A familiar thought occurred to me as I sat in the stylist’s chair and prepared for her big reveal.
“This is going to be great fodder for the family text chain.”
It had to be, because I could tell from her extremely animated description that it was not going to be great hair for me, not at all.
“You’re going to love the color,” she said as she snapped pictures of the back of my head. “It’s very trendy.”
I can count on no hands the times in my life I have been trendy. I admire trends, and trendy people. That’s just never been an aspiration of mine. My vehicle of choice is a 2004 Volkswagen Beetle. I live in a house built in 1931. Someone once told me the banisters in that house were back in style. I had no idea banisters could go out of style.
I choose clothes for their comfort and shoes for the way they carry my achey bones. And my hair? Well, I run a fat comb through it in the morning and let it decide if it wants to be curly or straight that day.
But, I recently saw an old picture of myself and I liked the way my hair looked in it. So, I set about trying to retrieve my youth. I had not been to a salon since April and my hair was starting to look peaked, anyway. Time for a little freshening up, right?
I went to a new place because I heard I could be in and out in an hour. I do not recommend this salon vetting method.
I showed her the 10-year old picture of the hair I would like to achieve. She seemed pretty confident she could recreate the color and away we went.
“What do you think?” she asked as she whirled me around.
I did not recognize the person staring back at me. I blinked once, then twice, but each time I opened my eyes my hair appeared to grow brighter.
“Woah.” I said, alternately fascinated and horrified by the cabernet-color apparition swirling around my freckled, nearly 60-year old face,
“Do you like it?” she asked with this astounding self-assurance. I had to believe her other unveilings had been received with genuine delight, that she’d swooped that chair around like Houdini, and maybe even offered a little curtsey in response to the heartfelt applause. Bravo!
“I’m going to have to get used to it,” I said, though my mouth honestly had trouble forming any words at all.
“You’re going to love it so much,” she said. “Just give it a week to 10 days to settle in.”
I hightailed it to my car where, naturally, I texted a picture to my sisters.
“Go buy a bottle of Prell,” my sister Jenny responded. “Wash your hair twice with it before it sets in the next 24 hours.”
My sister Kathy offered to make an appointment for me with Bert, her beloved stylist of many years.
“I’m good!” I texted back, though, clearly, I wasn’t. I ran an errand or two but kept jump-scaring myself when I caught my reflection. Self-checkout lane indeed,
I had a whole conversation with myself in which I was both soundly reprimanded “It’s just hair!” and validated “but, man, it really looks bad, like really terrible!”
I called Salon Aura, where I should have gone in the first place.
“I have a hair emergency,” I said and went on to describe my situation. They found me an appointment for the next day,
“Listen,” I said to my husband when I saw his face and recognized his frantic attempt to conceal his horror. “I already have this little situation solved. Don’t worry about it.”
I tucked my hair into a hat the next morning and counted the hours until my appointment,
The stylist, Jillay, took one look at me and said, “I can fix that.”
I’m pretty sure I hugged her right then.
My hair looks normal again, which is all I wanted in the first place. God bless Jillay and whatever she did to restore my poor, shocked hair.
In the end, it’s a pretty hair-lairious story, no?