Last weekend, I caught a glimpse of my hair in the sun. Dry split ends and dull texture – months of hair left to grow and self-destruct. I finally walked my embarrassed self to a fancy salon and embraced the pain: I hate getting my haircut.
Trying to find a good hair stylist
My regular hairdresser made hair-cutting a breeze. Every six weeks, she religiously trimmed my locks while I spoke about work and read magazines. All was well, until she left the salon and moved away.
Since then, I’ve not been faithful. I’ve continued to switch salons and stylists often – it’s like a bad breakup that’s left me with commitment issues. (My hair enjoys mirroring my love life). As I tend to book appointments last-minute, I’m usually agreeing to whoever’s available –much to the dismay of stylists recognising me. My cheeks flame red when an old stylist catches my eye; I’m cheating at their work place.
To stop this awkwardness happening, I decided to try somewhere new. I found and booked the salon online; boutique and quaint with cottage style windows and low ceilings. At the reception desk, I had to apologise for typing my middle name in the surname column. Then, I had to explain a second error, selecting just a blow-dry when I needed a haircut. My stylist looked horrified at the thought of styling my ratty tails – they grew so long I’m sure they had babies.
The consultation – my haircut social anxiety
One of the biggest reasons I hate getting my haircut. Sitting on the chair looking at myself after waking up from death (that’s what salon lighting reflects), I’m forced to confess my hair sins. Yes, I let months go by without visiting a salon (I use to go regularly!). No, I ran out of hair mask and I’m not using one at the minute. Also, no, I’ve stopped buying Kerastase and I’m shampooing with some brand I found in T.K Maxx. I don’t know the name but it wasn’t cheap.
My stylist stares at me in disgust. The judgement on her face soon turns to delight, realising I’m the perfect candidate for selling. In a hurry she rushes and grabs a mix of products my “really dry” hair needs. I’ve tried each one, though I know she wouldn’t believe me. She’d think: “This girl with horrid hair couldn’t have bought every luxury treatment we offer”.
When a stylist begins a hair consultation, I’m reminded of my mother’s face at parents’ evenings. The shame she felt when my teachers wondered why I’d never attended a revision class.
I want to scream: “I know – I know my hair looks bad and hence the reason I’m here. If my hair looked radiant, I wouldn’t come in to pay a fortune for a trim.” Once the telling off/please buy stage ends, it’s on to the next hate getting my haircut phase: the wash. I judge myself for not knowing where to stare. Sitting on the chair with my head trapped between a wash basin; it’s like being on a train trying to avoid the eyes of other customers. I end up peering down at the floor, wondering if I look sad.
Hate getting my haircut – where do you look?
There’re mirrors everywhere! Once my stylist washed my hair, she sat me down at the ‘hair cutting area’. I see myself in bad light with wet tresses glued back. I’m enticed to analyse myself: “where has my concealer gone; why do my eye circles resemble a raccoon’s?” Me and my stylist discussed social media and fast-fashion; she effortlessly multi-tasked scissors and conversation.
When three-quarters of my hair felt dry from blow-drying, my stylist brought forward my improved newly-cut hair. I did my best to show enthusiasm, repeating my favourite line: “wow, you can see such a difference”. As the heat turned off, I silently sighed at the process ending. Jacket back on and purse in hand, I’m asked whether to re-book. I politely said I’d do so online, knowing my stylist was listening to my response.
I left and rushed home to re-style – why do hairdressers love drying hair flat? Requesting a simple cut means it’s rare to face disappointment. As a child, I’d leave Toni & Guy pretending to love my hair, waiting at least 30 minutes before telling my dad how awful it was. He’d say “let’s go back” and I’d be too ashamed, begging him not to worry.
Accepting a dreadful haircut
Why do we struggle to admit we don’t like a haircut? Only once did I complain when a hairdresser made my side fringe portray sharp spikes – picture a 4-year-old cutting. Me and Alexandra who runs the amazing blog Vividual shared our experiences. She remembers a hairdresser washing her hair and spilling so much water over her, the floor needed cleaning afterwards. Funnily enough, the newspaper Metro published a list of hair salon struggles, noting that we stop trusting a hairdresser once they spill water during a hair wash.
I hate getting my haircut – do you feel the same? I’d love to read your stories.