbed the stairs to my office, it got me to thinking… perhaps I should put a little more effort into my appearance every day. You know, so I don’t kill my coworkers with the mere use of a round brush.
So I bought a blowdryer. I haven’t personally blowdried my hair since I was in Grade 9 and got the Rachel Cut, which required some serious flippage and zig-zag parting. The first morning I tried to use this new blow dryer, I blew the fuse in the bathroom (because I had stupidly plugged the thing into the Razor Only outlet). And then I had a few mornings of blow drying my hair in the living room, because we didn’t have another outlet to use in the bathroom or an extension cord that would allow me to still style my hair in the bathroom. But now we have an extension cord and my blowdryer, so I am making a little bit of an effort to let something besides gravity and sea breeze style my hair. (I am not very good at this, to put it delicately. But I am working on it and trying to recapture my youthful earnesty of yore– you know, the part of me that actually looked forward to pomade and such. I’ll let you know how that goes…)