I try to do it as infrequently as I possibly can but today the wild tresses were shorn.
Here are the myriad reasons why I hate it so:
- As soon as I walk in my appearance is being judged by the kinds of girls who used to cause me acute misery by doing exactly the same when I was at school.
- I am then handed one of the magazines I avoid every other day of the year because they contain hundereds of pictures of women I will never be like.
- While I am waiting I am forced to eavesdrop on conversations between hairdressers and clients which flow easily and are relaxed and imply that the client is having a good time. I am painfully aware of the contrast that is about to unfold when it is my turn.
- Next the stylist comes over, stands behind me at the mirror and begins to finger my limp hair which has not been cut for 1 to 2 years, and asks me about my usual 'routine'. I blush and stutter as I try to find an answer other than "I just get out of bed and leave it. I don't even own a hairdryer and I don't care if I can't find my brush."
- Having got over this hurdle and endured my sense of feminity shrinking to the size of a pea with every second that her judging, girly eye fixes mine, with her shiny hair and her makeup and her pretty little shoes and her stupid bra that is not an industrial one like mine and her knowledge of fashion and boys, she asks me the dreaded question; "And what can I do for you today?"
- I have an image in my mind of myself as a foxy, funky woman with a daring style that suits my face, that I am able to maintain with skillful manipulation of dryer and 'product'. But I must have been absent during that life skills class where they teach you the language to describe such things. Believe me, I have tried many times, with many different hair dressers to ask for what I want, but somewhere along the line it always seems to translate in their ears as one of the following:
- Make me look like my mother please.
- Make me look like my grandmother please.
- Make me look like my father please.
- Make me look like my hamster please.
- Make me look like I am going to an 80s party please.
- Make me look like I am going to a 70s party please.
- Make me look like I am going to a halloween party please.
Or on this particular occasion:
- Make me look like Long Distance Clara from Pigeon Street please.
7. Next I have my hair shampooed and am led back in front of the mirror. Readers, very few of you will have ever seem me with wet, brushed hair and there is a reason for that. I have an inordinately large forehead and very thin hair so I look like an egg. A blushing, insecure egg in a room full of girly girls who have perfect hair and can see me. And I am sitting in front of a mirror.
8. My next crippling inadequacy to be exposed is my complete inability to engage in small talk. I was also absent from that life skills class. No, I am not going anywhere nice on my holidays, and if I was, I would not know how to answer that question in a way that did not end after the first, dull sentence. I can't comment on the magazine I am reading because I don't understand it. I can't comment on what you are doing because, as has already been painfully established, I don't have the vocabulary. I can't think of anything to say because there is a loud voice in my head saying; "You don't belong here! All the women are laughing at you and your split ends! Your stylist has never met anyone with less oestrogen! She also thinks you are fat and a bad dancer! She can tell just by looking at you that you don't know how to walk in high heels! She has the power to change your appearance in a completely unpredictable way and there is nothing you can do about it! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA!" Would you be able to talk about the weather with all that going on?
9. I am now forced to watch as my dignity is removed hair by hair. It is too late. She is doing things with instruments and hair products that cost more than my mortgage, that I know I will never be able to replicate (and so does she).
10. The haircut is finished. I hate it and I hate myself. She shows me what it looks like from the back. Even worse. She asks me if I like it. "Yes, it's great! Thanks so much Donna!" I pay £43 for the priveledge of a sinking heart, a sticky mess on my head and feeling like Madonna would feel if she went to a National Chastity Convention.