Saturday, August 23, 2008

Did you get a haircut?

...No, I got them all cut!

Like my new virtual friend Danielle, I do not have as many girly genes as I maybe should. However, last November, one of these genes was awakened within me, and I realized that at some point, I would need to overcome my fear of hair salons. Not only do hairstylists tend to spend much of their time telling me how dry and unhealthy my hair is, they also tend to cut my hair way shorter than I specifically request. Hence, I have not really gone to a professional salon since about 1989. Yes, I was 11 years old at the time. I attempted one haircut during college, and found the whole experience to be just as I remembered - with the added "embarrassment" of not owning (or being remotely aware of) any hair products, and complete ignorance of tip etiquette.

This last one was particularly worrisome to me, but my mother explained the process and made me an appointment with Jessica at Ulta.

I think I scared Jessica.

I made the mistake of telling her how worried I was about the prospect of losing the long hair I had worked hard to grow, and how I feared hairstylists in general. Jessica was great - she even showed me how to style my hair (if I would be willing to purchase a curling iron) and explained how to use some of the "products". But, she neglected to cut much hair. Not a single person even noticed my haircut. And, due to Jessica being two hours away, I was again reluctant to chop it for real, despite increasing annoyance with my hair. Of late, I had been sleeping on it and then waking myself up in the night because I cannot move my head. Also, I am constantly getting it stuck under various shoulder bags, again, restricting head movement.

So, I decided to try again. I began my inquiries - my friend Jess got a great haircut at the mall, my friend Anne "has a girl", and my friend Courtney always gets nice cuts. Turns out she goes to the same place at the mall, so I made my choice. My sister turned me on to a fun site on Ladies Home Journal ( where you can download a photo of yourself and then pop different hairstyles on your pic.

Here's what we came up with:

Sexy, no?

After another two weeks or so of deliberation, I gathered my courage and went to the mall. I had unfortunately forgotten that the first day of school is next week, and that normal people get haircuts in preparation. So I had about two hours to kill, but this was no problem. I was at the mall.

When I returned, I sat and waited, carefully observing the payment operation, specifically the tipping. I had come prepared with a $5 bill - had to purchase cookies in order to make change, but a girl has to sacrifice. But, if there was any way to avoid the uncomfortableness of slipping the fiver into a person's hand, I wanted to be aware of it. Thankfully, I successfully read the lips of a girl at the register, asking if she could put the tip on her card. (I hoped.) Then, it was my turn:

Hmmm...I actually like it. I must admit I was a little frightened that I had moved too much too soon. I showed the woman my LHJ printouts and she agreed that something like this would work well with my hair type. Then, she picked up a pair of scissors and snipped off 5 inches of dry hair. No turning back at that point, but a large part of me wanted to get some hot glue and get working. Also, I was told to purchase a $32 shampoo and conditioner set in order to control my dryness. (I passed - I just bought a tub of conditioner from BJ's and damned if I'll be wasting it!) My hairstylist found it amusing that I was unaware that all mousses come in a can. She was nice about it, but hmph. I bet she thinks cement and concrete are the same thing! (A common engineering pet peeve. I'm just saying...we all have our specialties...)

Anyway, I am supposed to go back in 6 weeks, lest I do any more damage to my poor follicles. We'll see. I think if I get back in 6 months, I'll be making huge strides.


CaraBee said...

You look fabulous! Shorter hair really suits you! I'm something of a procrastinator on the haircut thing, but I love walking out after a haircut and feeling like a new person.

We need to reschedule dinner!

Danielle Mari said...

We are totally soul sisters.

Though, I must admit that due to a series of horrific hair cut experiences in my past (JUST like you-- either too short, or all these freaking STEPS I was supposed to do, or some sort of weird confessional feel when I admitted that I hadn't had a proper hair cut in six or seven MONTHS-- say ten Hail Marys), I hung on like grim death to the overpriced hair stylist team (I mean TEAM) at a Chicago salon. And now I've moved and I'm freaking out. Is a ten hour round trip drive too much for a cut and color?

By the way- you look fab! Did you get your color amped up, too? Adorable! Sassy, even!

Mel said...

Cute cut! I've been wavering back and forth about whether to go get my hair hacked off. I'm a total ponytail girl, but I also like not having to deal with blow drying and all that jazz in the morning. I also hate going to the salon. Those people intimidate me! The worst, though, is the time I went to the local cosmetology school because cuts there are, like, $5. It was absolutely terrifying! This girl would not cut a strand without checking with her supervisor, so what should have been a 10 minute trim seriously took almost an hour!

But seriously, that new cut is cute.

Tiffany said...

Great job Nicki. It looks super sexy and a lot healthier. Muy Bueno!

Shani said...

Wow Nicki! You look great!!! I think your fear of hair cuts is more of a inherited condition. I too suffer from the same ailment. People do not notice my haircuts very often either (but I often look like I stuck my finger in a light socket, so...)

I think I may go soon and even get a color change!?!

Elizabeth said...

What IS the difference between cement and concrete??