Monday, November 25, 2013

Don't Cry Over Cut Hair, Unless...

I have always been an advocate of haircuts at cosmetology schools. Why spend $35 on a haircut when you can get one for $7? Friends would ask if I was afraid the student would mess up. I would casually reply that it was no big deal. Unlike at a cheap salon, two people (instructor and student) work to make sure you have a good haircut. Even if they do mess up, hair grows back.

I admit, I was pretty proud of myself for getting such a good deal and for not taking hair too seriously.

One day, my pride received a big boost. I was shopping for the first time in a ritzy area. Let me assure you, only a wedding registry could bring me shopping in that area. Anyway, a store clerk complimented my haircut. Rather than humbly thank her for the compliment, I piped up: "Thanks. I got it cut at a cosmetology school for $7!" The clerk's surprise and admiration were just what I was going for.

"Pride goes before a fall." Yep, that saying is popular for a reason.

On a fateful day in July, I cheerfully arrived at a cosmetology school for my haircut. I showed the student and instructor the desired style, which had been carefully selected on Pinterest the day before. No layers, I said. My hair is fine and thick, I said. I'm growing it out for a wedding, I said. She started cutting away.

I quickly learned that this student was not chatty. In fact, she didn't speak unless directly questioned. "That's fine," I thought. "Whatever she needs to do to focus." All of a sudden, she started chopping layers. Not lightly feathering the ends, but what I call "shelf layers." You know, the bottom layer flips out, the top layer is about two inches higher and flips in. No offense to anyone that likes it, but that is NOT my style. I tried to stop her, but it was too late.

Alright, the haircut I wanted was off the table. Let's just start over and go for a shorter style that I like. I was bummed to lose the length, but "it will grow back." My phone wouldn't bring up another picture, so I tried to explain the new goal. The instructor approved her to cut everything equal to the shorter layer. Then, they were done. All one length, just below my chin. It looked like a bad bob from fourth grade. Like Ramona (see below) only wider at the bottom. They wanted me to leave like that!
I tried to explain that they needed to use thinning shears, bring in layers. They thought I didn't want layers. Right, for the first haircut that was ruined. I could not make them understand, but I couldn't leave like that. I had been there for nearly four hours by this point (they had successfully started with highlights).

Desperately, I tried to get my phone to work. Nope. I asked her for a hair magazine or something. Ridiculous, huge tears started rolling down my cheeks and plopping onto the cape. How embarrassing! It was just hair. I felt so trapped and frustrated. How could we not understand each other?

Thankfully, another instructor from the other end of the room saw what was happening. She came to my rescue and quickly fixed my hair. I finally was able to show her a picture, and she said, "I thought that's what you were going for." Okay, good. I was finally understood.

My husband kindly suggested that I stop going to cosmetology schools and just pay for a good, stress-free haircuts. Deal.

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