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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

OK, I'll Admit It...I Just Don't Get The Hair Thing

I belong to a neighborhood Facebook board full of Moms who swap tips and information and recommendations for all kinds of stuff in our town and our school district. It's been a big resource for all kinds of stuff, and today, there was a frantic post from a Mom that read something like this:

Help! I need a recommendation for a good hairdresser! The one I used to use moved to another town and I'm at a loss!!!

There were at least twenty replies at last checking, glowing recommendations for this girl or that guy at whatever salon. Some of the women had used the same girl that the original poster used and they were commiserating with her. Oh, we loved Stephanie, too! She was the best! We tried the other Stephanie there and she's not quite up to snuff...

Because, I guess, when your Stephanie goes away, you try another Stephanie. Or something.

And once again, I'm reminded that as a woman, I just don't get it.

I've been getting my hair cut professionally for more than thirty years now. And never once have I gone to a specific person at a specific salon because I just couldn't trust my hair to anyone else. Never.

I usually go to the big chain places, because a twelve dollar haircut works just fine for me. My hair has never been some ethereal cloud of spun cotton candy-like floss glistening like the sun off of a clear mountain lake. It's just hair. Most of the time it looks pretty. I get a lot of compliments when I get it cut, and I've even had people ask me who "does my hair." I can never remember. Whoever is working when I stop in, usually. Guess I should tell people her name is Stephanie.

I did have a bad haircut once, when I happened to be in Wal-Mart waiting for a prescription and the pharmacy quoted me a ninety minute wait. I walked into their on-site salon, and told the girl working that I needed a trim and yes, it did have layers.

I emerged from the chair looking like Leather Tuscadero from Happy Days (yeah, I'm dating myself here). I had big, chunky, very short layers on top and long, straggly stuff underneath. It was the mullet to end all mullets. I was furious, and they did refund my money.

I had to stuff it up in a clip or a high ponytail for a little while, but it didn't wreck my life or scar my soul. In my experience, the difference between a bad haircut and an OK haircut is about a week. Add another week or two and you're back in "this is fine for now" territory and another week after that you can get it trimmed again. Big deal.

It's just hair.

And I know some of you are thinking, "Well, if you'd ever had a good hairdresser give you a proper haircut, you'd know the difference."

I had that once. My ex once gave me a $150 gift certificate to a high-end salon and spa because he thought I'd be able to get a massage there. It turned out they didn't offer massage, just facials and hair services. I needed to get my hair colored, so I booked a haircut and color with a highly recommended stylist and it was beautiful. She did a really nice job, and I loved how I looked.

Then it came time to pay. My gift certificate didn't cover it all. Holy crap. After adding in the tip and the remainder that the certificate didn't cover, I still had to pay more than $50 extra out of pocket. For my hair.

And yeah, it looked nice, but $200 in my bank account looks a lot nicer. That's an extra night in a hotel on vacation. Or the whole family at the movies two weekends in a row. Or a down payment on a beach rental. The list goes on and on.

So I can say, with some authority, that the difference between the cut-rate haircut place and the swanky salon was a whole lot of money and not a lot else. I've loved my hair just as much for a lot less, and felt no guilt over it, either.

Guess I'm just not taking this hair thing seriously.

Sorry, Stephanie.

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