Still hoping for hairdresser miracles

Have you been to the hairdresser recently? Does anyone call them that anymore?
Are they really dressing my hair; choosing an outfit that is a perfect fit for my hair, with the full range of accessories, including matching handbag?
Anyway, that’s not the point of this long-winded diatribe (I am a digresser; an old habit that is having a lengthy, drawn-out death).
When we go the hairdresser, most of us have unreasonable expectations and for this reason, a career as a hairdresser is not one I would choose.
Having said such, my hat is off to these talented individuals who take our instructions and hopes and aspirations for our haircuts and do their very best while they are witness to our disappointed faces and our feeble thanks-yous and “Oh, isn’t that nice,” and any number of I-can’t-wait-to-get-out-of-here deflections.
I suspect women are alone in our expectations when we visit the hair salon, though I can’t be sure. Men could be just as unrealistic, I suppose.
We enter said establishment often clutching a photo in our sweaty palms, or with a photo from Google on our iPhones. We hold said photo up to the hairdresser as though we are displaying our firstborn.
“See this. Make me look like this.” And as we sink into the magic chair that spins and goes up and down, we are thinking exactly that. And this hairdresser better very well be a magician of the highest order.
We go for a haircut thinking it will shave years off our face and pounds off our bodies. A new haircut will add a sparkle to our eyes, a blush to our cheeks, and a cheery to our disposition.
With four daughters growing up in my house, four heads with a whole lot of hair, you can imagine the fall-out from trips to the hair salon. Lots of tears, genuine anguish, shock, the whole shooting match.
But I think the real disappointment is reserved for we older versions of those on trips to the hairdresser.
I love getting my hair washed and cut. I keep my eyes closed; I am not a fan of looking in mirrors. When my hairdresser tears away the plastic what-ever-you-call-it and I am obligated to look in the mirror, the first words out of my mouth would like to be: “What the h—?”
I’d like to leap from my chair and jab my finger into my reflection in the mirror and maybe shout a bit. I still look old. I still have fatigue under my eyes and red blotchy cheeks.
My neck hasn’t lost its accordion-like appearance. I still have the same weird dry patch the size of a quarter above my right eyebrow next to the nine stitches I was given to put my face back together after a run-in with a horse hoof (not my horse’s hoof, I might add).
My hairdresser hasn’t performed any magic. It’s all been a ruse. I want to point to the photograph from the magazine I dragged in and say, with an emphatic tapping of my pointer finger, “Where’s this face?”
It’s not her fault. She did her best with the ingredients she was given. But I never learn. On my next trip to the hairdresser in six months or so, I will have the same foolish expectation—and I will have to shoulder the same disappointment and go home stuck with the same old me.
Hope is a lovely thing, though.
wendistewart@live.ca

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