We used to gaze into each other’s eyes for hours. We’d talk. We’d laugh. He’d pour me another glass of wine and tell me I looked gorgeous. I would smile as I paid him, leaving his place more satisfied than when I walked in the few hours before. Am I talking about a sordid affair? No, just another woman flinging with the man in the mirror. My hairdresser.
As a blonde, I have always had a particularly regular and dependant relationship with my hairdresser. Sure, like any girl I have been though a few, but despite the flings in my early 20s I finally thought I had found a lasting relationship with my recently-estranged colourist. I would arrange my weekends around his schedule on the promise that some one on one time with him would restore and rejuvenate me.
It was fun while it lasted. He complimented me obscenely, and I would subtly correct my part in the rear-view mirror once I left. Although like so many relationships, it found its end. And it was bitter. He no longer listened to what I wanted, He didn’t seem to care about my feelings or what I needed. In the end, we parted due to what I consider to be irreconcilable differences. He wanted my hair to be platinum. I wanted it to grow. We had to split like the ends of my hair that had been falling out for a year.
Even though I had been forking out hand over fist for months for what I consider to be bad service, I found the situation strangely emotional and difficult. How was I going to break up with him? Some of my friends just couldn’t understand the problem. He is a hairdresser. I am an unsatisfied client. Just stop going back.
For me though, it just didn’t seem that simple at the time. For some reason I have always felt so vulnerable in the hands of a hairdresser. I have lost count of the number of times I have muttered, “wow, it looks great, I love it” only to walk out to the nearest shop window or mirror to try and re-arrange the mess on my head and try not to cry, yell, or kick myself.
I try to speak up and assert myself. At least I think that I do, but I am starting to think that I am perhaps a pushover. It’s not just because the person in question is usually wielding scissors either. I think I am afraid of upsetting the “artist” within.
I don’t know what I am so worried about. It’s my money, and if I don’t do my job properly, my boss or clients would have no hesitation in telling me to fix it to his or her requirements. Perhaps now I have left my twenties, I am reaching my so called “peak” in this relationship, too. I am old enough and experienced enough to know what I like, speak up about it, and assert myself in the hair room. No longer will I sit in a swivel chair until my bottom goes numb. No longer will I fork out obscene amounts of money while I grit my teeth (seriously, why does the price change every time?).
So with that in mind, I finally ended it with my former flame. After endless conversations requesting we stop bleaching only to be told I should sleep on a satin pillowcase instead (seriously), I broke up with him. By email. Baby steps.
Julie Alexander is a former lawyer, stay at home mum, documentary producer and wannabe Alpha Wife.
Are you attached to your hairdresser? Have you ever had to break up with him/her? How did it go?