It’s not that I’ve ever had an especially traumatic salon experience, or that I dislike hairdressers themselves (some of them are dead-set wizards) – I just find the whole thing incredibly uncomfortable.
I appreciate that for most it’s blissful pampering, but for the rest of us awkward human beings, the struggle is real. This is what we know:
1. You become accustomed to your shitty split ends.
Not because you like looking ratty, but because of intense procrastination. When time comes for a bit of a trim, you put off making the appointment. And then you put it off again. All just to delay the inevitable torture that is to come.
2. You feel the need to lie. A lot.
You can be the most honest, sincere person to have ever walked through the salon door. But there's something about that gas-lift chair that'll have you spitting porkies left right and centre.
"Oh, gosh. I'd say my last cut was about 6 weeks ago." (12. Try 12.) "Thanks anyway, but I think I still have some of that fancy, expensive shampoo/conditioner left from last time." (Actually still using the mini bottles I've hoarded from hotels.)
3. Articulating your ideal 'do is a struggle.
"So, what are we doing for you today?" As you look back at them in the mirror, your mental picture is clear. You may have even rehearsed your answer.
But what comes out is a mumbled, inarticulate jumble of words like "inches" (what is this, 1955?) and "layering" and "weight", until....
4. Your free, hot beverage always gets cold.
When there are scissors flying around your ears, when exactly is the opportune time to lean forward and drink the cup of hot liquid? (I once asked for a moment to quickly sip my peppermint tea and the hairdresser looked so impatient that I awkwardly skolled it and burned my tongue. True story.)
5. Small talk with a hairdresser should be banned under the Geneva Convention.
I'm not talking about general, friendly conversation here. That's lovely. I enjoy that. What I mean is the scripted, stilted stuff that someone asks when they don't really care about the answer. You know, the kind of questions you've been asked at every salon/conference/first date you've ever attended. "What do you do?" "What did you get up to on the weekend?" "Got any holidays planned?"
Can we not just do this in silence?!
6. You're the only person who says 'no' to a blow-dry.
Having your head blasted with cyclonic hot wind while they tug it around on of those enormous cylindrical brushes isn't exactly pleasant, and you really just want to get out of there. Besides, you're probably just going home and do the vacuuming and binge Will & Grace anyhow.
7. You actually contemplate doing it yourself next time. Just for a second.
Thankfully, rational thought intervenes. And you know what? You actually look pretty good.