When my best friend came back to Canada from a stint in Florida, she chopped half her hair off and enrolled herself in hairdressing school. Her hair went from long and wavy to a canvas for experimental art, seemingly overnight. Knowing her, it was a perfect fit.
In the years since that time, I haven’t let anyone else bring a pair of scissors to my hair. She’s done simple layered cuts of my hair and gleefully gave me a blunt straight cut with bangs when I requested something a little more experimental. But, she knows I’m pretty conservative about my hair styles. I’m boring, if you will, mostly because I’m lazy. I want a cut that’s easy to manage and requires little to no maintenance.
This frustrates her, I know. She gives me ideas of cuts and colours that she knows will look stunning on me. She does her best to convince me. But ultimately, she gives me the same cut over and over again. And I love her for it.
This weekend, I sat in this chair:
Cindy started to work on me. She threw the hideous cape around my neck, opened a few drawers at her work station, moving slowly, looking for something. Asked me if I wanted sparkles (No!), asked me again, set up a curling iron, pulled out the hair spray, mumbled a bit. My anxiety level was shooting up and shooting up fast.
As she curled and hair sprayed, tied and hair sprayed, bobby pinned and hair sprayed, teased and hairsprayed, I zoned out. Found a happy place where I didn’t have to pay attention to what she was doing to my head.
Of course, it turned out beautifully:
When the day quieted down a little and I had a chance to think about it, I realized what my problem was.
I have never before had someone I called My Stylist. When I was a kid, I got a haircut maybe twice a year. Or less. And every time, I went to the same salon but had a different woman cutting my hair. I cared about as much about it then as I do now. But I never felt like I got a bad hair cut.
And then my best friend became a stylist. I want to support her, help her be a success. Besides that, the salon she works at is beautiful and upscale. (I’m a little nervous about what her rates are going to do as she finishes up her apprenticeship… but it’s important to me that I support her.) The past half a dozen times I’ve had my hair done, she’s done it and I can’t imagine making an appointment for myself with anyone else.
And because she’s my best friend, I trust her completely to make me look good. I’ve never had a moment of anxiety sitting in her chair, wondering what I’m going to walk out with.
I don’t trust Cindy. She’s a random hairdresser who, unlike My Stylist, doesn’t know me almost as well as I know myself. I’ve gotten used to being able to put myself fully into My Stylist’s hands knowing it’s going to be perfect and not having to guard against that potential for disappointment. My fake “Oh, I love it!” smile was out of practice and I didn’t know if I could bring it back.
Hmm… I think I’m due for a haircut soon…