Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What the Hay in the air? For the past three days I've been scratching my eyes out, and blowing my nose raw. I thought the little cold snap would have taken some of the crud out of the air; I'm not sure what the problem is, but I've been a regular faucet face.

I snorked and sniffled my way through a haircut yesterday. I treated myself to the Aveda Institute. (The Sorbonne of Style, the Harvard of Hair.) This has become my cut of choice. Even though it's students doing the cutting, they are closely supervised. First, you enter the mini-spa, a sort of temple of aesthetics. It's very dark with just a few twinkly lights and New Age music playing softly. You get a scalp massage and a gentle back rub. Then you move to the shampooatorium: you climb on a table and lay flat on your back with your head in the sink, Close your eyes and sink into a luxurious shampoo and conditioning, followed by a mini-facial that ends with a hot towel wrap. It's heavenly!

It's a bit jarring to go back into the salon, with its bright lights and techno-pop music, but that's where the cutting happens. After a brief consultation with the stylist and her supervisor, the chopping begins. The supervisor stops back several times, making suggestions and demonstrating techniques. All of this, including the cut & style... for $17! (And tipping is not allowed.)

Its a good idea to bring a picture with you, rather than depend on their photobooks and magazines, which show lots of wacky, avant garde styles (like Vanity Scare); it's enough to make anyone a bit anxious. I'm not a contender for blue eyebrows, or lip studs, or hair-as-sculpture. One model wore a large orange macrame-bra-sculpture thing, worn over a lightweight jersey baby doll dress. (I don't even remember what the model's hair looked like!)

The more my stylist cut, the higher my anxiety level ratcheted. Finally noticing my eyebrows had knit themselves together, she called over her instructor. "Well," the instructor offered,"I think we just need to shape this (snip! snip! snip!) and blend this in (snip! snip! snip!) and then zhoozh this with your fingers. " And somehow it turned into a non-horrible haircut! It's a bit long on top and in front. The stylist flat-ironed it at a temperature that should have turned my hair to molten ash but somehow, the hair survived, and the minute I stepped outside, it went boy-oy-oiing. And once again I am channeling Lucy Ricardo. But if I can learn to style it into submission, it will be big improvement. If not, it is a reminder that much of life is out of my control, that it's always an act of kindness to let a student practice on you. Everyone has to start somewhere.

The one time I had a really difficult haircut, I went back the next day and an instructor worked some magic.
At least I'm open to almost anything. Having endured total baldness, there's not much coif-wise that scares me anymore. I'm not one of those chicks who gets stuck in a hairstyle for 20 or 30 years. Most of those poor girls look worse every year, or at least more dated and less stylish. Remember: it's only hair, it will grow!


tim's wife said...

You said it with the snorting! Ever since we got home from vacation, my normal post-nasal drip has gone into high gear.
I sound like I have the croup and can barely hold a conversation unless I have a Halls in my mouth. My mom just told me her allergies are going nuts too. What the heck is going on? Maybe it's germ warfare a la ragweed pollen.

La Cootina said...

It's sumpin', definitely. I sound like I have a clothespin on my (wince) Fran Drescher!

Susan said...

What a wonderful place to go!! I am going to google this and see if there is one near me. I would simply fall asleep on that hairwash table, and that would be it for me! They wouldn't be able to budge me for hours.