real life

"I went in for a haircut, and couldn’t walk for 3 days"

Image: Jo Abi (supplied)

I was so incredibly way overdue for a haircut when I made the appointment. Working and raising three kids means my hair is very low on the priority list but it had gotten to such a ridiculous length that I squeezed in an appointment in between my son’s soccer games on Saturday.

I had 45 minutes to get in and out.

I’d been saving up a voucher to one of those luxury hair salons that is part hairdresser, part day spa. I booked in for a shampoo and a cut, skipping the blow dry to save money and time.

I arrived with my daughter. She sat on my lap and happily accessed the free WiFi while they slammed down tea, water and a questionnaire in front of me. I started filling it out when a very young girl bounced up to me and said, “I’ll just give you a quick massage while you’re waiting for your hair stylist”. Before I could say, “I hate massages”, which I do, she started gently rubbing my hair. I moaned aloud, closed my eyes and gave in.

She worked her way over my scalp, then did something to my arms which felt amazing and then moved to the back of my neck. She rubbed the left side and then the right, rather firmly, and when she did the right side I felt sensation shoot all the way down my right leg.

I went momentarily blind. “I think I’ll start getting massages more often,” I thought.

I got my haircut and raced to my son’s soccer game with minutes to spare, loving my new style.

That night I felt a tension just above my right buttock which was strange because I hadn’t exercised that day. I thought I must have pulled a muscle somehow and thought nothing of it. The next morning I could barely get out of bed. I was stiff and in pain from my neck all the way down to the right side of my lower back. I got up, did a few stretches and spent the day walking gingerly around the house.

By Sunday night I was wondering how I was going to get any sleep due to the pain I was in. I blamed it on the new pillows I had bought two months earlier, thinking they must be too soft.


By Monday I couldn’t sit down at all, or stand, or lie down.

“Did you do anything new,” my sister asked. And that’s when it dawned on me.

“I had a neck massage at the hairdresser.”

That afternoon and evening I alternated between moaning, crying and getting my husband to massage Voltaren gel into my back. I eventually managed to lie down on the lounge,  but I couldn’t get back up again, so my husband left me there.

He was leaving for work at 3am the next morning and heard me crying. I was trying to get up to use the toilet but I still couldn’t move. So he forced me up and explained that my muscles were in spasm (he used to cycle with the Australian cycling team so he has a fair amount of knowledge when it comes to muscular pain). He lifted me off the lounge and stared stretching me out while I screamed and moaned.

After the final stretch he forced me to do, I could feel everything starting to unkink. I was still hobbling around while I packed the kids’ lunches but by the time my sister force fed me Voltaren tablets that morning I was almost good as new.

I’m not exactly sure what lesson I learned from all this. I think there are several:

1. Never let someone at a hairdressing salon give you a neck massage;
2. Never go to a hairdressing salon that thinks it is a day spa;
3. Never let anyone who looks 12-years-old do anything to your body, hair and neck included;
4. Never ever get a massage again, unless the person doing it has a degree in something.

Have you ever been injured by someone trying to give you a beauty treatment of any kind? Did you complain?

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