Going to the hairdresser

Hairdresser day again today.  I am so schizophrenic about this.  I hate the conversations about whether I have been on holiday.  I hate sitting there and looking at myself for ages and thinking how old/tired/cross I look and the whole thing of being in front of a mirror for so long.  When did my neck go?  I am sure it was there last time I looked.  I hate the  amount of time it takes when I could be doing something else.  It has got even worse now as I can't even read all the time because they keep asking me to take my glasses off.

But I love seeing the colour come up bright and shiny.  I like the way a good cut produces something which practically looks after itself and which doesn't mind the fact that I am cackhanded with a hairdrier.  I like being blowdried by someone who really knows how to do it and coming out with my hair all swingy.  And I do like the sense of keeping in touch with my professional self somehow.  In a life which is lived now in jeans and t shirts, with dirty fingernails from the garden the norm and lipstick a rare indulgence, having my hair cut in the way I always have makes me feel like me again.

How about you?


  1. Love coming out of the hairdressers all neat and shiny and can just about endure an hour of sitting there while I'm being 'done'. After that I die of boredom.

    Have to say my hairdresser a great conversationalist and we do get beyond the usual holidays, and 'doing anything nice today?' usuals.

  2. I dread going to the hairdressers and cannot understand why the lighting is always so unflattering. I change salons frequently not because the hairdressing is poor but because I can't bear the inane conversations I feel forced to engage in. Some time ago a boy washed my hair and started with the inevitable "been anywhere nice this summer" I replied I hadn't as I was studying witchcraft till the end of the year..."oh" he said and gazed out of the window. Ten minutes later he piped up "been anywhere nice this summer"...I didn't return.

  3. It's the lumpifying black cape that does it for me - that and the brutal lighting, under which I can see every wrinkle and sagginess, even without my specs. And my current hairdresser doesn't ask about holidays or what I'm doing tonight - she tells me about her traumatic emotional life or that of her very camp young trainee. I feel I should charge her for the hour of listening....

  4. Sweet Birdy Love3 August 2010 at 23:08

    Yes, I hate sitting there for an hour or so, flicking through dog eared dated magazines and listening to a radio station for under fifteens! I usually sit and write a letter to my sister in the UK, make the time worthwhile or I have my little drawing book with me and play around with designs for new projects. I have been known to even crochet whilst whiling away the minutes. Good thing I know all the staff and it's amazing what I can get done. Time, one thing we would all like more of.

  5. Eyebrows - that is what does it for me - if I have my eyebrows done every 6 weeks I feel human.

    (But cannot bear to do them myself Oh the pain)

    My hair on the other-hand only takes 15 minutes every 6 weeks ... as I have gone for the natural look. I never look in mirrors, apart from when I have just had my eyebrows done

  6. I love Marlie, the girl who colors and cuts my hair. She talks to me the whole time, and because she also cuts my children's hair (and is friends with our lovely daughter), I get lots of juicy gossip I might not otherwise know about my own offspring. Such fun.

    Cackhanded? I love the sound of it, but can you tell this stupid American what it means?

  7. My daughter does my hair at the salon she works at, so I grab 2 big lattes and we catch up. The bonus is I don't get charged a penny. Daughter somes in early and I bake them cookies or muffins in exchange for product.

    Over the past 3 years, my dead straight hair has gone wavy, so I add curling cream and scrunch. Never had such good hair days. Of course I get it dyed and highlighted, I still like the blonde.

  8. In another life (over 45 years ago) I worked on the London Stock Exchange, where a reasonable haircut was essential. Since those far-gone days I have not visited the hairdresser once!

  9. I finally found a hairdresser who understands curly hair (Beatrice Basnight in Fremont, if you're in Seattle and looking for a new do), but I love her as much because I feel like she understands ME, as for her empathy with my hair. I come away from my infrequent visits feeling replenished. My hair is longer and more pleasing to me now at 45 (gulp) than it was when I was a teenager. I wish I'd been able to appreciate it when I was young, instead of wearing it in a flat-top for so many years...

  10. Going to the hairdresser is truly something I hate to do, but I do it every 5-6 weeks because of work. My stylist of many years is losing it, I think. I have straight hair and for every good blunt cut I get two bad ones. For the first time ever, in July I called the day after a cut and asked for a 'repair'. I got it, but with my hair much shorter than I like, as a consequence. I know that I have to find someone else, and it's almost worse than finding a new doctor. I don't like to fuss with my hair, so the cut is important.

  11. I love having my hair done or at least the sensation of having it washed, head massaged etc. Having the hairdresser talk at me throughout detracts from my enjoyment of this. I explained this to one stylist years ago and she told a friend of mine I was her favourite customer because she didn't have to talk to me!!!

  12. My experience is completely the reverse! Broadly, I enjoy the process but loathe the outcome. In fact only once when I had my haircut in Paris was I pleased with the result. Maybe there's a reason for this. So I go as infrequently as I possibly can. I also never know how to respond when I'm asked (Jan-June) 'have you had your holidays?' or (July-December) 'are you all set for Christmas?' Do enjoy a head massage though. I'd go for that alone. But only one in twenty shampoo-ists can do even a half-decent head massage.

  13. It does sound as though the secret here is the relationship with your hairdresser. I used to have a wonderful one with a woman in Manchester who looked suitably glam but was really into camping and walking. Not recreated that over here.
    Kim - cack handed means clumsy. I am not generally clumsy but I've never got the hang of that swingy bob blow dry!
    I do like the way Fennie is just the reverse of me and likes the process, not the result!

  14. Going to the hairdressers for me is:
    - a chance to visit my favourite little market town
    - and excuse to pop into the little clothes shops galleries and vintage and charity shops
    - spending half an hour chatting with my hairdresser about fossil hunting, history, travel, local shops and people (and she's a wizard with the cutting scissors too!)
    - getting 'me' back with a neat easy to style expertly cut hair-do

    Must make another appointment soon :-)

  15. Yikes, I feel hideously slovenly now, never go to a hairdressers, never get my nails done or do any girly things, and have never worn lipstick or makeup, even when I was working as a consultant freelancing in IT. I think I am missing the girl genes.

    On haircutting - about 25 years ago, a friend recommended a mobile hairdresser to me; a chap who also runs a salon in a nearby town. He's come every 5 weeks for since then, and I have to say, I cant imagine what I would do without him. He cuts mine, K, and if they are around the kids hair, does a great job, after so many years we are friends, so we discuss all sorts, and NO MIRRORS! Hurrah. I have naturally wavy hair, and since I decided to keep it short and layered, it just styles itself once it had a good cut!

  16. I hate going to the hairdressers, the enforced conversation and I hate my hair when its done. They insist on making it look big and its thick enough as it is. Like it about 1 week after its been cut!

  17. I laughed at the part where you hate seeing yourself looking 'old/tired/cross'. I am always taken aback at how cross I look and surreptitiously try to rearrange my eyebrows in such a way that the frown furrows are less obvious.

    I've found that just shutting my eyes makes it all go away - the feel of someone's hands on my head is lovely and the only danger is that I might fall asleep.

    It sounds like the results are usually pretty good, which is a pleasant change from the dissatisfaction most women feel after getting their dos done.

  18. I always come and go from the hairdressers with mixed feelings. I look through their style books and I am always tempted to get some cut that is a bit.. radical and would take loads of hair product to get right on a daily bases.Then I snap out of it remembering that I live with dirt under my nails and wear faded jeans daily and opt for something simple.
    Sometimes I feel like I have cheated myself out of some grand thing.

  19. Hate hairdressers, never go, the women intimidate me, have paid to have my hair cut only once in my adult life, never coloured it, never permed it, never use a hair dryer, tie it back and leave to dry.
    So agree about the whole 'having to look at yourself in the mirror thing'
    thanks for sharing

  20. Just before we moved to East Anglia, I fell in love with a hairdresser in Kent, which is a little inconvenient. She actually understands my hair. I have tried to get a decent haircut up here, but have always been disappointed, so that's a lot of trips back to Kent for me!

    I recently visited the beautician for the first time and am shocked by how much one is supposed to do to be well-groomed and, frankly, I only did a bit of it. Like you, most days I'm in the garden, my new passion, with muddy jeans and dirty fingernails.

  21. Raz - you sound to have the perfect solution there! If I could combine seeing my daughters with having good hair that would be cool!
    Cro - I see from your picture that hairdressers are optional.
    Frith - ah another one with the relationship thing cracked too. That must be so good. I can't imagine how pleasing it would be to have my hair cut by someone who I thought understood me as well as my hair.
    Pondside - and you have the reverse problem! Isn't it amazing what a big deal this seems to be. I don't like to fuss with my hair either but I can only do that with a good cut. I doubt if most men do anything other than turn up and sit in the chair!

  22. I had to laugh because I have all those feeling exactly, you just expressed it all so well! I'm not a big talker and I guess they pick up on that, which I appreciate. But, it'll be awhile before I need a hairdresser which I've quite enjoyed! (shaved head for daughter)congrates on finishing your great hike in those beautiful mts.! So proud of you!

  23. Going to the hairdresser every six weeks or so is my favorite thing to do. I love being fussed over and I even like talking friendly nonsense. They know my name and they know how I like my hair done. They give me a wonderful massage when they wash my hair and do their work with pleasure. What better way to be pampered?

  24. I live in Massachusetts many miles away . Its so funny I feel the same way.You hit the nail directly on the head.I hate having to look at myself in those bright lights for more than a hour.

  25. Elizabeth, I think that we blokes have it lucky.

  26. I get on very well with my hairdresser - we even discuss what vegetables we're growing lately, or she's happy to let me sit there and do my freelance writing. I think I must be lucky, judging from the other comments!

  27. Hairdressers are a necessity, I too have a tint (incl. highlights!), a cut and nowadays a rough-dry. I take a book; my regular girl is well-trained, I only grunt in answer to questions, so she soon gives up.

    I wouldn't know the answers anyway, as they are about holidays, as you say, or about TV programmes.

  28. My hairdresser is Croatian and always says something amusing. For instance, we were talking about churches and she said
    "Een house of God is much peas".
    "MUCH PEAS!"
    "Oh - peace!"

  29. So interested in the divergence of opinions! Clearly going to the hairdresser can be fab, a purely functional arrangement, or a bit of a nightmare and all shades of opinion along the way. I don't think I can manage a grunting silence, admire it though I do, but I do quite a good line in reading my newspaper! I don't think I have a long enough life to pursue the holy grail of a wonderful relationship so I think we will go for taking such a fascinating book that I can ignore my old/tired/cross face in the mirror and don't invite too much chat.

  30. I am 43, and have only been to a salon four or five times in my life - and two of those were to have my hair done for a wedding.

    I have always had long hair, and on the few occasions where I had a layered cut or "hairdo", I always just watched the technician cut it at the salon so I could do it myself at home.

    I appreciate the luxurious feeling of having my hair done in a salon (the shampooing is my favorite bit) but I have always been old fashioned about my hair, preferring the renaissance long long style and learning to put it up in interesting ways by myself.

    Recently I watched a bunch of YouTube videos about how to do 1940's hairstyles, and have tried a few on - love it! Wrestling with bobby pins, it could also be called... ha!

    Why don't you post a picture of yourself right after you leave the salon next time? Would love to see your pro cut!

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