Saturday, February 2, 2008

Hair Cutters

Once a month, I develop a bad case of Pom-Pom Head. I have thick hair that grows faster than average, so it can go from looking great to looking like a fuzzball pretty quickly.

My stylist is a lovely Iranian woman. She's glamorous, always with hair and makeup done Just So. Sidenote: I feel compelled to mention that I hate the word "stylist". There's something pretentious about it that rubs my fur the wrong way. I grew up with "hairdresser", which is a perfectly serviceable word. I cannot justify this preference. It's just one of those things.

Overall, I dislike beauty salons. They're usually loud, crowded, hot (from all the hair dryers and flattening irons), and, of course, pretentious. Once I totally got TOLD by the woman who was booking appointments at the front desk. I made the terrific gaffe of saying that I was coming in to get my hair dyed. She corrected me with a fierceness that took me by surprise: "IT'S COLOURED! WE DO NOT DYE HAIR! WE COLOUR YOUR HAIR!"

Uh, okay, if you feel that strongly about it...

This is why I don't dare refer to the stylists as hairdressers. Someone might take offense and "accidentally" sever my earlobe at my next trim.

So anyway, getting back to my hairdresser (this is my blog and I get to use my words. MY WORDS!!), she is very sweet. She always greets me with a hug, calls me honey, tells me I'm beautiful. In fact, she chants the word "Beautiful!" like a mantra as she puts the finishing touches on my hair at the end of the cut. "Ah, beautiful... beautiful... So cute! Such a beautiful girl! You should be a model. Eh? Why not? Yes, you should!" She never wants to hear my protests that 35 is a little late to be starting a modeling career. Don't confuse her with the facts! Her mind is made up!

Then she tells me that I'm her favourite customer. To myself I'm like "Yeah, she says that to all her clients." But another part of me laps it up like a cat eating cream. Go ahead! Call me gorgeous and butter me up! Yeah, like that. That's how I like it. Big tip for you!


Keera Ann Fox said...

In Norway, a hair salon does only hair, and hairdressers (we still use the term in Norway) here also don't specialize like in the fancy salons in the US, where one has a Cutter and a Colorist and whatnot other specialists. My hairdresser does it all. I've been going to the same guy for over 25 years. I'm gonna hafta go bald the day he retires. ;-)

R.E.H. said...

What about "hair stylist"? That's what I like to call them.

I actually hate going to these places, except for one thing - the hair stylists have a tendency to be VERY good looking.

I once wrote a short [horror] story about getting your hair cut at the salon... it was inspired by this one time, when I still had long hair, a stunningly attractive girl was cutting my hair. I could take my eyes off of her in the mirror, and when she was done she proudly asks for my opinion.

She'd cut off half of my hair and I hadn't noticed! I was shocked!

She was worth it though - damn, she was hot! ;)

San said...

Hairdressers, don't get me started! For years, anytime I got one I liked, they would leave town! I almost got a complex.

Just before Christmas, I went to a new one. She moonlights as a spiritual healer, has a degree in psych. Her salon is one-woman, it's quiet and littered with all kinds of little uplifting sayings and books. AND she has naturally curly hair and knows how to cut it!!!

I'm steeling myself for the news of her up and eloping to New Zealand or somewhere.

Aurora said...

We all need to hear that "you should be a model" line. From a stranger it's just so nice and flattering. I think it's appropriate for getting one's hair cut too. Hair shampooing and haircutting are ways we make ourselves beautiful and this hairdresser is doing it with her words as well. She's smart!

And yes, stylist does sound pompous to me. But maybe it's a dialectal thing. I mean, maybe it's an American thing... I used to think "washroom" sounded like a terrible euphemism for "toilet"!

Sparkling Red said...

Keera: The specialization drives me crazy, mostly because you're supposed to tip everyone who touches your hair. There's the hair-washer, the colourist, and the stylist. That's too many tips! Fortunately my hair is short enough for me to colour at home, and I found a salon where the hairdressers do their own hair washing, so I can actually afford it!

R.E.H.: That story is hilarious! And also awful. I'm sure everyone has had at least one experience where a hair stylist (yes, I can live with that term) hasn't listened and botched the cut. I'll always remember the "just a trim" that turned my long hair into a bob. I'm still holding a grudge about that one. (I didn't see what was going on because my glasses were off. The frames get in the way.)

San: She sounds perfect. I hope she sticks around for a long time. :-)

Aurora: Yes, choice of words is such a personal thing. To me "toilet" sounds way too direct, like calling it a "pee room" or a "fecal chamber".

Aric Blue said...

I totally read that "Big Tip For You" in an Asian accent for some reason. Like "Beeg Tip For YOU".

Jenski said...

In college I had this older gay man who cut my hair. He would go on and on and ON about what pretty eyes I had and what a great smile. The hair cuts were mediocre, but the compliments were totally worth it.

Congratulations on having someone who can cut your hair well (I'm assuming) and compliments you!

Karen said...

I say "hair dresser" also. I think a stylist is someone who helps you with clothes....or an overall look.

By the way, have I told you today that you are beautiful. You should be a model. :)

Sparkling Red said...

Aric Blue: In my mind it's more of a Brazilian accent. Like: "Beeg tip for jou!"

Jenski: Her hair cuts are inconsistent. She gave me one cut where strangers were literally stopping me in public places to compliment me on my hair. Other times... meh. But she charges $15 less per cut than the more senior hairdressers, and that's reason enough for me to stay loyal!

Karen: Aw, shucks, Thank You! I wasn't sure my profile photo showed me to my best advantage. Do you think the fashion world is ready for a 6" tall plush kitty as the next Top Model? ;-)

jameil1922 said...

lol. that's a hairdresser (yeah!!) who knows how to work it for the money! lol. i would tip her well, too! i think i like the word stylist just b/c its pretentious. but i use it only when referring to clothes. as in "i really wish (a lot of) someone(s) would let me be their stylist. i would clear their closet(s) of all their horrible clothes."

Stewie said...

I still call those women who bring me peanuts on the airplane "stewardesses" because I can never remember - or care - what I'm supposed to call them.

Like now.

Maxie said...

I'm such a sucker for compliments too-- the lady that does my nails always gives me compliments...and you know what...that deserves a bigger tip. It's like therapy, and people pay for that all the time.

Sparkling Red said...

Jameil1922: Yeah, I bet you would! ;-) It's just occured to me that I don't like the term "stylist" because a lot of the so-called stylists in this city are distinctly lacking in style. They need a Jameil makeover!

Stewie: Yes, and apparently there's no such thing as an "actress" anymore. Male and female are both "actors". I'm still not quite used to that.

Maxie: I never thought of it like that. It IS like therapy! Excellent justification. ;-)