Thursday, September 10, 2009


It’s been seven weeks since my last haircut. I usually get it trimmed every four to five weeks. I’ve reached the crisis stage.

This is what happens when I leave home for a couple of months. I’m completely out of my comfort zone. A haircut from a new stylist is a stressful thing. Right up there with moving, job loss and breaking up, isn’t it? The bond we form with our stylist is strong. It goes beyond the trust we put in them to snip away freely at our coifs. I talk more frequently to Kaley than I do to some of my closest friends who happen to live in other parts of the continent. She’s the only one who knows I watch “America’s Next Top Model” and “The Bachelor(ette)”. And she hasn’t once threatened blackmail.

Have you ever broken ties with a hairdresser? It’s a tough thing. For two years after moving to the nether-lands, I continued to take a ferry into Vancouver each month to get an appointment with Christina. I’d still be doing that but she moved to Vancouver Island. Two ferries and about seven hours round trip. I do have limits!

When I lived in Malibu, I went to this fortysomething volleyballer who lamented giving up beach time for more appointments since he knocked up his girlfriend and had to deal with new responsibilities. The cuts were perfectly acceptable until one day, for reasons still unknown, he took a shaver to the back of my head and gave me a half-bald buzz. Pre-Britney. I was horrified and hid for days. (If only I could pull off wearing a baseball cap.) Well I went back the next time, for reasons still unknown. I explicitly told him not to repeat the look from last time, he nodded and proceeded to give me the same shocking butcher job. It was more than a sign; it was a clear statement. I had no choice but to move on.

Salon chairs always remind me of the dentist’s chair. Not a good association. When I am forced to go to a new stylist, I sit nervously, sneaking peeks at that oh so deceptive mirror and tensely gripping the arms of the chair. He/She who wields a sharp pair of sheers holds all the power.

So why have I delayed? Is it fear or a longing for Big Hair of the ‘80s? I’ll admit I wanted my hair to grow out a little. And fear of the unknown resulted in my relying exclusively on a recommendation of a stylist who works out of her home. It’s mayhem, with kids and a dog running about and the occasional heated argument with her couch potato husband. Ten bucks, no tips. Yes, I know. There are some serious red flags. But my cousin drives an hour each way from Ottawa for an appointment. It’s not the money, but the cut. Better than any of the top stylists in the city. Or so I’m told.

She took last week off. Hence, part of the delay. Today was the day, but it’s not to be. Apparently the kids are ill.

And so I wait. And the hair grows on. When some kid in town shouts, “Hey! Ronald McDonald!”, I’ll be forced to take a shaver to myself. If that’s what comes to be, I can console myself in knowing I won’t need another trim until I’m back in Kaley territory.

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