Sometimes things take a while to get over before you can talk about them. A bad break up is one. Getting fired is another. This time, for me, it was A Bad Hairdressing Experience. This happened a few months ago but I have been too traumatised to talk about it, luckily the Not Drowning Mother has given me the courage to purge and move forward, so in solidarity of her skunk stripe I offer this…..
Most people I know have had a bad experience at the Hairdresser at some stage or other. I have too, although none particularly devastating, no one has yet burnt it off with peroxide of shaved a massive undercut unevenly etc. But a couple of ordinary cuts led me to that age old advice of ‘find a photo and take it with you’. Everyone knows about my complete obsession with Mad Men, and I was going to a cocktail party and as inspiration had this….
Now, I know I’m not Christina Hendricks BUT my hair is red, and I know it can do this style as I’ve had it before. So I didn’t think it was too much of a stretch…. little did I know.
I had been starving myself for 2 weeks to fit into a vintage Oscar de la Renta back cocktail dress, (stupid size 8 that i thought was a 10, thank god women were curvier back then!). The day of the party I took my photo to the (much trendier than I am) recommended hairdresser and sat down with anticipation, my hairdresser greeted me, glanced at my photo and told me – ‘I don’t DO pictures, they often use photoshop and don’t give an acurate representation of the cut or colour’…… oooooo kay……. yes I should have spoken up, I have told dozens of mothers to reconsider a birth care provider whose ideals conflict with their own even if it’s intimidating. But no, I sat in that seat and said…. NOTHING! *blush*. I hurriedly secreted the offending photo under the convenient cape and went bright red, feeling like I had offended his creative ideals. I asked for the red just to be brightened, left natural looking and semipermanent so that it would wash out, he pulled out swatches and told me the colour would be ‘across between this and this, but I don’t have a finished sample to show you’. Again should have been scared but after the massive picture showing mistake I wandered, blindly trusting, off to the basins….
When it was done – even while still wet, I was speechless. Was that supposed to be a side swept fringe? it was too long, it was DARK – not even red I wouldn’t have said. THEN he started to scrunch dry it with a diffuser. Now if you have curly hair you may (like me) feel that scrunch drying your hair leaves you looking like Irene Cara during the height of Flashdance’s popularity. I was so upset I blurted out ‘just leave it’ before he could do any more damage, paid and bolted from the hairdressers as I could feel hot tears welling….
When I got home and rationalised, I called and made an appointment to have it fixed back at the salon, but I still had to brave the party. I threw the hair up in a clip, straightened the fringe, although it wouldn’t sit right, and tried to forget about it. At the party three people that I hadn’t seen for years mentioned that I used to have red hair – hmmmm….. (In hindsight I can admit that it doesn’t look so bad to me now – and yes, I recognise this massive over-reaction was probably caused by lack of food!).
Being darker had the added bonus of making me look a lot older, useful tip if you’re 16 and trying to get into the local pub. Every time I went past a mirror I did a double take! Luckily each of my friends told me how lovely the colour was. See why they’re my friends? – Sometimes supportive lying is essential! I went back and they tried to lighten it but it didn’t make much difference. As I left I was told by the owner of the salon that the stylist hadn’t done anything wrong, my hair just obviously takes dark colours well and they’d make a note on my card. Now I have blamed my hair for a lot of things over the years but this was the first time a hairdresser had! I washed over and over with anti-dandruff shampoo but it’s only just now starting to resemble the natural colour again. Of course by now I need another cut and colour but suffice to say will be trying a new hairdresser when I get up the nerve, although I can’t see myself taking in a photo to a hairdresser ever again!
Any advice on how to brave the hair salon experience, or a recommendation for a Brissy Salon highly valued!!
**Note: I was in love with my hairdresser in Sydney: Daniel Mostyn in Newtown – GO THERE!
**Other note: The above salon was in Bulimba, Brisbane