The other day, I made an appointment to get my hair cut. I had a vision of what I wanted my new ‘do to look like:
As it turned out, the stylist had a different vision. This vision:
Here’s what I asked for: “Long bob, please. Long layers. Shoulder length. I’d like to be able to pull it back in a ponytail.”
Here’s what she (apparently?) heard: “Chop away!!! The more layers the better! Nancy Grace is my fashion icon! I love the ’90s! My ringtone is the ‘Friends’ theme song!”
The really pathetic thing is that I have no illusions about my ability to speak “hair.” I’m not even conversational in hair, let alone fluent. So I googled the proper way to tell my stylist what I wanted. And I thought I followed the script. She heard me out, and confidently began snipping away. And snipping. And razoring. I tried to remain calm as huge hunks of hair thudded to the floor around me. Finally, she wielded her blow dryer over my shorn scalp. And then came the reveal–the moment where they spin you around to look in the mirror, all the while watching your eyes for your reaction.
This is the moment where, upon seeing the reflection in the mirror, someone fluent in hair would have said, “Oh HELL no, that is NOT what I asked for,” or perhaps a slightly more polite variation thereof. Since, as I’ve already mentioned, I don’t speak hair, I instead assumed it was all my fault.
So I paid and left (without tipping but only because I didn’t have enough cash on me–I went back and dropped off a tip later). And then I cried. And then I reminded myself that it’s only hair, and it will grow back, and that it’s frivolous to cry over a bad haircut when there’s abused children and Hurricane Sandy aftermath and climate change and unwanted puppies and millions of other things actually worth crying about. And that was all very depressing, but ineffective. I needed to spend a little time wallowing in the wreckage of my own vanity before I could reemerge as a (semi)rational being.
Here are some things I learned from the Internet while I wallowed:
- Cameron Diaz also cried after her stylist chopped her hair shorter than she wanted.
- Men don’t like short hair.
- Prenatal vitamins may or may not make your hair grow faster.
- Cold showers and brushing your hair 100 strokes a day don’t work.
- Pinterest is a goldmine for hairstyle tutorials. While I currently lack the dexterity to master 99.9% of said hairstyles, time is on my side–this ‘do is going to take forever to grow out.
And then, having wallowed enough, I moved on.