Friday, January 2, 2009

Bad Haircuts

Have you ever had a bad haircut? Me too. Apparently they're fairly common. The problem is that you have no control over it. You tend to believe in this person and their abilities. You want to believe in them. You kind of have to believe in them. So when it happens, it's like being stabbed in the back. There's not quite the betrayal aspect, but certainly you never see it coming. You're just sitting there, believing in them, enjoying the haircut... Do you know that I heard lonely people go to the stylist for that very reason? A little pampering, a little of the human touch? That's odd because there are other things you can pay for that, well... That's another post entirely.

So you're sitting there, enjoying the haircut. You don't know what she's doing back there. Maybe she's looking at the picture you gave her to work from. She's looking at the picture and clipping away. You feel good because it sounds productive. There seems to be a lot of snipping and clipping and combing. Then you see the finished product and it's clear that she wasn't looking at the same picture you gave her initially. You think:

"What is this that you've done to me? What did I ever do to you? This is not just a bad haircut, this is cruelty, making me look like this!"

You feel violated in some way, and very vulnerable. The first thing you do is go straight home to wash the hair to see what you can do with it. The hair cutting professional wasn't up for the task at hand, but you can certainly salvage things. So you wash it and get out combs and gel and blow dryers and implements of all sorts. If nothing works, then there is at least the comfort that it will grow back, some day.

It's worse for women too. For a guy, no matter how bad they mess it up, it can be cut shorter. The bald look is even in for guys now. Girls don't have this option, not here in the States anyway. When a girl gets a messed up Do, it's a 6 month curse, minimum, because the hair has to grow back, and then be re-styled.

Another problem is what to say to the stylist. What do you say to them, after the smoke has cleared?

"Oh wow, thanks so much. This is just the look I was going for; a bald spot!"

You can always ask them to please clip a little shorter here, or blend a little more there. Meanwhile, it keeps getting shorter and shorter. It's a case of diminishing returns.

Usually you don't notice the problem till' it's over and done. You stifle a scream, force a smile and tell them it looks great. You probably tip them, because that's what you always do, then you leave, go to a quite place, and cry. Face it, you're screwed.