Joanna Campbell Slan has moved, searching new blog...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I Am Not My Hair...Or Am I?

One of the toughest tasks for any newcomer is replacing services. So after our move, I set about systematically replacing my beloved vet, cleaning person, and hairdresser.
Ow. I'd like to think I'm not my hair. That I am me, and if my hair turns white (which it sort of did) or turd-murkle brown (which it definitely was), that my happy place won't disappear.
But it did. Golly, did it ever. See, my first venture to a hairstylist gained me excellent color, but the stylist/owner fobbed me off on an employee who got angry and burned my scalp repeatedly while drying my hair. Even when I complained, she kept on applying the heat.
Next, I went to a lady who decided my hair should be brown. She did a wizard cut--which can be hard on curly hair--but brown? Ugh. But the cut was really, really good, and she did offer to lighten it up. So I went back to her and said that it was, indeed, too dark. So she put the coloring on my hair, redecorated her salon (no lie, she was futzing around with the Christmas tree and the wreaths and the ornaments on her shelves), and then we had the following exchange:
Me: You've lived here a long time. Do you know the Salahis? The husband and wife who crashed the White House State Dinner?
Hairdresser/Salon Owner: Yes, I do. I've been on their yacht. You know, he was a perfectly nice young man. Very sweet. Good to his parents. And then he met that...that...that BLONDIE!
Need I tell you that my hair color was pretty darn weird? Like a bleached out lemon rind.
So I went to another hairdresser. (Are you counting? If I haven't left anyone out, we're up to four in four months now.) This salon kept sending me invitations as a "newcomer" to try them out. The place proved almost impossible to find. The stylist was nice...but she added so many low lights, my hair was back to...ugh...some disgusting shade of mud.
I went around all week avoiding mirrors. My husband said, "It's not too bad." Which is code for, "I won't divorce you."
Finally, in desperation, I went to a salon in the mall and threw myself on their mercy. "Can anyone here help me?"
And a nice man did. Then, because we were BOTH worried about the color, he dried my hair. The stylist made my hair straight, as you can see from the photo of me and Debbi Mack at a signing at The Little Professor Book Center in Eldersburg, MD.
It's still not me.
I'm a curly girl.
But it's close.


Debbi said...

OMG, don't know whether to laugh or cry at that. What an ordeal!

Good hair dressers are like good mechanics or doctors. Once you find one, you hang onto them like grim death.

When I first saw this photo, all I could think was, "There I am with my hair hanging in my face. Well, maybe that's a blessing." LOL!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Hey, you escaped with your blonde hair intact! I nearly didn't. Great to see you, Debbi, as always.

Anonymous said...

I think the worst haircut I ever got was in Gloucester, England--it only cost a pound ($2.75 in 1980). Normally I would have paid 2 pounds but Dallas was big then and I actually knew Patrick Duffy in college...and they were thrilled with my stories about the great and near-great!! Hence cheap haircut and a great memory...glad to see you're feeling a little happier. xxKaren

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Karen, a pound was $2.75??? Those were great times, weren't they? Someone told me, you know you've lived in the UK too long as an expat when you start to think a pound and a dollar are the same!

Anonymous said...

Don't stop posting such themes. I like to read articles like this. Just add more pics :)

Liz said...

Great story. I hope you find a good salon soon. My only disaster was when I coloured it myself. It was burgundy!!!!!
Now I go to a lovely salon in the Scottish village where I live and Rachel my stylist is fab. I won't go to anyone else. I'd rather not get it cut or coloured.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Liz, I know what you mean! A good hair stylist is like a lover, right?

Anonymous, I'll try to post more photos. Sigh. I've been sort of behind on that!

Angji said...

I'm sorry for you hair color ordeal! I've been through that myself. I'm very happy to hear that you are a proud curly girl too. We curly girls need to stick together. Long live the curly girl!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Angji, I remember a Peanuts cartoon where the little girl was fluffing her hair and saying, "Naturally curly hair is a sign of genetic superiority." Now, maybe I don't recall it correctly, but that's the way it stuck in my curly-girl head, and that's what I'm claiming for all of us curly-girls.