The perils of womanhood: hairdressers

What did Kermit the Frog say?  It ain’t easy being green?  Hah!  Try being a girl.

I’m not saying men don’t have their problems – steaks don’t just eat themselves you know.  But the pitfalls of womanhood are many and manifold.  Behold, I give you:

HAIRDRESSERS: And why it really is a bloody chore.

Hairdressers would like you to think that they’re here to help you.  To help you look your best.  To boost your confidence in a way that only a fabulous ‘do will do.  Oh no – their true purpose is to carefully orchestrate your ruin.  By the time they’re done with you, you’re exhausted, poor and, if you’re lucky, only feel mildly cheated rather than totally ripped off.

It starts with The Talk.  Their brilliant pasted-on smile as they come sit down next to you and pretend to listen to you while you explain what it is that you want from your next haircut.  They nod robotically as they ruffle your hair and explain to you in pseudo-science that they know how to get the best from your thin/thick/frizzy hair.  They enthuse over how “fabulous” they’re going to make you look; they completely understand what you want.  Don’t you worry!  They’re professionals.

Next is The Wash, where you’re handed off to a minimum-wage minion who comes in one of two flavours: a) surly and begrudging or b) overeager and annoyingly chatty.  As life would have it, I usually chance upon Flavour B.  So, got any plans for this weekend?  Oh my god, you’re going to LOVE your new look.  Oh my god, I love your shoes.  Oh it’s soo busy today.  So what’s your plan for today?  And on, and on it goes.  I try to have patience until they start repeating questions, usually what my plans are for the weekend.  They really seem to love asking that one.

Phase 3 is The Wait, finished off with The Badmouth.  You sit and sit while your hairdresser finishes off someone elses cut and you wonder why they bothered booking you in for this time in the first place.  Some magazines will be dropped in your lap and you entertain yourself while you silently drip.  The hairdresser will then flounce along and spritz your now-dry hair again, whilst tut-tutting over the condition of your hair.  This usually takes the form of the Badmouth, where they ask who cut your hair last, forcing you to defend your last rubbish hairdresser to your current one (he did his best!  / it’s been so long since I got it cut / I trimmed my own fringe because it was getting long, so it was me, really).  My favourite part is when they start badmouthing the person who cut your hair last and you tell them it was them (this has happened to me twice and it never gets not funny although the joke, sadly, is really on me). 

And so, we finally get to The Cut.  By now, you’ve been sitting in the chair for well over half an hour and just want to get on with it.  You become alarmed by the amount of hair dropping on the floor.  You become concerned that you do not have a proper understanding of what a 1cm ‘trim’ really is.  Raising your concerns is an exercise in futility.  You can remind them that you just wanted a trim, at which point they’ll nod robotically, paste that smile on and say they understand and go back to exactly what they were doing before.  You might try again and they’ll sigh, give you that faux-patient smile again and say don’t worry, it’s going to be fabulous, and go back to exactly what they were doing before with nary a pause in the lopping of locks.  Hairdressers cannot be reasoned with.  They cannot be bargained with.  They absolutely will not stop: until your hair is at least 2 inches shorter than it used to be.

The final stage is The Hard Sell Finish.  This is where they blowdry and finish your hair using lots of exotic potions and lotions that you simply must buy because it’s such great value and you’ll only need such a small amount that it lasts forever, thereby justifying the eye-watering cost.  You smile politely and shake your head and say no thanks, while the hairdresser harumphs and makes you feel like a cheapskate who clearly wants crazy cat lady hair, despite their heroic efforts.

You then survey those efforts and discover they’ve reinterpreted your requested chic bob into shorn pixie.  You then pay double the price than the guy next to you with longer hair does, because you’re a girl and should be duly punished for having a uterus.  You leave just feeling grateful that they haven’t ruined it so much that you’ll need to work from home.

You vow to never darken their door again and swear to yourself that you’re going to grow it; envisioning long, luscious locks that tumble effortlessly around you.  But, mark my words, in 4-6 weeks you’ll be back.  Ends splitting, follicles frizzing and locks that, far from luscious, resemble that crazy cat lady you clearly always wanted to be.

So, can anyone recommend a good hairdresser?

P.S. I have been very kindly nominated for some blogger awards – I appreciate it guys!  I’ll post about those next.


12 thoughts on “The perils of womanhood: hairdressers

  1. Oh, can I ever relate. But my hairdresser now is just wonderful – she does just what I ask, for a really reasonable charge,, and we chat about hiking for 45 minutes while she cuts. So, if you can justify flying to Montana every 6 weeks or so, I can absolutely recommend a hairdresser!

  2. Westerner54, you know I am so there! This post is actually very timely. Today I went to my hairdresser, only to discover I had written down the wrong day. D’oh! We’ll try again on Thursday. Hopefully I’ll still have something to talk about.

  3. Is it bad that I schedule my appointments on days I know I’m not available, then feign innocence when I have to cancel?? I like my hairdresser (even with her all-over body tattoos and bright red hair) but getting my bangs trimmed costs as much as a cut/color! I’m going broke just to look good 🙂

  4. Being the v., v. low maintenance girl that I am, I don’t have my ‘own’ hairdresser. Have been going to training schools for the past two years. Inexpensive, perfectly functional cut, can usually get the appointments you want and no upselling. The trainer usually finishes off the cut and the downside is that it takes close to an hour for it all. As it’s inexpensive, it means that you can go in regularly to spruce it up.

  5. It’s been a long time since I went to hairdresser, sadly — I’ve often envied girls, and lots of hair, and being able to take a picture of Natalie Portman (except in V for Vendetta) or someone and say “this is what I want” and coming away with a fabulous new do. My haircuts involving finding the clippers, being forced to look in the mirror, and trying not to miss anything. I now see what a minefield it is going to the hairdresser while carelessly being in possession of a uterus. My eyes are opened, and nevermore will envy people — especially girls — who have hair.

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