8/23 -- Of Haircuts From Hell.
me as a baby with bad hair me as an adult with bad hair

Some things never change. Sigh.

(The following entry is rated "EG" for "Extremely Girly." Those of you who prefer meatier topics can probably be excused for today.)

On Tuesday, I decided that my hair had grown out beyond all reasonable shagginess and I needed a trim. Desperately.

When I got the original short haircut in May, I very foolishly left the magazine with the picture of that haircut behind in the salon. That's come back to haunt me more than once. I got a trim in July and found a stylist nearer to our home who did an okay-but-nowhere-near-as-sharp rendition of the first cut. (And she kept trying to push various overpriced styling stuff on me, which is a mortal hairdresser sin in my book.)

It came back to haunt me again on Tuesday. After work I hurried up to Dupont Circle, stopped in the nearest CVS, leafed through their haircut magazines until I found what I thought was a picture of a similar style, and went to The Salon That Used To Be Harlow's.

I really used to love this place, especially back when it was Harlow's. I could go in completely out of the blue and get any stylist the receptionist picked at random for me, and although the stylists are generally snooty little club kids who look terrified that they're going to catch Horrible Middle-Class Square Disease from me if they touch my hair for too long, they'd still do a fantastic job.

Well, the place has a new name now, one so nondescript that I can't remember it at all. They've remodeled and it's cramped and harried -- you can't step anywhere without getting in someone's way. And the days where any of the club kids could give me precisely the haircut I wanted are over.

I showed my random stylist the picture. "I need a trim, and this is pretty much what my original cut looked like," I explained.

"Okay. And you want that hair that sticks up in the back?" she said. My original cut had an interesting bottom layer that was cut so that it sort of kicked up on its own around the nape of my neck. I loved that kicked-up hair -- it did wonders for my face shape and made the entire haircut work, as far as I was concerned.

"Oh, yes. That's my favorite part!" I said. "It's okay if you cut it a little shorter than the picture, though -- my hair grows really fast."

You can probably tell where this is going. 45 minutes of snip-snip-snipping and laborious moussing and waxing and blowdrying and "Oh my God, what the hell is this woman DOING?" later, I had a haircut that's perfectly nice but bore no resemblance whatsoever to the picture I'd given her, or to my original cut. And it's short. Extremely short. Much shorter than I wanted.

And the kicked-up hair? It's gone. All gone. She put half a ton of this strange-smelling wax on the back of my head and blowdried and brushed frantically in an attempt to hide the fact that my wonderful kicked-up layer was no more. With my original haircut none of that foo-foo stuff was necessary -- I could let it dry naturally and it would do the kicky-up thing all on its own. How could you not love that -- a cool haircut that styles itself? I tried to believe her when she gave me the elaborate styling instructions (basically "Coat your entire head in styling wax and hang it upside down to blowdry") and told me that's how it was supposed to be done. But in my heart, I knew better.

It's not a terrible haircut -- you wouldn't see me on the Metro and think "Dear God, who the hell butchered that poor woman's hair?" I've gotten lots of compliments today, and I've accepted them all with tightly-clenched teeth.

It's not bad but it isn't what I wanted, not even close, and if I don't constantly fluff it up and fuss with it, it starts clinging to my skull and I feel like Super Mrs. Potato Head. And at long last, I remember why I once vowed I'd never get another short haircut. When I had long hair and got a cut I didn't like, I could generally camouflage it with careful blowdrying or clips or scrunchies. Now that I've got short hair, if I get a cut I don't like, I'm stuck -- I've got a short haircut I don't like. It'll grow, of course, but in the meantime I feel self-conscious and grumpy and ugly.

I'm going to have to bite the bullet and go back to Heidi's, the place where I got the original cut. I was trying to avoid this, because Heidi's charges nearly twice as much as my usual salon and it's a frigging pain in the ass to get to. But today, I know that all that hassle would have been worth it.

Dammit. It's just hair. It'll grow back. If you read this journal regularly, you know that I'm faced with much bigger problems on a daily basis. In the real world, this just shouldn't even rate.

But still ... dammit.

Indulging my inner hit slut

(Clix, please?)

Come visit the forum and tell me your own Bad Haircut Stories and cheer me up. Please.

The next entry.

Previously, in Insomniaville ...

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