Getting a haircut sometimes involves more than just a physical journey to the salon.
Way too often there’s an emotional safari too.
Truth is, we all carry hair baggage.
Some of it on our heads, most of it between our ears.
And when hopes and dreams fail to align with what’s in the mirror, well, things can get awkward.
Before continuing, let me say this – and I’m sure I’m not alone – me and my hair don’t get on.
The generals keep telling me I’m winning the war, but deep down I know it’s a quagmire.
Bearing this in mind, me and my hairdresser worked out a long-term ‘‘plan’’ last year to counter the insurgency.
It was decided we’d aim for a style (that wasn’t a comb-over) over four months of tactical trimming.
My expectations, based on a lifetime of disappointment, were low.
But I kept turning up because, you know, hope springs eternal.
Before our latest session, we went over the plan.
In my mind it read: “You do whatever and I’ll cross my fingers.”
In my hairdresser’s mind it suddenly involved questions about ‘‘taper’’ and ‘‘blend’’ and whether I wanted this with, or without, ‘‘body’’.
Were we talking the same plan?
Were we even talking about hair?
Confused, I muttered something about ‘avoid boofy at all costs’ and off we went.
More to the point, off went my glasses.
Always a good thing, I find, when getting a cut.
We proceeded through the shampoo and head massage.
As usual, that ended way too soon.
Then it was onto the main slasher work.
All was going swimmingly.
We made small talk about partners, we bagged Kyle Sandilands and discussed RhiRhi’s latest drunken tweet.
And then I was invited to put the glasses back on.
No greater indication we’d arrived at our destination.
And without doubt, the turning point in relations.
“It looks like crap” probably wasn’t the smartest thing to say.
My hairdresser still had scissors in her hand.
Full credit to her, though, she didn’t take it personally.
She tried to make me do that.
By revisiting the plan she thought we’d agreed on (emphasis on the ‘‘thought’’, ‘‘we’d’’ and ‘‘agreed on’’).
Then she tiptoed around the sensitive issue of what we want in life, as opposed to what we (me) can realistically expect at my age with my head and my hair – using her mother as the cleverly disguised decoy.
E.g, ‘‘My mother wants to fly to the moon, but ...’’
I was thinking if her mother wants to look like Donald Trump she can have this haircut.
Luckily this didn’t come out, although I meant no offence to either her mother or Donald Trump.
I was just surprised by the disconnect and as it dawned, I started sweating profusely under my cape.
When I mentioned this, my hairdresser turned the airconditioner on, which summed up the vibe pretty well – things were getting hot and icy simultaneously.
I might have struggled to express what I wanted before, but it crystalised now – I wanted to leave.
Hats off to my hairdresser again – rather than get her nose out of joint, she got to work with the trimmer and took me to an alternative haircut destination.
Rather than Boofy Town, we alighted at Short Back and Sides-ville, yet again.
Not part of the original plan as she understood it.
But in the end I was happy that my hairdresser was happy that I said I was happy, and all was good.
Tell you what though, it got emotional.
Anyone else agree hair cuts can be harrowing?
Blog with Simon here.