This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I want to look like me, only better

I wear my hair essentially the same way every day. Sure some days it's a little fluffier, other days a little curlier, and sometimes just plain woebegone, but the basic shape is the same every day. I am not trained to style hair. I don't have anything fancy going on with the cut or color. I don't use any styling products except a little gel, when I remember it. I don't use any styling tools except a round brush and blow dryer.

So why, am I the only one able to recreate this look?

I have searched for years to find a stylist who can make my hair look just like it did when I walked into the salon, except shorter and better, of course. Yet each stylist seems stymied to create what I am able to do every day, practically one handed, in a poorly lit bathroom while fighting for space at the mirror. Oh sure, they zip around me, brushes going one way, blow dryers the other way, gels, creams, and unguents of all types being applied to my hair - all to create a look that doesn't look nearly as flattering as the hairstyle I walked in with! Why? How is this possible? These are trained professionals, yes? I either end up with bangs to rival Cousin It's, hair blown back like a member of the band A Flock of Seagulls, hair pasted flat to my head like Squiggy from LaVerne & Shirley, or some version of the "messy" look that can really only be effectively pulled off by Meg Ryan.

For years I thought this was happening because the way I styled my hair wasn't as flattering as the way THEY did it. This theory was proven wrong again and again because people only ever complemented me on my hair when I had done it myself, never after having come from the salon.

I was so excited to search for stylists in Massachusetts: here, I thought, in this metropolitan area, surrounded by art, culture, and big money, HERE I WILL FIND MY STYLIST. Well, so far not so good.

First attempt: stylist is bald. Not female-pattern-bald but head-shaved-I'm-making-a-statement bald. I am trying not to judge on appearances, but let's face it: this woman has given up on her hair completely yet she wants to give me advice on mine? Okay, I take the plunge, after all with all her tattoos, piercings, and black lipstick she is obviously way cooler than me. Things start to go wrong with the hair washing. She wrapped her be-ringed fingers around my hair, dug her black-tipped-nails into my scalp and proceeded to wrench my neck from side to side intermittently scalding me and pulling my hair. When she was done I was so grateful to have survived the hair washing that I figured the worst had to be behind me. In a way, it was because the haircut was uneventful (read: painless) and seemed to look flattering while still wet. The blow drying was a little painful, but doable and the end result was quite frankly pretty good. Unfortunately my hair was so short in back that my tendency toward a hairy neck (too much information?) was readily apparent and when I tried to style my hair for the first time it became apparent that the left side was shorter than the right. Next!

Second attempt: again, the stylist's hair leaves a little to be desired: plain pony tail. I see the pony tail as the sweatpants of hairstyles, sure it may be comfortable and something you can throw on in a moment's notice, but would you really consider it a style? This time I badly needed color so I asked for lowlights because if my hair had anymore highlights it would be glaring. The stylist asked me to look at a People Magazine (?) to find a celebrity whose hair color most matched what I was looking for. Okay, I chose Racquel Welch a woman with whom I share absolutely no other qualities except that we both have brown hair. The hair washing was much more comfortable this time, though probably no one will equal the bliss I felt in Toledo when Bill's strong hands massaged my head...ahh...but I digress... and the color looks good, the haircut was uneventful and still looked good upon returning home. However, the styling...oh dear! I have never had so much time spent on making my hair look so completely...lifeless. The top was flat, the sides were poofy and the back looked woebegone. I went home and fixed it but it was not one of my stylist's finer moments. I will go back in 7 weeks, not excited, but not scared either.

So here I am, looking like me as only I can make myself look. Perhaps I do such a good job on my own hair that even professionals cannot rival my style? Perhaps my last stylist was so overwhelmed by the task of making me look like Racquel Welch that her hands were shaking too much to be able to style my hair? Perhaps I should be paying more for a haircut...

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