Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Jennipher at Toni and Guy: I Love You

No, folks, that's not a type-o. That really is how Jennipher spells her name. I didn't know until I got home and saw her card. Sweet Jennipher....
I got a haircut last night and I am so happy. I feel like a real person again. Did you know that they cut ten + inches of hair off my head? That's enough to donate to locks of love, or whatever it's called (uh oh, now I'll have THEM after me). I can't believe I ever became one of those people with ten inch long hair! It's not a bad thing, only just SO not me. Anyway, I am not going to go on and on about my hair. Because we all know how boring that is, right Marcy Dibbleblotts? (wink, wink).

What I want to discuss is hair SALONS. Because they cause a lot of anxiety in me. And they are not boring at all.

First of all, there's the problem of having to sit there and look in the mirror while people watch you look in the mirror. I have a hard time looking in the mirror when someone is watching. In bathrooms I'll avoid the mirror completely unless all the stalls are abandoned. You can imagine the anxiety I feel when I have to stare at myself with wet, slicked back hair while someone dressed all in black with really cool hair and shoes looks on. So, usually I just look down, but that presents another problem:

I look like I'm either a) asleep, or b) so upset by the job they're doing that I can't even look at it. Also, I never know what to do with my mouth. I try to have a pleasant look on my face, but my lips seem to naturally fall into a frown, which also makes it look like I'm hating my haircut.

I solve the aforementioned problems by always wearing my glasses to the salon. I take them off, and I can't see a thing; thus, I don't mind looking in the mirror. I can't see myself, anyway. It can present a problem when they ask me what length my bangs should be cut, but that's the breaks. Also, glasses can really add to the nerdy feeling you get when you first walk into a salon where evabody has great hair and really trendy music is playing and someone offers you "water or coffee" and instead of a cape they let you wear a fancy robe. But oh well.

Another issue I have is the talking. I have a really hard time with the chit chat thing and usually just end up not saying anything, which makes the downcast eyes and frown much more difficult to explain away. I always start with the usual "so, how long have you worked here?" We discuss where we are from, I throw out an anecdote about cutting my three-year-old's hair, and then....nothing. Last night was no different, despite the fact that I thought Jennipher was really cool and nice. I think part of the reason why I don't talk is that I feel like a loser in hair salons.

Think about it: you walk into a place where everyone looks better than you and everyone is wearing a sleek outfit. You are wearing your husband's jeans that are frayed at the bottom and a "Where the Wild Things Are" T shirt from Target. Your shoes COULD be funky, but really they just look ridiculous and age inappropriate because they are platform tennis shoes. Your hair is unbrushed (because you can't bare to even touch it after you get out of the shower) and you are wearing glasses and no makeup and your bangs are flayed out. Is this NOT a scenario in which you might feel just slightly like a loser? Masters degree in English be hanged...the coolest people are the ones who work in hair salons.

I kept Jennipher's card and I'm going back. And I will tell others to go to her, too. But next time I will have to buy a new outfit before I go.

PS we are donating the hair to lock of love and I fully support everything they stand for.


  1. WOW! TEN inches? TEN? Wow. Well, I feel your pain. Having the finest (consistency, not fine as in cool) hair in the universe, I hate having my hair slicked back and wet. My face looks enormous. I'm one of those people that secretly wish perms had never died out because I looked so much better with them.

  2. For years, I've been talking about my idea for a business: a salon where the hairstylists promise NOT to talk to you. I think I just found my spokeswoman.

  3. I wonder how many times a day the stylist has to talk about the weather, or how busy they have been? I too am not a big talker and usually just sit and listen to the chatter of the "regulars" who seem to know everything there is to know about their stylist. Part of my unfamiliarity probably rests with the fact that I go to the "Chop Shop" and everytime someone different does my do.

    Kudos on your hair donation. I am sure you have just made the day for an ill person or child.

  4. I know exactly what you mean. I usually spend time picking out an outfit to wear to get my haircut in. I also feel like I need to freshen my makeup so that when the haircut is finished, I can see the whole package. Salons are a LOT of pressure.

    And I'll tell you what's just as bad as sitting in front of the mirror with wet, slicked hair, and that's reclining in the chair while your hair is being washed in the bowl with the little dip neck rest that pushes out your neck to make it as wide as your face. I just keep waiting to hear, "Here's your lemonade, fat neck," from the shampoo girl.

    Other difficult times:

    The walk from the wash to the cutting station.

    The pressure to buy hair products.

    Sorry this comment is so long. I didn't mean to go on and on.

  5. P.S. I would like to recommend a turtleneck or collared shirt for the salon. They are sort of annoying when the chopped hair is dropping but they always flatter the final product more.

  6. I saw those "Where the Wild Things Are" t-shirts at Target. They were with my former "Curious George" with sequined bananas tee.

  7. So, back to hair, I wonder if it's time for me to get a trim? Maybe I should head back to the salon with my turtleneck to see my stylist who drinks beer while she cuts.

  8. You have articulated the pain I feel every time I go to a salon. Add these painful questions: do you color your own hair? did you trim your bangs since last time you were here? I also just found a salon and stylist I love, but the first time I went, she took me to a dressing room and told me to take my shirt off. I put the robe on (backwards and had to go back and change it) and they gave me a really beautiful wooden hanger on which to hang my wrinkled pink t-shirt. It looked kind of silly.

    Anyway, I know how much a haircut costs at Toni and Guy, and I'm tres impressed. I'm sure it is very cute.

  9. Carly, you've got some high class friends commenting on this blog. Of which I am not one. Well, I am your friend, but I'm not particularly high class. What I wouldn't give to go to a place that put me in a robe of some kind! Or that offers me drinks! Or that has a separate person to do the shampoo-ing. Honestly, I think I'm out of your league.

    And congratulations on your haircut...I need one bad.

  10. Everything you mentioned is oh so true about salons. The mirror thing, feeling insecure and ugly, all the painful small talk. I would definitely patronize a salon called "The Silent Salon." I envy makeover shows like "What not to Wear" where the person gets to sit in silence while her hair is done and actually enjoy the experience instead of having to talk about the latest restaurant that just opened or the latest crappy movie they've seen. Thankfully, a friend in my neighborhood started cutting my hair and I actually enjoy talking to her because I KNOW her and see her more than once every 8 weeks. I love this blog...