Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Where we discover that hairdressers are sadists

You've put it off long enough. Off to the hairdresser you go.

You sit in the chair and they robe you up in black capes and special clips so that you feel like you have extra powers and can hang off the side of a building on just a string of saliva. Your alter ego kicks in and suddenly you want to do summersaults in the salon and stick to the ceiling like a gecko.

But all thoughts of super hero-dom are quickly quelled when they very slowly but very surely make you look like a baked potato. There you sit while you voluntarily get someone to put layer after layer of smelly purple (yes purple – what’s with that?) stuff in your hair, covered with tin foil. If you paid a whole design college to try and come up with a way to make you look stupider they wouldn’t manage. This is the ultimate. My baby comes in the room and starts balling, and really who can blame her. And you sit there for what - must be an hour? – smelling of bleach and looking seriously daft and you can’t really DO anything. It’s not like you can go for a wander about outside, go and get some chores done. All you can do is look at magazines full of gorgeous people and wonder how often they have to go through this to look like that. And every time you look up you nearly wet your pants with fright at the creature staring back at you in the mirror. Do they have to put you in front of a mirror? What sort of torture is that? And then the hairdresser comes over and you think ‘phew, we’re done’. She takes a peek under the tin foil and says ‘hmmm, not yet, maybe ten more minutes’ and puts the egg timer on again so you really do feel like a potato in an oven.

Then they take you to have your hair washed. My worst bit. Especially since they always seem to think you’re enjoying it so much. Like that gary Larson cartoon - same world different planets. A classic case of faked orgasm. There you are with your head at a most unnatural angle with a great hunk of porcelain digging into your neck. Your shoulders are by your ears, all knotted up and sore, and you’re trying really hard to pretend that you’re enjoying it, coz it seems that that’s what’s expected of you. And the water is too hot and the lady is reaaally taking her time, massaging away, putting in all these potions and saying ‘is the water too hot?’ And you can’t tell her that it is coz your eyes are watering so bad and your jaw is clenched and all you can think is ‘please just bloody hurry up. Ow ow ow’. And then your baby starts crying outside, she’s with your mother but it seems all she wants is you. Your boobs start spurting milk and the lady, oblivious, is still massaging your head. And she is probably thinking, ‘ah, man I hate this bit. Washing all this smelly hair, so bloody boring. Why can’t I be cutting the hair for god sakes? I’m good enough, but oh no, I have to make the coffee and be here massaging a strangers head. And there she sits, all comfortable in her chair enjoying my really good massage – I obviously have a good touch, look I’ve brought tears to her eyes. I’m having a shitty day, I’m going to make the water just a wee bit too hot’ Then the conditioner goes in and she puts a comb through the knots. My god, I nearly hit the roof (and not in a super hero gecko-on-the-ceiling way this time). I keep thinking ‘oh come on, I’ve been through child birth, how bad can this be? Fucking OW!’ But I sit quietly in a grimace (interpreted as a smile) and let her finish, her tugging away at my tender head, me sitting with leaky eyes and boobs.

You hobble back to the hairdressers chair in your drooping cape, feeling less and less like the super-hero and then, as if that’s not enough, the hairdresser then comes at you grinning manically with another comb and tugs and pulls at your hair some more. Now for the fun quick bit, snip snip snip, your hair tumbles to the floor, piles up and up and up. Ah, that feels better.

But, no, we’re not finished yet! You still have to have your hair blow-dried! Why do they try and keep you in there so long? Seriously, what’s with these people? And the blow-dry takes. ForEVER. More pulling and tugging and grimacing and having to look at yourself in the mirror. And it goes on. And on. And ON. Just when you think they MUST be done, they find another six strands of hair that need to be dried just so.

Then finally! It's time to go. But, oh oh, I almost forgot. They've been quietly tut-tutting about the state of your hair, like subliminal advertising and at the end of it all they persuade you that your life will be greatly improved if you buy this tub of snot and these bottles of miraculous endorphin producing gloop. The price? You're worried about the price? But why would you balk at paying the same as a small but reliable car when YOUR HAPPINESS DEPENDS ON IT? Tut tut, some people!

But then you come out looking and feeling like you just got laid and all is forgiven.


Anonymous said...

Okay, just so I got this right - you didn't enjoy the experience?

That last line has had me in stitches!

tam said...

Oh, hilarious! Yes, yes! especially the bit about the head massage. HATE that! brilliant, Mo. and then you don't wash your hair for ages afterwards coz you want to keep that blowdried look that you can never get yourself. but it only lasts a day.

Angela said...

What if you came with me to my Polish hairlady, with all the diplomas on her wall, and nothing but a knife? All you have to say is, Ya khcmew obchonch vuossey (that is TRUE!It means, I want my hair cut) and she will knife your hair down, while all the time looking away and rapidly talking in Polish to someone at the other corner of the room. And in the end she asks for 5o slotys which is 12,50 Euros, and when you give her a tip of one Euro, she says, Do zobacenia wkrótce, which means, I`ll be happy to see you again.
Well, I do look a bit like Jane Fonda as Barbarella, but those movies WERe quite successful, weren`t they?

karen said...

omg.. what a laugh, Miranda!! Not to mention all the comments - still smiling!!

I loved your earlier post, so exciting to hear that you are having some rain!

Shiny said...

Oh that's great. I've never done the hairdresser highlight thing and was thinking about trying it. After reading this, I think I'll stick to the home-dying-gloop I use! It is tempting, though, for that just laid feeling, admittedly... xx

Lori ann said...

You ARE brave, I DON'T like this either. Which is why my hair is probably too long, but oh well. My daughter went to beauty school where she needed to practice and so she'd beg me to come in for "treatments". Free. Still, not for me. Some of my friends thought I was crazy. I really don't like salons.
Massages are a whole other thing though, talk about looking like you just got, um, well...you know. :)

spacedlaw said...

But the baby is furious.

Am I glad I don't have anything done to my hair - apart from the cut - I never knew it could be so excruciating!)

Miranda said...

Rob - I managed to duck out of the blow-dry and the expensive products this time round, so not as bad as normal!

Tam, yes exactly! Have you ever tried to blow dry your own hair? Its impossible i tell you!

Geli - oooh i don't know, she sounds a bit scary!

Shiny - oh try it, just for the experience!

Lori - a kindred sprit!

Spacedlaw - at least the baby recognises me again!

JoeinVegas said...

Perhaps you are going to the wrong place. I don't have that much done to me, but I like the experience - the wash, cut, little side talk. Next time have someone take a pic of you sitting there (do it yourself in the mirror) and let us all enjoy it.

alex said...

Ah Miranda a kindred salon spirit! I love this! Why is it that what should be an edifying and uplifting experience in a woman's life is so often an angst-ridden, uncomfortable and frustrating one? The last time I got a haircut, after much angst at choosing where to go...well, I get my hair cut professionally about once a year so it has to be great so if I go there because it costs tons its bound to be great right? Wrong. So then you think well, I just dont know, doesn't seem to make much difference where I go so I try and believe in the first person that looks at me with a wrinkled earnest brow like they understand what im talking about and put all my trust in them and say 'Please dont cut my hair too short and I don't want a bob. Thankyou" (thats another thing..one always feel scared and humble...at the mercy of) and yes, I leave with a fuckin short bob. And I hate it when they put that mirror up so you can see from all angles and you always go "umm oh yes thats great, wow you're so clever!" and you HATE it and why cant you ever say you hate it! well last time I did I freaked and all the spotty herberts chewing gum with bored ezpressions and loud hairdryers sort of gawked at this mad woman with a short bob. Oh and one last thing.. blowdrying....last time i tried to emulate my professional blowdry I went out and bought one of those big fat round brushes and got it stuck in my hair right at the roots and had to cut it out so I had spikes on top of what was the first great haircut Id had in years.

alex said...

sorry..one more thing...I HATE it that they always frickin talk all the time. I had a boyfriend whose mother, when asked how she would like her hair cut said "Quietly please" Brilliant!

alex said...

oh...and I love your photos! x

Val said...

OMG - and its the only time i spend in front of a mirror cos its scary enough the rest of the time. When you try to look down or away (dont make eye contact with the reflection) they FORCE you to look up again and at the baked potato head human staring back....aaagh

and its true those basins are impossible neck crunchers

hehehe the rest....xx