The Darwin Salon
...Anthropoligically speaking, we're hardwired to compete for mates - whether or not we already have a mate. It's why I gave up on female hairdressers.
This is quite possibly the most brilliant thing anyone has ever spelled out for me. Not only that, but it's quite timely.
Because Invisible Internet Friends, I have some news for you.
I have a mullet.
Let me say that again. Because it bears repeating because it's a mullet.
I have a mullet.
How does one get a mullet, you ask? How do the forces of evil and nature and hilarity conspire against a reasonably aware and un-mullet-friendly 31-year-old who is just trying to get to the point of being able to walk down the street and not feel like she should be wearing a canvas sack to cover her enormous body, let alone her mullet-ed head, too?
Because I will tell you one thing: I may be "spirited" and "interesting" and all, but I am not so well advanced in my interesting-ness that I think I should voluntarily sport a mullet.
Here is what happened:
I have once or twice mentioned my hairdresser, whose name is Emily, here before. Because she is awesome and hysterical and reasonably priced and knows me and we have good chats. The color she gives me is usually pretty good, too.
But you notice how up there, where I praise my hairdresser, I do not actually mention anything about loving her for giving me good haircuts?
So let me go back a step.
The best cut and color I have ever had in San Francisco was administered by a hairdresser I was afraid of. She had a bleached blond MOHAWK and I am not in any way kidding about that.
I am also not kidding when I say the mohawk wasn't the reason I stopped seeing her. Even though it was a TALL and SPIKED mohawk.
It's that she used to have me help her with my color. I had to hold up a board against my head so she could paint on the highlights allllllllll the way down to the roots. She insisted that it was the best way to get the color onto the roots, and I believed her, except what I really wanted to tell her was that it was not my idea of a good time.
I don't actually like going to a salon and being forced hand over gobs of my salary just for the privelege of GETTING TO DO MY OWN HAIR.
Plus, it's not like sitting in the chair with the apron on that makes you look even fatter than you already do with your hair teased out in aluminum foil makes you feel glamorous, exactly.
(um, this is not me, but i felt like including a picture. i hijacked it from another blog. so there.)
And you know? Holding some sort of board to your head while a very determined and brusque lady with a mohawk jabs at your scalp with a paintbrush of toxic chemicals DOES NOT MAKE IT BETTER.
But I was too afraid of her to tell her this.
So rather than be confrontational in any way ("Um, it's really okay if you don't manage to access that 0.000016" of roots there at the surface of my scalp. I don't think anyone will notice. I won't even notice, to be perfectly honest with you. And also? My arm is tired and cramping, and you don't know me very well but I should not be trusted to hold anything near a reasonably dangerous substance because if I'm left unattended I might cause an explosion of some sort."), I did the only reasonable thing.
I found a new salon.
Enter Emily, and the funny things she says. Hurrah! for not being afraid of my hairdresser.
On the downside, "can I have some layers" never quite translated to what I hoped. In the three years I've been going to Emily, "layers" always seemed to result in the same thing: one long layer, with one shorter layer on top. A la mushroomhead.
No matter how I would try and clarify that "layerS" meant more than ONE, my hair always came out the same.
So finally, one day last week, I decided my hair'd been growing for too long and it was time to get it cut and
[I made a deal with myself a long time ago. I would grow my hair out and long and would not revert to cutting it shorter (above the shoulders) again until I have lost the weight I want to. I don't have a goal weight for this, but I am not allowed to significantly shorten my hair until I'm happy with my body. Just one of those things. Issues. You know.]
thought maybe it was time to let liking my haircut be a more important criterion in selecting a salon than liking my stylist.
Especially now, since my hair's getting kind of long and heavy and stringy and it needs professional help. It needs more than one layer. Thus, I bit the bullet and went to a new place. To a new hairdresser.
Her name is Emily.
When I arrived, she told me to look at pictures and tell her what I wanted. We discussed, at great length (har, har) what I was going for and what I didn't like about my current look.
I was excited. She clearly understood where I was coming from. She clearly had excellent training and schooling and spoke with all sorts of precision and technical jargon and was nice and sweet and then she started cutting.
Remember the Rachel haircut?
ever. I always ask for it. I never get it.
Somewhere about 5/8 of the way through this session, my hair looked great: thicker and fuller and shaped and perfect. She's done a great job, I thought.
And then she kept going.
You know that feeling. I know you know that feeling. That feeling where you're in the chair and you feel the scissors and you think, "she's not really cutting THAT much is she?" but you don't look down on the floor because you know. You know you will look down and there, on the floor, will lie a massive heap of hair, representing months of strife and "growing out" and remnants of previous colors and what is it doing there? On the floor? And not on your head? And you know if you see it your stomach will lurch and it won't be good. So you pretend.
But things got undeniably short when we got to my bangs. Do you want your bangs a little shorter than they are now? she asked. And my thought was, I have bangs now? So I said yes, a little.
But IIFs, we all know that "a little" never means what we non-scissor-wielding people think it does.
When all was said and done, I walked out of the salon feeling fine. I hadn't gotten any coloring (I'm taking a break on highlights for now; I haven't NOT had to worry about roots in 15 years, which is freeing; plus damn! are they ever expensive), but with so much of my previously lightened hair cut off, it looked darker. And sure, my bangs were shorter than I wanted, but they were styled cutely so I didn't really notice.
Except. As the afternoon wore on, and I started playing with my hair and trying new looks, I realized it: she gave me the "now it will grow out much better" cut. Which is what I wanted. And asked for.
But it didn't occur to me what that actually meant.
Translation: your hair will look better in 3-6 months. For now? Ahahahahahahaahahahahaaaaah!
So the next day when I showed my hair to my friend -- yes, that's right, my friend EMILY -- and said I'm not happy with it, that I will be happy with it, but I'm not now, because the layers are great but so much shorter than I'm used to, especially the ones on top and yes, the back is still long and what is that face you're making? it all came into focus.
Yeah, she said, pretty much trying not to laugh at me, you kind of have a mullet!
At which point Ish could not contain himself. Joe Dirt! JOE DIRT! he exclaimed in a white trash accent, while pointing at my head and snorting with laughter.
All I can say is, Hairdresser Emily II has no idea what kind of mate she's competing for.