You know there's something terribly wrong when your last haircut was more painful than your recent root canal treatment. And this is not an exaggeration!
It was that time again - time for a much-dreaded haircut. It had been many months since my last appointment and what made things worse this time was that I had to find someone new. My last regular hairdresser lasted about five years, during which time I would have seen her approximately five times. Yep, I'm not a frequent flyer when it comes to my hair - and there is a reason for this. Several in fact. I'm never happy with the result, the small talk drains the life out of me, the perfumed hair products overwhelm me and give me a headache and then there's the pain.
Actual physical pain to my head. This sometimes already begins with the wash. When extra firm fingers try to penetrate my skull! This makes me squeeze my eyes together tightly, and pray to the Gods that this torture ends soon. Sometimes my neck is in such an awkwardly compromised position in those wash basins that I can feel a potential for injury. And when my long hair gets tangled in fingers, the solution often involves roughly and quickly extracting them. Usually, a 'lovely relaxing' head massage follows, but of course, it's hardly ever lovely or relaxing.
So by now, I've stopped having a good time and I'm just counting the minutes and wishing I was somewhere else. The next step usually involves a nasty comb through. Swiftly and with force ripping the comb through my wet hair - I can usually hear that awful ripping sound too. Sometimes tears start to well up in my eyes and tension takes over my entire body. Other times I've felt sweat slowly bubbling up on my lower back, in my armpits, and on my cleavage. And all I can do is try to force a smile and make polite conversation about anything that comes to mind.
My last cut with my old hairdresser didn't end well. I drove across three suburbs to get there because I had moved house, most people wouldn't bat an eyelid at this, but for me, this was now an inconvenience. I showed her a picture of what I wanted and the process began. The conversation quickly upped in emotional intensity as she was telling me about her upcoming major life changes. She was cutting and cutting and talking and talking. By the time she finished, I was finished - I couldn't wait to get the hell out. She suggested we catch up for a coffee sometime, I smiled politely, thanked her for my 'fabulous' new haircut - which looked nothing like the picture - then I left never to see her again.
But I somehow managed to move on to a hairdresser that turned out to be so much worse. He was close to my new house which thrilled me and my first impression of him was okay - not overly friendly and warm, but okay. The wash was surprisingly pleasant but then it all turned to shit once he got the comb out! It gradually got worse and more painful as he separated my hair into chunks for cutting - he was rough and seemed to forget that my hair was actually attached to a live human.
The conversation was hard work too. He was jaded and over his profession, it was obvious to me. I couldn't even fake smiling anymore as I winced in pain and noticed sweat trickling down my back and into my crack. But it got worse once the hairdryer and the fat round brush came out! Fuck me! He tangled up my hair like a goddam birds nest and then grabbed chunks of it and ripped through it like a crazy bitch as he dried it. I was damp from sweat all over and had a face that resembled the deep maroon shades of a beetroot. Of course, my face and neck were covered in tiny pieces of cut hair - another side effect of haircut I loathe - and my new style looked nothing like what I wanted. I then paid for the privilege and walked home.