I figured I should get my hair cut pretty short so that it would be wash-and-go for my trip to Australia. I had a coupon for a nearby hair salon and walked over this morning to get my unruly hair tidied for the journey.
Women thrilled with the hair they were granted at birth are lucky. Most of us look in the mirror and see hair that is too something – too curly, straight, thin, thick. Curly hair is my lot in life.
The young hairdresser took a look at my curly grey mop and set to work. We had a thoroughly enjoyable conversation until I started getting nervous. “Leave some,” I pleaded.
“Just a little more here,” he replied, as he whacked at the tufts of hair that refused to obey whatever vision he had for them. Every cowlick half hidden by slightly longer locks leaped into view. No matter how short he cut the hair around them, they would not stop opening into distinct gaps.
I was sure his last act, once I finally conveyed sufficient alarm for him to stop, would be to brush the remaining hairs into some semblance of order.
I was wrong. He squeezed gel onto his fingers, rubbed them through what was left of my hair, and admired the results. “Now it looks kind of butch,” he said, “much more modern.”
All the way home I alternated between laughing out loud and wishing I’d brought a paper bag to pull over my head. Last time I had such a short haircut was when a friend in Oakland sent me to her hairdresser. The guy was actually a barber, and he knew how to handle the locks of my African American friend. All he could figure out to do with mine was to shave them down to an only slightly feminine version of a crew cut.
When I got home and looked in the mirror, I laughed so hard tears ran down my cheeks. I snapped a couple shots for comic relief on the next bad day. Then I washed out the gel and combed what little hair I had into something I could live with.
Young hairdressers, trying to update us oldies. Gotta love ‘em.
And the good news is? Hair grows.