I haven't had a hair cut for over a year and whilst the grey fronds make valiant attempts to penetrate the longer locks, I've managed to keep them coloured with home treatments. Finally, even though I'm flat broke, I decided yesterday to go to the hairdressers for the full treatment. Hey, that's what credit cards are for. Yep, colour, foils and a cut.
I have very independent hair, it has a mind of it's own, curls when it feels like it and frizzess more often than not, even gets a bit 'dready' if I put the right product in it. It's long, about 10cm past my shoulders which for someone my age is considered mutton dressed up as lamb unless dutifully trussed in a french roll or piled judiciously on top of my noggin.
So, as I walk into "Mario and Raymond's" salon, I'm greeted by three young ladies who look like they're just out of night nappies, in tight black jeans and pretty pink T-shirts which are all two sizes too small and bearing enough midriff to tout their varied belly button piercings and a gay blade with far too spikey hair and eybrows that have obviously seen a beautician more than once.
I'm ushered to a leather and chrome bouncy chair in front of a full length fucking mirror. I hate those things. It's bad enough seeing your face under fluorescent light let alone the whole shebang and of course, thanks to the crimson wave, I'm also touting a large blind pimple on the centre of my right cheek that seems to be exacerbated by the huge expanse of mirror before me. I cautiously remove the clip holding the swag of hair high on my nut and down comes the tumbling mass of brown and grey frizz.
Then they're straight into it. Takes two you see . . . One passing sticky stuff and foils the other splitting hairs and packing on the bleach. She's so short that she's standing on tip-toe whilst pasting this foul smelling unction on my hair. I have foils down the centre which means by the time she's finished and my root preparation is put in to hide the grey, I look like an overweight Jean Simmons without the makeup. Then the 'overcolour', I've chosen a nice warm chocolate which I know will end up looking like my normal hair colour but it looked pretty nice on the synthetic hair pallette they showed me. Now I really look like Jean Simmons only with makeup on my hair instead of my face.
I politely decline tea or coffee from the Cafe Bar (it tastes like soap) and commence reading a 2004 Women's Weekly. Oprah's secrets, a bio on Susan Sarandon with photos quite obviously focussed on her sagging breasts and some rather nice things to do with Mangoes (not very helpful now that the season is over). Anyway, the massive volume keeps me distracted until the only thing I love about going to the hair dressers - the wash and conditioning massage. Even the hard neck rest doesn't deter me from experiencing one of life's little luxuries - having a deep conditioning treatment and a little snipppet of a chicky babe massaging the scalp with the devil's fingers. Fantaaaaaaastic. All too soon it's over. Shorty comes back, stands on tippy toes again and does the cutting.
Tippy: "How would you like it?" she asks:
Me: "I don't care, you're the hairdresser, have fun"
Tippy: "Yes but do you want it layered?"
Me: "Shit I don't know, you're the hairdresser, just give me soft curls Susan Sarandon or Oprah"
Tippy: "Oh, I think you should have layers, it will make it less weighty at the bottom . . "
Me: (she isn't listening) "Ok Go for it. Not too short but I want masses of loose curls, not frizz"
Tippy: "No problem, we have fantastic products to control frizz"
Me: *aha, she did listen*
Easy peasy. She snips for far too shorter a time, whacks in some product and dries with a diffuser. I look OK, not spectacular but the colour's nice, the curls are soft 'ish. It's not completely dry when she rings up the $160 bill . . . I know it's a lot but remember I haven't had a cut for over a year so pro-rata'd that's not too much to ask.
I drop into our local Welcome Mart on the way home:
Shop Assistant: "What have you done to your hair?"
mmm . . . maybe something's happened to it on the way home from the hairdressers.
The kids arrive home in quick succession:
ClareBare: "Hey the foils look nice but I'm not sure about wearing it down"
DrummerBoy: "Hey, how you goin' Frizzgirl, you're not going out tonight are you?"
I obviously haven't spent enough time preening in front of the mirror since I got back so go and check . . OMGWTF . . .
It looks EXACTLY the same as it did before, only with five blonde foils and a little shorter. Fuck it . . $160 to get rid of some grey roots which I probably could have done at home for $11.
So my mission today . . .to get out all the anti-frizz, straighteners, curl enhancers, tongs, GHD straightener and 'play'.
At my age, weight, stage in life . . . why am I so obsessed with hair? It's like those really ugly people who want to go onto extreme make-over to get their nose straightened when really darlings, the nose isn't the problem.
I wish I had Oprah and Susan's hairdresser.