# of pages written: 12
Also, read my book review of Life After Life on Burlesque Press!
“Guess wha-aat,” I said Tuesday night in a sly, sing-song voice.
“You’re pregnant?” my boyfriend asked immediately.
“No!” I paused. “But a major life change IS about to occur… I’m getting my haircut tomorrow!”
“Are you going to write a blog about it?” Paul asked. Back in September I wrote a blog post about my various hair woes and described a disappointing hair cut I had just received. For some reason, Paul really likes this post, perhaps because it was one of the first posts of mine he had ever read. That, or he simply likes it when girls complain about their hair, in which case I’m the luckiest girl in the world.
“Are you going to write about it?” he asked me again, sounding excited.
“No,” I said. “Not if it goes well.”
* * *
“See?” I said to my mom this morning, pointing viciously at my head. It was my second day post-haircut, and things were not going well. “See?” I said again, my voice rising to a nails-on-the-chalk-board pitch. “The girl said I could just let it air-dry. She SAID it would just fall into place. Well, I let it air-dry, and this is what it decides to do.”
I had half a mind to march into the salon, pointing at my hair and screaming, “See? See? What are you going do about it?”
“Just promise me you won’t whine to Paul about your hair anymore,” my mother said. (She had been eavesdropping on my conversation to him the night before when I had been speaking at length about my hair. In my defense, he had encouraged me by asking questions and sounding interested ….again, I’m the luckiest girl in the world.)
“He likes when I whine!” I yelled as I stalked back into my room. (I will remind you here that I am 31 years old, not 16 as you might think. It’s just that my hair woes reduce me to an angsty teen state.)
“Promise me you won’t!” she called back.
Fine, I thought. I won’t complain to Paul about it. I’ll write a blog post instead.
* * *
For years and years I had an on-again, off-again relationship with a smarmy, good-looking gambling-addict. We would start dating and then, almost immediately, I would remember that he was an asshole and swear to never have anything more to do with him. But then, maybe a year later, he would contact me again, oozing fake charm and false promises, and I would think, “well…maybe this time will be different.” He always knew how long to wait – just long enough for me to forget the suckiness of the previous experience and have gained back the optimism needed to give him another chance.
It’s a similar pattern to my relationship with haircuts.
Since my frustrating experience in September, I have gotten my hair cut twice more, both times for $8.99 at SuperCuts. I figured that if my haircut was going to disappoint no matter what (which seems to be true in my case), I might as well get it done for as cheaply as possible. I wasn’t going to be fooled again.
And yet, 8 months later, the charm of a salon haircut was calling to me. I’m getting ready to move to Seattle, and I wanted to find a hairstyle that would look cute in the perpetual rain and humidity. If I pay enough, I thought, (that old hopefulness rushing back), if I pay for someone with real expertise and talent, then maybe I can actually find a solution! I was ready to give it another shot.
So I did extensive online research and landed on a salon in Carytown of Richmond. The yelp reviews were enough to raise my hopefulness to dangerous levels. “Molly* is my hairdresser for life! I am so lucky to have found her” and “Molly changed my life! She’s amazing!” and “How did Molly know exactly what to do to my hair? I think she must be psychic.” I am not kidding. These are actual yelp reviews. How could I not get excited? I made an appointment with Molly for the very next day.
Before the appointment, I thought carefully about what I was going to say. Be sure to mention that I was worried about humidity blah-ing up my hairstyle. Be sure to point out my cowlick and the weird kinks in my otherwise straight hair. I even pulled out some old snapshots so I could show Molly other haircuts I’d had tried in the past and how they’d failed me.
So I went. Molly was very nice and sympathetic. I didn’t show her the pictures (too embarrassed , but she seemed to understand where I was coming from. I ended up paying a lot more than I’d planned ($110 for the cut, the tip, and some new hair product), but when I left the salon, my hair looked sleek and cute. It wasn’t raining or humid out, but Molly had promised that this style would work in any weather. I had hope, but I wanted to wait a bit before making any yelp declarations of love for Molly. I’ve learned not to judge a hair cut until the next day, when I try to style it myself.
And that’s when things took a turn for the worse.
I swear, I did EVERYTHING that Molly did. I used the salon-grade moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. I sprayed on a vegan heat protectant. I worked volumizing mousse into the roots. I blow dried with a round-brush. And…disaster. My hair looked so awful that it put me in a foul mood all day. I had been planning to go get a beer for happy hour at a nearby bar, but I didn’t go because I was so ashamed of my hair.
Tomorrow, I thought, using the shred of hope I still had left. Tomorrow I’ll let it air-dry and see what happens – maybe it will be better that way. And that brings us up to this morning, with me flouncing around, bitching to my mom about “look where air-drying has left me!”
I considered going back to the salon and (nicely) asking Molly, “could you just walk me through the steps of styling my hair, because I am a hair-idiot and need help.” But I know what would happen. She’d work her magic, and I’d leave there looking fab, but then I’d never be able to recreate it at home.
So I went to the bathroom, stared at myself in the mirror, and admitted two things:
1. It’s never going to look like it does when I step out of the salon, so get over it.
2. It’s just hair, so find a way to be happy with it.
And then I did what I know how to do: I put it back with barrettes. And it looked pretty cute. Not as cute as Molly could make it, but good enough for me.
That’s when I realized that dealing with my hair is a lot like dealing with my life. I need to manage my perfectionist expectations. I need to loosen up a little and enjoy what I have.
*Molly’s name has been changed to protect her privacy. She really is nice and knowledgeable. It’s just that I’m impossible to please.
Eva’s Life Lessons:
WHY YOUR HAIR IS LIKE YOUR LIFE…
1. There will be good days and bad days.
2. You can’t recreate the perfect day.
3. Yours will never be like someone else’s.
4. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
5. Sometimes you do everything right and it still doesn’t work out.
6. Sometimes it surprises you — in good ways and bad.
7. Work within your limitations and find a way to be happy.
8. Don’t spend too much time worrying about it.
9. Enjoy it while you have it.
THE 3-DAY EVA HAIR GALLERY