Friday, October 19, 2007

Hair Waves

Fast forward to this month, to my most recent visit to the hair salon. Recently, I've been hankering after a change in hair styles, wishing for something less conservative, a little, well, perhaps younger is the word I'm looking for. While I wait for my hair stylist, Tina, I'm leafing through a photo album of hair styles and spy one that looks pretty great on a woman half my age. I bring the book with me to the chair. Tina peers over my shoulder at the picture.

"Oh," she says. "You want something textured." Whatever that means.

"Uh huh, sure, like, different lengths, but basically long, kinda snazzy." Can't you just picture her rolling her eyes as I say this? I mean, really, I just never learn.

But Tina is a consummate professional--if she does roll her eyes, she doesn't let me see her do it. Instead, she musses my hair with her capable hands. "Sure, I can do that," she says.

Her confidence is contagious. Also, I'm paying a healthy chunk of money for the cut, which in my mind is a further guarantee of success. I sit there happily as she works, enjoying the attention, the way she pins my hair on the top of my head, snip, snip, snipping away. This is going to take years off my life! I think. I can already hear the compliments, the appreciative nods from family and friends.

But when I get home, not one word about my haircut. They're not really looking, I think to myself. A week passes, still no comments, and I start to wonder myself how much I really like this cut. My hair looks messy, no matter what I try. Then I go to lunch with Jo. She grabs a wad of it at the back of my head.

"What's goin' on back here?" she asks. "I mean, are we having some kind of hairpisode, or what?" (She reads my blog.) I laugh nervously. "I'm serious!" she says.

When I get home, I scrounge for a hand mirror to see what's back there. At the nape of my neck, there's a rat's nest. My hair is sproinging out in a way that matches nothing else, like a bad case of bedhead. So I go back to the hair salon to see what can be done. I catch a stylist's eye as I walk in the door.

"What's going on here?" I ask, turning the back of my head to Maria (it says on her nametag), picking up the bushy tail back there.

"Oh, you got some kinda wave."

"Can we, like, just cut it off?"

"Oh, I wouldn't do that." She giggles, presumably at my lack of hair sense.

"But why is this happening? My hair was always so straight."

"Hair doesn't stay the same, it changes. It changes when you hit puberty, it changes when you have children." Maria is dispensing her hair wisdom in teetering platform shoes, broom in hand since she's just finished sweeping up from a customer. "You maybe didn't realize it, you got some kinda wave back there, now you got too much texture, it won't lay flat anymore. You need a blunt cut, something heavy to weigh it down. I'll give you a redo."

Now I look younger all right. My teenage daughter and I have about the same hair cut. Live and learn?

No comments: