Last time I got my haircut in Victoria it was a bit shorter than I was used to, but it was really cute (if I do say so myself, based on the amount of positive comments I got, anyway. Except I'm pretty sure people will comment on my hair whether it's good or bad out of a sense of obligation to make me feel better about myself. At least I know I do that sometimes, but never to you, obviously) and didn't actually look like mom hair when I styled it myself. I'm not sure what my stylist's problem was, but she always, always gave me the mom under-curl with the round brush and then flat iron. Um, 25 and childless. Make me look hip, please. And not for the daycare scene. Thanks.
The problem with my cut was that the back was so short that when it grew it GREW and all of a sudden I had this weird little flippy ducky taily thing at the base of my neck that I couldn't really do anything with except try to style upwards and outwards in an attempt to keep it off my neck and looking mullety but, whatever, Anna, no one really cares about that. Long story short, I've desperately needed to get my neck hair trimmed for the past month and finally got a chance to get it done yesterday.
I'd tried to make an appointment at a hair salon a five minute drive from home, but it had ended up coinciding with our house hunting appointment. The salon couldn't reschedule anything else for the same day so I ended up asking one of my co-workers if she could recommend anywhere for me to go. She informed me that her sister cuts hair at one of the malls on my side of town and that she'd tell her about me. And just like that, I was committed to a mall haircut. I didn't mind, though, because I buy other stuff at the mall so why not a haircut? And, golly, my neck hair was growing fantastically long and freakish.
I hadn't gotten a mall haircut since my late teens. I'll never forget the itty bitty "but, you can gel them!" bang debacle that was.
I rolled into my afternoon appointment tired after a busy morning of house hunting and mortgage rate applying (glamorous, I know) ready to relax for an hour.
Mall salons have that perpetually rushed feeling to them, kind of like an overpriced Magicuts, and there's nothing relaxing about the tight space they cram you into in the back, behind all the products they're trying to sell you.
My stylist was elbows deep in a dye job when I showed up for my appointment. The woman she was working on was in the process of having her rather yellowy blonde touched up. It didn't take her long to get her other client under the hair dryer and get me seated.
As soon as I had her attention I knew that this woman was only going to be cutting my hair once. Ever.
I apologized for having gross feeling hair. I went to the gym this morning and had dry shampooed my hair to a barely passable in public level, anticipating my professional wash. She asked me if I wanted her to wash my hair then.
While she washed my hair, we made stilted small talk (normal with everyone). I figured I wouldn't get my usual head and neck massage from the mall salon, but I wasn't anticipating the bonus side of face wash I got. Or the tugging scalp massage and aggressive neck lifting exercises I was treated to in the process of my hair washing.
As she cleansed my nasty hair, I watched a long blonder hair dangling from her sweater sleeve. A newly dyed blonde hair, perhaps? It certainly wasn't her shoulder length red hair... Well, it was hard to tell by taste when it ended up in my mouth the first time, but when it travelled its way across my face during the rest of the washing period I tried not to think about it. Even as it poked me in the eye repeatedly.
When we got back to the chair she wrapped me up in a too-short bib (robe?) that left my knees uncovered (don't worry, they got covered in hair later to make up for it). She started snipping away at my hair like she had a real vendetta against my split ends, tugging here, tugging there, checking on her dye job at regular intervals while cutting my hair out of the corner of her eye.
Would you mind cutting my bangs fuller than that? I don't wear them light.
Oh, um, how much length did you take off on the sides?
No, sorry, I already told you twice I don't part my hair on that side of my head.
Could you get the long mullet neck hair as short as possible, please? Oh, you're cutting in the middle of my head to fix that problem at the bottom? Well, you're the professional. Oh, you're not going to show me what that last update did to the back? Well, as long as it's shorter, I'm happy.
Holy cow, your hairspray smells like death, no wonder your brand of products is the cheapest line out there.
I found myself actually scowling at my reflection at one point in the process, completely unhappy with massive mom hair I was getting. I tried to fix my face before she saw me, because that's really mature, Anna, and I think I got away with it. Maybe that's why she poked me in the eye while drying my hair.
I've never had someone cut my hair with such efficiency before. I looked at the floor, unsure how much hair actually came off. Had I even seen her cut the front bit? Thirty minutes from start to finish, one dollar per minute.
When I left I gave her a $3 tip, more out of a desire for it not to get back to my co-worker that I'm cheap than anything else.
I got home, swearing up and down that NEVER AGAIN would I get my haircut at a mall. Never, ever, ever.
Like all haircuts I've gotten for the last year, I headed up stairs to check out the damage and flat iron out the mom under-curl. And that's when I realized something profound. Well, profoundly disappointing at least. I still had my mullety bits and they were now uneven. UNEVEN. In an attempt to make sure her dye job was sitting happily while her hair dried., she had cut my neck hair crooked.
I called Karl upstairs to get a second opinion, and he confirmed that it was crooked. KARL noticed that my neck hairline was uneven. Clearly, it was bad.
I called the salon back, almost in tears. There is nothing I hate more than going back to get my hair fixed because you do NOT want to insult the person standing next to your head with scissors. Or worse, a razor. Nothing says red shirt and expendable quite like insulting your surgeon. Or hairstylist.
I called and explained my situation. Yes, I had told her what I wanted, clearly, and I'd even asked her to fix it before I left. I don't want to spell it out for someone, so I usually go home and figure out a way to deal with it. If this were Victoria and I had anyone I trusted to come near my hair with scissors (sorry, Karl, but never) I wouldn't have even bothered. I would have just gotten a friend to fix it. But this is Regina and I'm afraid that if I cut my own neck hair I might bleed out.
I told them I was going to come in after 5, when her shift ended so I could get it fixed. They were open until 6.
We had a date to look at a car (I NEED ONE SO BAD) that was a gong show unto itself and we left with no car and a very disappointed and lack of second car frustrated me.
When I got back to the salon, the girls behind the counter informed me that my stylist wasn't there and I'd have to come back tomorrow when she was. I explained that the whole point was that she hadn't listened to me while I was there, and that it would take literally two minutes to fix the problem. They told me that there weren't anymore appointments for the night but my stylist wasn't in on Tuesday so I could come back then. I gave them the "look" and firmly told them that I would do it myself if I could reach or that I would get a friend to do it if I had any (whoops). After a few minutes of repeating myself one of the girls caved and took me to the back. Where there was nothing going on, with twenty minutes left in the day. Sorry for intruding, guys.
She agreed that my neck was uneven, and spent five minutes fixing it. She pointed out another part of my hair that was uneven and much heavier than the other part at the back of my head. I gave her the go ahead to fix what she could.
I left the mall in an itchy (hair. everywhere.) rage. Never again, I told Karl. NEVER AGAIN.
And then, because I hadn't eaten enough blonde hair to negate the need for dinner, Karl and I hit up Five Guys. I was looking forward to a bun-less (dairy. WHY?) burger with no pickles. I told Karl in the car that if I got cheese on my burger I was actually going to lose it and I was sorry in advance. It was okay, though, because no bun, no cheese, but pickles everywhere.
I'm trying to think of a good way to answer my co-worker's question of how it went when I see her on Monday.
There's not even enough goat milk in the world to numb my frustration.
But at least my neck mullet is gone. I'll take it.