Thursday, May 01, 2008

No Appointment Needed / 2 Kinds of 50

Today is smoke-free day 318, and I was absent yesterday, but I didn't smoke, and I'm back today with a haircut. Well, it was more like a trim, but it was done because the wavy and mushroomy bits near the bottom were making me nutty (-er), and it did look different when I left there, so I guess "a haircut" is a fair description.


For any blog stalkers those really keeping score more closely than is probably healthy, you'll know that a haircut at this juncture is extremely premature and utterly uncharacteristic of me because I got a haircut in mid-January (pictures at the bottom of that post) and I don't usually get more than about 1 or 2 haircuts a year because I'm usually frugal and sometimes teetering over into cheap (and even a little ridiculous). Related to this, I do not have an actual regular stylist that I call my own because I tend to think that those are for people who spend $25+ on a haircut (or $45+, I've heard, choke, but then I probably spent more than y'all on Hello Kitty pajamas last year, so to each his/her own, right?). No, when the spirit moves me approximately every 6 to 12 months, I turn up at the storefront doorstep of whatever Great Clips / Perfect Look / Fantastic Sam's I happen to have passed most recently (it's pretty much about that random), and I wander in unannounced for my $16 haircut since the sign always says "no appointment needed."

Obviously, when you approach personal beautification (or beautif*ckation, depending) in such a willy nilly sort of way, results can be a very varied and mixed bag, indeed. It's kind of like gambling (and I do love me the Roulette wheel in limited and careful doses because I'm an addict from way back) - put the money out there on a hunch and see if your number comes up. Win some, lose some. I try to communicate in my own non-technical words what I'm trying to achieve (like, "I hate how it mushrooms at the bottom," for example) but I rarely feel like I'm being heard. I really hate not being heard. Ask Tom how pissy I get. Sometimes I'll try to get my randomly chosen stylist haircutter chick (always girls, dunno why) to help me pick something from one of the books considering the shape of my face or whatever it is I expect them to know (since, you know, they supposedly went to beauty school and presumably learned such theories), but usually I feel like they don't want to play along, so I just pick something close and silently cross my fingers under the apron that I done picked a winner style and a winner stylist at random.

So, yesterday, I saunter in all happy and confident and about this haircut I suddenly need to have more than anything in the world, feeling all good about doing something about the mess I've been carrying on my shoulders of late, and then I wanted to turn around and walk out the moment I walked in. Thing is, I rarely do. (Except if I think a man in a green jacket is trying to kidnap me to do very bad things - story coming soon)

It's not like there was anything terribly bad about the little shop, but it just seemed scary all of the sudden. There were a grand total of two people in there, and they both worked there. Both of them were 50-ish, and now is a good time for me to explain the two kinds of 50. Please stick with me here. There is that older kind of 50-ish where women look like life has really taken it's toll and has done the whole rode hard/put away wet thing to them as opposed to the hipper and happier kind of 50-ish that's all still fresh and put together and content with life because they've got it all figured out well enough to enjoy the important things so much so that you can see the glimmer in their eyes. See what I mean? Two kinds? One has laugh/smile lines while the other has frowning/life of crabby faces lines? No? OK, well, anyway, these were two were from the rode hard frowny face crowd. And since I was going to a place that's all about looks, I think it's fair that I noticed. Beauty is only skin deep and all of that, but I wasn't there for them to tweak my innards but my outards, so I was a little concerned that I'd decided to stay after all, but I did.

So, I sat down with the woman with the very raspy voice and obvious scent of perfume over chain-smoking scent (I ain't judgin', I'm just sayin', because yes, that scent was often me and could still be if I ever take up smoking again, and while I thought about mentioning Chantix, I didn't want her to know I could smell smokiness because I'm not rude or in the habit of being in the business of other people's business), and since I'm half deaf (not medically technically, but I can't ever hear and use subtitles on the TV), her whisper/rasp voice made it a little harder to hear. Still, I told her what I wanted ("no more mushroom"), suggested something "layer-like or something but still easy to take care of" and off she went with the scissors, doing her thing. When I mentioned that I'd heard having layers would require more upkeep in terms of frequency of visits to salons (these places are still called salons, aren't they?), she said "nah, you should be good for about 6 to 12 months."

What? (maybe I really am going deaf)

Really? (yep, I heard right)

I don't know what beauty school this old hag went to, but all the other schools apparently teach 6 weeks, so I started to really like her (I say old hag with affection). A lot. She was not super engaging but was definitely pleasant enough (and from the Midwest where lots of us nice people are from), and she was honest with me about my hair's natural curl (not naturally curly, which would be fine but just curly in only a few annoying places), reminding me that she's not a magician, honey my hair is still going to flip up. And it did. And I liked it because it didn't do the mushroom thing. And I liked her enough that if she'd told me her name (I almost asked, but didn't), I'd go back and ask to see her and be among those big girls have a specific stylist. Almost.

But that would kind of ruin my whole semi-annual to annual spin of the wheel to see which stylist pops up gamble thing at the no appointment needed salons, now, wouldn't it?

(taken from my cell phone, for your viewing pleasure, not my favorite haircut but not bad at all considering what she had to work with going into this project)


  1. hmmm...I wonder what category of 50 year olds I fall into?

    Love the haircut!

    (did that help?)

  2. You look really good! I'm actually getting highlights this weekend. Please don't ask me why because I have no earthly idea. I just have this weird desire to be red again (I was a redhead as a kid before I dull ass brown).

  3. I have flippiness issues, too. I've given up and have let my hair have it's way now.

    Your hair looks great, though!

  4. I like the hair cut and the style and this post made me laugh..a lot! I hardly ever cut my hair because it is curly and when I do cut it you would hardly even know! I do color my hair often and differently! Right now I needed a break from peroxide and put in a really dark rinse so when it fades I can decided if I want two highlight colors or one. I am going to have to go for the conservative look for job hunting so I might as well enjoy just doing color of the month. I also spend a lot of time pressing my hair out ala flat iron hot press like Tyra Banks...One day when I get rich I and have tons of money to blow I will get the Japanese straightening done which will give me silky straight hair for six glorious months! Until then I can dream right?

  5. Looks great!

    I do see the same stylist, and I pay $45 (which, actually, is considered a good deal around here!). I only go every 3-4 months, though. It does grow out well when cut right.

    Yes, Fantastic Sams/etc. are here too, but I just can't trust them with my thick wavy/curly hair. I don't want to wind up with a birds nest! The last time I went to a random (cheap) salon, they ignored my existing layers and just gave me a trim!

  6. ooh nice cut! you're so right about hair roulette -- i always seem to lose though, sadly.

    and funny how i was just thinking about the two different kinds of 50 year olds this morning (no joke!! it was because of a story i was listening to on the radio) and I had decided in my head that a friend of mine, mark, who will soon be 50, is like the still in his 30's type of 50 -- but on the flipside i know a lot of 50's who are the life-did-me-wrong types. it's amazing! ok, that is all.


Talk to me.