Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Forty-Year-Old Hairdresser

Okay, so when I said "blog post will come later today," I guess I actually meant "blog post will come at 2 in the morning the next day when everyone who might want to read it is asleep or doing something more worthwhile." Sorry about that.

My haircut actually ended up being a wonderful experience. I got side-swept bangs and long 1960's hippie layers from a hairdresser that I love. It looks great and now I feel kind of stupid for writing a melodramatic post about haircuts as capital punishment. But really, there is a reason for my haircut melodrama. Have a seat, dear Daddy Likey readers; it's time for a little story.

I always hated getting my hair cut. I dreaded the awkward banter, the hot hairdryer, the aftermath of finding tiny poky little hairs in my cleavage for days afterward (is that just me? yeah? damn.). For many years I went to the same hairdresser, a 40-year-old surfer dude with badly bleached tips who called all his clients "Babe" and who, perhaps because he lived in fear of being falsely outed in a profession overflowing with accurately outed guys, was the most oafish, crude, stereotypically straight man I've ever met. He would always insist on giving me 1980's news anchor bangs when I didn't want them and was generally horrible, but still I stayed true (the crippling fear of finding a new hairdresser can make people do some pretty strange things), until I went in for a haircut one day when I was about 16.

As soon as I walked into the salon, he looked me up and down and said, "Wow! Your legs look really hot in that skirt." This was creepy, yes, but sadly, it was within the normal range of creepiness that I endured every two months just to get a damn trim. As the haircut progressed and he worked on the news anchor bangs in front of my face, he kept staring at my lips and pretty soon he was saying things like, "God, your lips are amazing. You should totally star in a lip commercial." I had no idea what a lip commercial was and I was getting kind of uncomfortable, but my hair was half cut so I just said, "Umm...thanks." He gave me the lip commercial line one more time and I decided I was never coming back.

When it was all finally over, I got up, brushed myself off, and went over to my purse to get the check my mom had given me. When I walked back over to him, he swooped in for what I thought was his usual hug which I was desperate to avoid today. I tried to parry but he grabbed me in a passionate embrace and planted a kiss on my "lip commercial" lips. And not just any kiss. It was the frenchest of french kisses. Full. On. Tongue.

I screeched "gah! bleh!" and pulled away, literally threw the check at him (why oh why did I pay him for that??) and ran out of there. I got in my car parked a few blocks away and did that thing people do in bad movies that you think nobody does in real life, when they find out they kissed a man dressed up as a woman or something and they look in the mirror and go "bleeechhh!" and scrape their tongue off with their fingers for like five minutes straight.

Yes, as my friend Rachel so graciously pointed out the other day, my first kiss was a forced frenchy with my forty-year-old hairdresser. And that, my friends, is why I have haircut issues.

If you have a painful haircut experience (and really, don't we all?), let the comments section be a place of therapeutic sharing. It doesn't have to involve a sexual predatory hairdresser, it can be a crappy haircut (I once went to a place seriously called "Hack and Whack" and left with a rat tail, so I hear ya) or a horribly bad dye job. Whatever it is, we all feel your pain and we all want to hear about it.

P.S. Anna from Miscellaneous Musings, you left a comment hinting at your bad haircut history so I definitely want a story from you, missy.


Anna said...

Okay, it’s definitely not as scary as you but my haircut was definitely painful. So my mother insisted on me getting my hair cut at a shorter length and giving me frontal bangs. I have a big forehead so then it seemed like a good idea. Keep in my mind that my hair is naturally wavy. So this lady started cutting hair. As she cuts more and more hair off I'm getting more and more nervous. When she is done, I look bad, but not horrible. My mom is in the salon next door getting her hair cut at her hairdresser. After I wait for her, my hair finally dries and I finally see the horrible haircut. My frontal bangs were hacked off in the middle of my forehead making me look like those extremely creepy porcelain china dolls. My hair was also incredibly short and there were absolutely no redeeming qualities of the haircut. The idiot did not take into account the fact that my hair is naturally wavy, when cutting my wet hair. Basically the whole summer, I spent putting my hair up in ponytails and pushing my bangs back, trying to make them disappear.

It's still not as bad as your scary 40-year-old man story though.

Marie-Kristine said...

ouch! now that would leave me scared for life.
my worst was probably at the end of 4th grade when i decided i was tired of my hair. so i asked the hairdresser to vut it all off. she did, and i was mistaken for a boy sooooo many times over that summer i vowed to never cut my hair offf again. it took me until 8th grade to finally grow it all the way out.
and that is my hair story.
not as good as yours im afraid!

mary said...

hmm, i don't have any TERRIBLE stories, but a couple summers ago, i was bored one day and i decided i wanted a mohawk. so my sister cut inches and inches off my hair, until it was about an inch on the sides and a bit longer in the middle. and ofcourse i was always too lazy to ever put the 'hawk up, so i had super short platinum blonde hair for a while (and this was long before agyness, mind you)

Carissa Duhamel said...

That's horrible! I have unmeasurable sympathy for you.. that type of trauma would drive anyone to avoid a man in scissors for the rest of their life. You're very brave to reject Rapunzel-length locks and risk another hair cut.

As for my bad hair cuts, the worst was at age 11. I had a full out mullet with sparse bangs atleast a full inch above my eyebrows. I loved the hairstyle because people told me I looked like an elf. I didn't realize until later that they did not intend the comment as a compliment.

Anonymous said...

omg, been there. Not quite to THAT extent, but..........
I had a girlfriend that I have known since kindergarten, who had people STOP HER IN THE DRUGSTORE to ask who did her hair. (Cut only, never color, hello, first mistake)
I got fed up with my QUITE homosexual technician after I showed up with A HORRIBLE hangover one morning and waited for him for an hour and he NEVER showed (not the first time) and decided to give C's hairdresser a call.
Set an appt. with C's hairdresser, and walked into a shop FILLED with old ladies getting set and blow-outs. I thought I MUST have the wrong salon, but found out the guy ("Mario", I think) was just on break. I convinced myself (STUPID, STUPID, STUPID GIRL) that "Mario" must rent a station and surely he was the one with the more up to date techniques.
Suffice to say...........I ended up with WHITE hair, that felt like STRAW that cost me over $200 to FIX to make me look like the St. Pauli Girl (with my original homosexual unavailable sylist).
It was THE WORST experience I've ever had. He pulled all my waist length hair THROUGH A CAP, didn't even KNOW aht I meant by "weaving". ALL OF MY INSTINCTS were screaming at me just to get up and RUN but I kept thinking "Well, C's hair gets her comments in the drug store.........." Don't be fooled, hair and color and not the same trade. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Wow, sexual harrassment by a hair dresser. I can only match that aspect of the story were I to tell you about a certain dental hygienist who I should really have tried to get fired. Are all dentists perverts? Anyways...

Chemical hair straightening is not for the faint of heart. Between various attempts with different salons, I've had scalp burns, hair fall out, and far too many memories of stupid hairdressers trying to convince me to leave the crap on my head longer. Never again. *Almost* as bad as closeted, middle aged, surfer French kiss.

Ivy Frozen said...

Wow! I hope your mom canceled the check. That is horror movie worthy. (Seriously, I cringed.)
But I'm glad your latest experience was a positive one!

& ambika, I feel your pain.

I've only really been to the hair dresser once and never again. I didn't get into the chair until hours after the original appointment, my hair didn't turn out quite as I expected/wanted, and I left with pretty bad burns on my forehead. (I was young! I didn't know that that pain wasn't normal!) I wore a hat for most of that summer, pulled low. And, I still have the scars there. Luckily I have a low hair line so they're pretty unnoticeable, but they're still really dry and burn again when it's hot.

That is the day I stopped chemically straightening my hair and opted work with my natural curls instead. I'm very glad I put in the research for that since my hair is now an object of fascination--possibly enough to start a cult--to strangers and is generally healthier now. Plus, it doesn't get caught in everything! (Did I mention I've never really had a haircut. I've had about two trims in my life... The first wasn't too bad, hence my opting for the experience mentioned above. I didn't even get my hair done for my prom.)

Nicky said...

wow, that is the most awful story ever! i am so sorry you went through that! i have had mostly good experiences with hair stylists but not with pedicures. i refuse to go into a nail salon to get them now, only the spa from now on. this is after i had a guy who thought it was funny to tickle my feet and legs while he rubbed them and then had kung fu movies playing on the tv with sex scenes while i was there. YUCK!

Alice said...

Yo Winona - merry new year!

Most of my most hideous hair horrors were self-inflicted - I bought a set of Oster shears when I was 19 and did the punk 3/4" buzz cut for a while - and then I dyed it blue and purple (blue around the bottom, purple on top - I looked like a safety match). My hair has been every color except green (unless - do you count when I was a little blonde kid and the pool water would give me streaks? then it's also been green.)

Mostly my hairstylist anguish has been over my karma of driving them to move to Tampa after only one or two cuts. This has happened three times. Seriously. And that's only slight hyperbole. I was just in Tampa for the past 3 days. Can't see what's so great about the place, unless you like doing little-old-lady bubble cuts? Hm.

Anyway, I am severely sleep deprived and should go get a nap. Happy Jan 1!

la chipie said...

i been reading your blog for a while but never commented , but I felt a big push of sympathy for the traumatizing haircut so ..
I never had a hairdresser experience so blood chilling and horror movie worhty as yours but until I was 10 , my mother basically kept my hair long till about my ass, cutting just the ends(a very very bad idea for a tomboy and when I was around 8 , it got so tangled , my mom paid somebody to untangle it every week)but when I decided to get it cut down to my shoulders , I accepted very wrongly the offer of a friend of my parents who was barber and gave mullet like layers , very much scary . After that , my mother (whose own hair is perfect) accepted to take me along to her hairdresser , who works wonders and I kept going to him , because that and the fact he always tells me I have great hair .
Another interesting experience would be on a trip to italy in a small village
where because I badly need a haircut and decided to get one even though I didn't speak a work of italian (actually 2 bonjourno and don't straighten thanks to my dictionary), I don't how but thanks to much pantomining and making myself seem insane to a group of italian mamas , I got a good haircut.

Anonymous said...

Those are all some scary stories I have to say! My worst experience was when I was about 23 and I had been modelling for Toni & Guy for a while and they had a big show coming up, so they asked if they could take my dark brown, thick long hair shorter into a more gamine style crop so I foolishly said OK (I'd been promised all sort of Audrey Hepburn similarities). They cut my hair exceptionally short, which I could have lived with, but unfortunately they also decided to dye it - bright orange! I actually looked like one of those Scottish joke hats with the orange hair poking out.I was so depressed afterwards I went to another hairdresser to get my hair dyed back to brown and get some extensions put in, but all I could have was tiny braids as my hair was too short to hold anything else. So I paid £250 for a head full of what felt like mohair. I lasted 2 weeks with these hideously itchy braids and then I pulled them all out.

I've had many bad haircuts since then, but that was my worse experience.

Anonymous said...

My hair story is about the time my regular cutter was out and I decided to let one of the others cut my hair. After about a half hour he was just about done when I noticed the part was on the opposite side. I mentioned this and he told me " Oh! that's ok, it's one of those 'adjustable part' haircuts. Ok, I was a blonde until I was 12 and I know you don't outgrow it but really now... I could have lived with it if he'd just said " oops!" but please! If you can't dazzle me with brilliance don't try to baffle me with BS. And no I never let him touch my 'adjustable' hair ever again. Hmmmph!

bun2bon said...

I've had bowl cuts twice in my life.

Once when I was 5 and once when I was 23.

Anonymous said...

This hairdresser named Mr. G when I was 14 decided one day that he would make creeper comments. First he mentioned that I was a "thick" girl. "You're the kind of girl that if I was younger, mmhmm." Ew, that dude was like 40 and had 2 kids. But he was also very immature, judging from his ghetto fabulous hair, clothing, jewelry, and motorcycle in lieu of a car outside. He also said I looked "fragile", conjuring up all sorts of rape stories in my head. To make matters worse, my mom didn't come to pick me up til closing. I told her what happened and she shrugged me off! So much for telling an adult haha. She even continued to go back to have her hair done. Of course I never did. Icky icky icky.

Anonymous said...

My mother is nortoriously bad with stress, including the smallest things such as driving me 20 miles away and checking me into camp as was the case that day.

While she was busy getting angry in the next room I was working on my hair, she walked in sighing and muttering and just banging crap. She then looks at me and says, "I can't let you go to camp without cutting your bangs!"

A little frightened and puzzled that it was really that dire I agreed, because it was nothing she had never done before. So I wet my bangs, comb them, put the trash can infront of my legs, and hand her the siscors. She takes one big snip.

I was dropped off at summer camp an hour later with tragic baby 1 to 1/2 inch long bangs.

Moral of story: your Mom can cut your bangs, she just can't cut them while she is angry.

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