Part One – In Which There Is Hair…

A word of warning: this is a story about hair. And the story will be told in two parts…
I was sick of looking in the mirror and thinking “something’s not quite right here”. And when I say mirror, I mean a spoon. And when I say spoon, I mean a wooden one.
I was feeling a little sluggish, a little sallow, a little excessively haired in terms of eyebrows and head. Six week until the next am dram show, I mused….I could risk a hair cut.
I am someone who will go a sickeningly long time between cuts. To be fair, my hair is not high maintenance but it is annoyingly fine and needs layers to prevent it looking like a terrible Gwyneth Paltrow do (or a normal Gwyneth Paltrow do. I don’t much care for her). Anyway, I can’t do layers myself, so I must to a stylist.
Look at me before. I’m LITERALLY Bardot
I’ve been wearing my hair long and tousled for a while, because it seems to work. But I was feeling bold and set my mind on lopping a full three inches off my locks. I had a vision of a shorter, bouncier version of what I have now, thinking ‘ahh, it’ll grow back no matter what!’
I’m a tramp when it comes to hairdressers; I can’t remain loyal no matter how good the last one was in the sink. Like a sex addict, time is a factor. When I decide to get a haircut, it’s usually on the spur of the moment and I want an appointment right then and there. The last barber I visited, Stone Hair in Canterbury, was fantastic and I’ve only ever had good service there. You’d THINK I’d learn to be patient and stick with them. But no – Stone was not instantly available on the day that I demanded to be clipped and coiffed, so they were cast aside for a sluttier salon. One that came highly recommended and was offering £30 for a cut and blow dry for new customers. This would be Doo Daas.
I enter the salon, and meet my hair chap. I am cheery and excited about my hair being murdered. Hair chap is oddly quiet. As he asks me what style I want that day, he looks like he’s about to watch eight puppies be drowned by Santa
I explain: a good 2 or 3 inches off the hair and giving it volume and…
I don’t get to finish; he nods, as if he already knows, and I’m whisked away to have my hair is washed by a subordinate. It’s all a bit weird. During the wash, my chair keeps trying to give me a massage. I consider telling it that I’m flattered but I’m spoken for, but I don’t want to make a scene. I just ignore it, and end up feeling oddly violated but relaxed.
When hair chap finally gets to work on my do, he moves fluidly and expertly but looks utterly miserable.

He doesn’t say anything. No small talk, no smiles. I sense that this isn’t just ‘bored at work’ miserable. Something is wrong, and it’s an elephant in the room. It is so obvious that I can’t do my usual routine of hiding in Facebook on my phone, it’d be like playing Tetris while informing a friend they had cancer.

Minutes pass.

“You work in Canterbury?”
I’m so desperate to make conversation that I detail far too much about my job, my office, my colleagues and my desk. He smiles. Silence again. Any good that the perverted massage chair did has vanished; I am rigid. After a little while longer, hair chap asks if my boyfriend works in town. I tell him everything about the beau, from his shoe size to his pin numbers.
Then hair chap opens up. “I really think I’ve blown it with my bloke.”
It transpires that he has met the perfect guy – kind, fun, handsome. Hair chap can’t believe that someone like him would want to be with him. And he’s felt so insecure, he says, that he panicked and had a quick browse on a dating website to hedge his bets, just to have a look. But his fella found the evidence in the internet browser during his routine checking his boyfriend’s phone and internet history…wh..?…well anyway, now perfect man does not want to see hair chap anymore!

“Oooooookay,” I say helpfully. I am trying to sympathise while having a silent nervous breakdown about what this man’s love life might be doing to my hair. He snips, clips and cuts as if in a trance. At first I think he isn’t taking enough length off. Then I think it’s too much. My layers are creeping further and further up my head, and he’s doing a lot of texturing, but I bite my lip – this is what you wanted, I tell myself.
When the cut is finished, hair chap spends a reassuring amount of time ensuring it is even and smooth and then curls it for me, having apparently listened to my opening ramble about hating my hair straight. I peer at him with quiet admiration. He is clearly not having a good day, but he is a pro – he could probably cut my hair with his eyes closed. The finished look is bouncy, textured, and fresh. I am very pleased, though I don’t get much chance to thank poor hair chap as he runs off to, I suspect, cry into some gin in the toilets. I leave a nice tip.
Feeling confident, I nip across the road to a new fairly cheap beauty salon to get my eyebrows threaded for £5. I get what I pay for – the cotton snaps four times, I’m jabbed in the eye twice and I’m not even shown the finished result (they forget to hand me a mirror). The beauticians on duty are so sweet though. One of them eerily covets not only my hair, but also my make up. She leans over me while plucking, staring at my kohl and mascara, saying “I reeeeeealllly like that….that’s nice….”
Look at me after.
(Ignore my red nose, I’d been sneezing)
But that’s by the by! My hair is a resounding success. I’m always glad when new ventures pay off.


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