Sunday, January 04, 2009

BiG BaNG THeoRY



I am a serial hair salon client.

In the past year I have bounced from chair to chair--shamelessly donned a variety of smocks and robes--and allowed several strangers to shampoo me. Along the way, there have been a couple of men that Truly Satisfied me (sometimes multiple times)... they ran their fingers through my hair and warmed me up to the cut; manhandling my roots and split ends, putting me in the mood for some highlights and a trim.

But here's the thing: I just can't stand it when they talk.

I have been with the most masterful colorists and cutters who have been sheer genius-but I have left them when they spoiled the whole thing by "making conversation." Like Alan, who felt compelled to punctuate each tin foil wrap with an anecdote about: quitting heroin, quitting smoking, quitting drinking, or quitting compulsive sex with strangers. Or Sven, who used the hour it took to make my roots match my ends to share every detail of his childhood in Bulgaria.

I so very rarely take any time for myself (it's either work work work or kids kids kids) so when I do--is it too much to ask to be left alone and in peace with my friends Angie and Brad?

So I tip hugely, and then dump them: running from salon to salon looking for the silent hairdresser who will just do my hair and leave me to find out how my friend Britney has been doing since her dad moved in. I'm just looking for a cut, not a relationship.

I live in Chelsea and have pretty much burned every salon within a fifteen block radius. So a few weeks ago I went to the one that is Always Empty. Instead of tumbleweeds, big hairballs blew across the desolate tiles. The few posters in the window showed Dorothy Hammill wedge cuts. There, I allowed Marge Simpson to highlight and cut my hair while she shared Every Single Detail of Her Holiday with me despite the fact that i was trying to seriously study the Nine Things You Should Never Say In Bed according to Cosmopolitan.

I always leave before the blow dry. Sneak them the money in an envelope, and pull on a wool cap before disappearing into the city.

When I returned home and my hair dried, I discovered it was orange. Morris the Cat Orange. Sexyhusbandomine described it as: Not THAT bad, although he agreed that if there were a way to find two and half hours in the weeks ahead that I should think about some corrective work. I have two and a half hours free February 3rd.

Marge grew tired round about the time she got to the front of my head, and consequently decided not to touch my bangs. However, I am a fan of seeing. When I realized they were getting tangled in my lower eyelashes I decided to take matters in my own hands. After all; how hard can cutting bangs really be?

Two tips if you decide to try this at home:
1) Don't use scotch tape as a guide.
2) Remember that if you cut them wet, they will shrink when dry.

Number two explains how it all went terribly wrong for me. I was no better at predicting what the end length would be with dry bangs, than I was at guessing how Sexyhusbandomine would fare the first time he jumped into ice water: both events being equally shocking.

So here I am with my orange and blonde bangs about an inch and a half above my unruly eyebrows. For some reason, they come to a kind of Count Chocula point midway--but I dare not try to make them straighter.

Hair today, goon tomorrow indeed.

38 comments:

Lo said...

YOu make me happy. Sorry, love, but I, too, hate the talkers and have as a consequence no loyalty to hair dressers. I was writing a series of articles on aging recently and let an 87year-old do my bangs because she wondered if she's still got it. She didn't, really, but I've had worse. And she was at least quiet.

zakary said...

I am so sorry, but I am cracking the hell up over here! At least you got a story out of it.

My pedicure lady always wants to talk about EVERYTHING while I just want to read my gahdamn People. Plus, she's Vietnamese and I can't understand her. She calls me 'Jack' for god's sake. I do love me some Asians though and she does a damn good job.

And I'm gonna need a picture of the bangs please.

Bj in Dallas said...

fix them with pinking shears... or some curvy scissors from the scrapbooking tool box. Can't hurt, and BTW, don't you fit in in NY with orange hair??
I LOVE talking to Sandy, who has cut my hair for nine years and we have figured out so many things together, I should send her a co-pay for therapy now and then. Fly down here and she will fix you. And then we can drink wine.
Problem solved.

kwr221 said...

What!? No pic?

Really, I'm disappointed.

I feel your pain, but I think we need a photo.

We'll love ya even if you look like a tabby cat.

OHN said...

Good grief...you would love where I go. I can't get my girl to talk. She is so quiet it is uncomfortable...but she knows her stuff so I sit there in silence.

Le @ third on the right said...

I agree bring on the pic :)

Next time just say - I really have to read this by x o'clock so look I am so sorry but no talking today eh ... now f off and do my damn hair ... please - thanks v much.

many hugs babe - ain't it winter - bring on the beanie - it's a hat you know ... le xoxo

PearlsOfSomething said...

Ack!

Me, I'm not loyal, either. In my case, it's because I don't want them to see exactly how bad I let it get before I make another appointment. They might (understandably) put less effort into it if they knew.

At least it's still hat season!

Jennifer said...

OMG. That was flipping hysterical.

I've had very similar experiences with hairdressers. I finally found one I absolutely loved around 5 or 6 years ago and I haven't looked back since. She's not just my hairdressers, but she's also my friend. When she moved salons 3 times in as many years, I followed her. I told her if she moved to the moon I'd go with her she's that good.

I guess you can take consolation in the fact that your hair will grow out, but until then it's just going to be a pain. I hope you can stick it out.

KLS said...

I have the same problem! I finally found a great lady in the town my parents live in, too bad it's 2 hours from my house! Good thing it's cold outside, throw on a hat and call it a day!

Miss Thystle said...

GOOD NEWS! I saw on some program the other day (maybe local AM news?) that bangs that look like you cut them yourself are IN! NO SHIT. Maybe it was Mike & Juliet I saw it on? I don't remember, but the POINT is that you are not sporting a bad do, you're being FASHION FORWARD.

Natasha said...

No I seriously cannot stop laughing...I'm so sorry! I got a haircut one time that left me looking like ...well, I was 20 and I looked like my Aunt who like militant type cuts...it was awful! The good thing is this is NY and someone is SURE to think you are starting a trend so be on the lookout for copycats!

rpc said...

I thought I was the only person in the entire world who didn't want to talk to hairdressers. All those inane comments which you know they are saying to every single customer that day. "How were your holidays?", "Are you going on vacation this year?", etc., etc.

Long ago I found a hairdresser who didn't talk. Every now and again the owner of the salon would come over and tell her off for being so quiet. I would protest that no, this was the way I liked it. Alas, that was many years ago. I left the country (what WAS I thinking?), and have never had a chat free haircut since.

Hi, I'm Amy! said...

You shouldn't have been boppin those field mice on the head!

I feel the same way about hairdressers blabbing. When I can't take it anymore I close my eyes, snore and even drool if necessary.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I used to have one too many margaritas and think trimming my bangs would be a good idea. I ended up with teeny Bettie Page bangs every time. I finally solved that little compulsion by growing the bangs out. :-)

blairspage said...

I don't know why I'm laughing because I feel so bad. I see your point of them not talking... it's kind of like going to the dentist and expecting them not to talk to you. The last girl I had did it in a way I only had to answer yes or no. I loved our visits! My hairdressers always quit me. Be thankful you live in a big city so you have multiple salons to choose from! Just not the orange hair lady anymore! :)

Hugs - Tiffany

Racie Lover said...

I am currently looking for a new hairdresser because mine goes up $10 every 6 months, no kidding. Everytime I find someone at the salon where I have been going for several years that I like, they jack up the price on me. I don't care if you talk my arm off, just don't have your hand on my wallet while you're doing it.

BTW, I cut Paco's hair and he never complains about my talking too much but that may be because he can't hear me over the dog clippers.

Nadine Hightower said...

Now see here's where we differ...I believe in having a relationship with the person that does my hair. I'm 4 foot 11 inches tall.
Slightly overweight.
I don't tan.
My voice is a lot like Jennifer Tilly's.
I don't have a lot going for me but my hair.
It must be tended to by someone that knows it and me.
I have used the same woman for 5 years now.
She gets me.

We don't swap spit or anything...but most importantly...more than she gets my hair and my neurotic personsa but SHE GETS ROY!!!
He's made some of my hair dresser's cry!

sheila said...

I feel so bad for you, because nothing is worse than a bad color. But on the other hand I am DYING to see photos. I guess we are all warped, aren't we?!

As for all the chatty Kathy's -- I have no idea what the solution is. Earplugs maybe? They might get a bit wet during the shampoo but I think they'd get the point across. Maybe something cool like the ones Audrey Hepburn wore in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'.

TJ said...

Picture! Picture! Picture!

Seriously, scotch tape?

Jane! said...

I need visuals.

When you find the next potential spot, use the Jane method. ...sorry I can't hear you... uh, what?... excuse me? You can usually wear them down when you make them repeat everything 5 times.

I have a great cutter - she talks if I talk and shuts up if I don't which is why I've been going with her for 5 years. I am trying to figure out a way to render her sterile so she doesn't have a baby and quit her job like my last 15 haircutters did.

Chandra said...

I was hoping to see a picutre...it can't be THAT bad!

I have cut my own bangs before, when I was 12, just as you did, hair was wet and OMG when it dried...I swear my bands were about and inch long..no kidding! PLUS my mom had given me a perm (oh yea you read that right, A PERM) so I had this total curly bufont mess with no bangs. Needless to say I didn't get to many love notes back in 6th grade!

Chris said...

OK - I'm a doofus - posted to the wrong entry - so now here it is in the right place:-

You know what they say - the only difference between a bad haircut and a good one - about 3 weeks!!!

As Sheila requested - we want pictures!!

Shonda Little said...

My mother is a stylist and I wish I had a dollar for every emergency phone call she got from salon hoppers with hair crisises. However, not one of them got their hair done by Marge. That does sound bad.

The Kitchen said...

I'm so with you, Lorrie! I will switch hairdressers in a heartbeat - although I've been with the cutting guy for like 5 or 6 years. My colorist, well, I really like this one!
Loved your story and had a few good giggles!!
XOXO

david kramer said...

I saw a hair salon while wisiting London. IT was caller
It Will Grow Back.
I don't know how well they did, but I certainly have always remembered the name. DK

Rachael said...

Um...that's not you in the picture is it? You best show us some bang shots to prove it!

I never cheat on my hairdresser, she's got the formula down!

I'm cracking up at your post though. Really? Even if you bury your head in a magazine and answer in monosyllables -- they STILL tell you about their childhood in Bulgaria?!

Hi, I'm Amy! said...

So, it's not a Lorax, but... --->

Spatula said...

Oh no! Tabby Chocula cut! I've gone to the local equivalent of the desperation salon you describe, and had the exact same quality of experience. Lesson: when it looks low-rent, IT IS. They were so bad there, I had to explain to them that once they are done cutting, they need to dry the hair if it's still wet!

I hate the social aspect of hair styling too. I did find a silent stylist, and it was bliss, and then I moved to the burbs and now I go to a Russian lady who is awesome but does insist on talking... sigh...

bernthis said...

I once had a dye job. I was almost white blonde and my hair is naturally brown. It looked like I was wearing a wig. I was living in NYC at the time and when I left and got on the subway, I turned to anyone that looked at me and asked:

"Does it look like I'm wearing a hair helmet?" They all said no of course, b/c clearly I was insane.

bernthis said...

I once had a dye job. I was almost white blonde and my hair is naturally brown. It looked like I was wearing a wig. I was living in NYC at the time and when I left and got on the subway, I turned to anyone that looked at me and asked:

"Does it look like I'm wearing a hair helmet?" They all said no of course, b/c clearly I was insane.

bernthis said...

I once had a dye job. I was almost white blonde and my hair is naturally brown. It looked like I was wearing a wig. I was living in NYC at the time and when I left and got on the subway, I turned to anyone that looked at me and asked:

"Does it look like I'm wearing a hair helmet?" They all said no of course, b/c clearly I was insane.

Carol said...

I solved my problem with the talkers by going to a Korean salon. Mr. Han trained at Sasoon London for 6 years where he learned to cut/color like a dream but precious little English in the process. He is intense, perfectionistic and COMPLETELY silent. Kakaboka (it means, "May I cut?") 39 W 32nd Street, 2nd floor. And he's not expensive either. Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

I solved my problem with the talkers by going to a Korean salon. Mr. Han trained at Sasoon London for 6 years where he learned to cut/color like a dream but precious little English in the process. He is intense, perfectionistic and COMPLETELY silent. Kakaboka (it means, "May I cut?") 39 W 32nd Street, 2nd floor. And he's not expensive either. Enjoy.

Scandalous Housewife said...

Jesus, girl! Warn me before you post such a shocking pic like that. I need some prep time, or a stiff drink!

LuckyMe said...

Loved the whole thing but the ice water? Pissterical.

fh said...

This is funny. I actually found your blog searching for "chelsea haircut" images.

I realize this is an older posting, but I wanted to respond.

I'm a hairstylist, and I talk with the clients that want to talk and I'm quiet with the ones who don't want to talk, and will even go as far as to say something like, "I'm sure this is the only time you get to yourself, so I won't be chatty". This, of course, is after we at least have the consultation on what to do with the hair.

I understand your desire for finding a quiet stylist, and I know they are hard to find (especially since most of us are overly-caffeinated to keep our engines running to make everyone beautiful). However, the good thing about finding a stylist you can build a rapport with is that you don't have to explain every time what you want done, and you minimize the risk of getting orange hair.

Cute blog.

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Donna said...
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