Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Trouble With Salons

I went last night to get my hair colored as closely back to my natural hair color as possible. I've been all bleached out with extremely offensive dark roots for, like, ever. Last time I had the color filled was back in April (yes, that's 7 months, you did the match right). As you can imagine, it wasn't pretty. I decided that in light of our upcoming trip to Arkansas, I'd better do something to make myself a little more camera-ready. It is the holidays, after all. Cameras will be tossed around like (hopefully) eggnog.

I called up the semi-swanky salon I went to last time, mostly because when dealing with color, I'm much more comfortable paying a bit more money to make sure they don't totally fuck up my head and force me to shave it all off (again). I don't have a regular stylist at this place - to call myself a "regular" there would be pretty funny. I just asked the nice appointment phone lady to please find an apprentice (cheaper) in the next week, and explained what I wanted done.

"So you want to go back to your natural color?"

"Yes, I would. I need the blond filled in an color added."

"Ok, let me see who I can find for you to do that...hold on just a sec..." She transferred me to a different appointment lady, who basically asked me the same questions all over again and then decided that I was coming in for a "color correction and full foil and haircut". Which? Um, no. Just a fill and a color will be all, thanks. But I figured I'd have an easier time explaining it to the stylist upon my arrival.

I actually got in my car last night and drove to the salon (I've been wont to back out at the last minute and not show up at all), a salon which is located no closer than three suburbs away from my apartment, and still made it a few minutes early. I checked in at the desk, and the woman told me to go ahead and wait in the lobby *pointed to the lobby*. Then she said something kind of odd: "I know it's a little bit scary, but it's totally safe." She was referring to the lobby, where I was to go park my ass and wait.

I kind of did a double take upon hearing the word "scary" and I was all like, OMG someone else finally noticed that the people in these salons are all kind of bitchy and perfect looking and I always get super uptight before I come to one because I know that even if I'm wearing the boyfriend jeans, someone else will be wearing the skinny jeans with the long t-shirt, and how can I possibly compete with that? Let alone my make up, dude I should have gone and had my make up professionally done before I came here to get my hair done, I mean do you SEE what these lights do to my complexion? Oh god so gross. You're right lady, that lobby IS TOTALLY SCARY!! But, if you say it's safe, I believe you. I can do it! I am JUST as good as these other women!

As I turned the corner into the waiting room, I had a little extra bounce in my step. It might be scary at the semi-swanky salon, but by golly, it was safe. Then I got a good look at the main area of the salon. There were no walls or ceiling, electrical wires hung every which way, and workers were coming out of the plastic sheeting wearing hard hats.

Hmmm. Perhaps I misinterpreted the receptionist's comment as common-folk camaraderie, when really, there was a tiny chance she might have been referring to the massive construction project underway. It's possible.

My stylist was super cute (all of them seem to be super cute there), a curvy woman with dark hair and kind eyes. We sat down and I successfully communicated what I wanted to have done. I wanted to return to my natural color, light brown. But to do that, I'd have to go a shade darker if I wanted to ensure the bleached out ends would take the color.

Down the row of workstations from us, a mother was getting her hair done. Her husband was toting two young boys around the salon, trying to keep them entertained while his wife finished up. He came around the corner with the baby in his arms, and when that baby saw his mother he started screaming, "MAMA! WANT MAMA!" She was trying to calm him from beneath her tin-foil shroud, and I commented to my stylist about how cute he was.

She got all dreamy eyed and said, "Oh, I know, isn't he? I notice all the little kids in here now that I'm pregnant." Took me a second to realize she hadn't just smacked me in the face, that she'd only just spoken to me.

Because OF COURSE SHE WAS PREGNANT! Why wouldn't I have been randomly assigned to the one pregnant chick at the salon? Of course mine was pregnant. I tried to be politely inquisitive and asked her how far along she was.

"I'm due in April." Of course she was. By this point I was having to make a pretty concentrated effort to remain calm. Not only was she pregnant, but she was exactly the same amount of pregnant that I would have been now. I bit my tongue to keep from telling her about my miscarriage, because really? Did she need to know? Not at all. Would it have freaked her out? Probably not, but still - no reason to go around upsetting pregnant chicks. You know, if possible.

"Is it your first?" I just had to ask, although I already knew. Yes, it was her first. When she walked away to mix the color, I just shook my head in amazement. It's totally my kind of luck. Another unexpected "neener neener boo boo" from the Universe.

Anyhow, so she did a great job on my color and I tipped her a ridiculously large amount of money, thinking she probably needs it what with the baby coming and all. So now I'm (sheepishly) able to present to you my new hair. I know most of you on the Interweb have no idea what my old hair looked like (picture orangy-bleached 3/4 and dark top 1/4), but I'm not sure when I'll be seeing my Jill again, and damn it all if my Jill doesn't need to see the new (old) hair.

Excuse the expression on my face (and the nose, never look directly at it) - I'm terrible at taking my own picture, but Gray is worse. He tried 4 or 5 and all of them were blurry. So I'm afraid you're stuck with this gem!

HAPPY FRIDAY everyone. If you're pregnant, could you please wait to tell me until Monday? I need a break this weekend.