Monday, December 21, 2009

Why can't I get a decent haircut?

I needed a simple trim. That's all. Now, I've got a perfectly good haircut in front and a mangy disaster in the back. Looks like a six-year-old tried to use a trimmer on the back of my head. It's mangy looking - just in time for holiday photographs!

I don't understand it. I just can't seem to get a decent haircut. Yeah, I have thin hair, but it's not that thin. I have a few cowlicks, but that's not uncommon. Yet, every time I get a lousy haircut, those things are the explanations for the little disaster that ensues.

The mistake I made this time is going back to the place where I got the lousy haircut last week and asking them to fix it. I used to scold my tattoo customers for doing the same thing with their bad tattoos - "What made you think that the person who did a bad job the first time would do a better job the second?" It seemed obvious it wasn't a good idea. But, I did ask for another person to fix it. That person struggled with the first bad job. Then, she asked for a more experienced person to come help out. That person shaved off my natural hairline, much to to the horror of both of us. Then, she didn't know what to do. I sat in that chair for 45 minutes while three different people tried, in vain, to rectify a few seconds of reckless buzz-cutting. Then, I felt obligated to give the struggling stylist a tip for all her struggles, even though I'm thinking I should wear a scarf for a few weeks.

At least it wasn't a tattoo. This is only hair, and it'll grow back. Now, I just have to hope that people don't take photographs of me from the back or side, and psych myself up for the ribbing I might get about "what the hell happened back there?"

Y'know, all I wanted was a neat back and sides. That's it. Is that so hard? I used to go to a barber instead of a beauty salon, and I always got a great haircut. The barbers I know are all gone. I think it's time to find a new one. I'm plainly sick of paying for a "woman's haircut" when I think I might have been able to do it myself with just as bad results.

And yes, I'm allowing myself to be pissy, a second day in a row. Happy Holidays!

Photo note: This beautiful woman has entire website devoted to her struggles with baldness. I was bald for a few years, had almost no hair for at least a decade, and dealt with other people's unwanted comments constantly. My father thought a woman without hair was an "affront." The bible says a woman's hair is her crowning glory. It doesn't belong to her, though. It is for her husband, and her husband alone. Orthodox Jewish women wear wigs,hats, and scarves so that only their husbands will see their hair. There's many traditions for women covering up, and it's too big a topic for an addendum to this post. Some other day perhaps. But really, it's absurd how much not having hair, for a woman, is a subversion of the male gaze, and can literally cause strangers to do things like insult or even harm one physically.

1 comment:

jmcleod76 said...

I have trouble getting a good haircut, too. I once got a haircut I liked from kind of a bitchy gay guy in Pittsburgh. This was at one of the discount hair chains where you're not supposed to request a specific stylist because they're allegedly all trained to cut hair the exact same way, so you get the same service whether you're in New York or Podunkville. That's hooey. Clearly, some of them get only the franchise training and some of them actually know what they're doing. Anyway, I asked this guy, when he was done, how to explain what he did to another stylist in order to get the same results. He told me. I've given those same instructions to everyone who has cut my hair for the last 6-7 years, and have - I swear - never gotten the same results twice. A few of them actually seemed not to even understand my instructions, which seem simple enough to my uninitiated ears. I'm not saying that every haircut has been bad. Rather, that every good haircut I've gotten has seemed like an accident, because my impression has been that stylists listen to what you tell them, then do whatever they think will look good, anyway. Once, a girl in Falmouth failed to blend the back of my head, so I had a definite line between the longer hair and the shorter hair. When I asked her to fix it (and I never ask people to fix haircuts I dislike, either because I usually feel too intimidated or because I can't see any way to fix what's already been done), she had the temerity to tell me there was nothing she could do. "That's just the way your head is shaped," she said! She finally did fix it, acting put out about it the whole time. I wanted to belt her in the mouth but, like you, I tipped her on my way out. Also like you, I've had my best luck at barber shops, and paid a lot less for it, too.