Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Snip, snip

Thanks be to one of eleventy publishers for promising to bike-messenger me a manuscript to work on, thus rescuing me from my ill and waste-away state of yoooouselessness.

Here is a post I wrote up when I was feeling a bit better. Cheers.

I don’t know if you all view the process of getting a haircut with trepidation. But if you do, you have my sympathy. Growing up, my parents were friends with a hairdresser. Some of my earliest memories are of trekking out to her house in Bay Ridge. I have a vague recollection of myself at four years old or so, gazing out the car window at the Christmas decorations that once played a role in a blogpost here. Later, when the hairdresser moved upstate, she would still come back down to cut the hair of her regulars. And I was never exactly pleased with the results …but I didn’t have to think about it. The haircuts came to me.

After she was gone, though, how disastrous! The general consensus about my hair, as far as I can tell, is that, oh, it’s such a nice color but what an unfortunate texture! When it’s long, it gets tangled; when it’s short it puffs out frizzily and raggedly, prompting (as I believe I have written here before) a middle-school classmate of mine to ask if I ever brushed it. So how to know what style would suit me, let alone what hairstylist? There are more hair cutting places than just about anything in New York, except, possibly, for nail salons and Starbuckses. There is one my family tried for a while that was just down the street but I didn’t like it either. They did blow my hair dry all nicely for graduation, but it felt fake. Even now I look back at those pictures of a luminous-haired white-dressed self and wonder who she is.

Then midway through college I got it in my head to straighten my hair. And what wonders came to pass! Except for a peculiar bump on the right side—a headphone line, perhaps?—after an exhaustive expensive tedious time-consuming chemical straightening process, I had pretty glorious hair. I felt much better. I was almost beautiful, instead of a frizzy mess. (I will note that a couple of people have professed sincerely to like this frizzy mess; I appreciate their kind remarks, but I don’t see it.)

But straightening is a process of diminishing returns. All those chemicals are hell on the hair; the treatment’s supposed to last a year but it doesn’t really. At each return appointment, the hair was less straight to begin with. And it doesn’t help that what is probably a four-hour process on the best of days was always protracted by the extreeeeeme inefficiency of the hairdresser (recommended by my parents’ friend; my mom still uses her but she is not quite right for me).

Once I moved to Brooklyn I decided I would strike out on my own, hairwise. But where to begin? I went to that bastion of reliability, Yelp, and found a highly-rated place in Park Slope, and got an appointment for that same day. Again, I have found my haircuts there (I just got the third) to be a sequence of diminishing returns, aided no doubt by the fact that my hair is frizzing and losing its last vestige of straight, clean angularity as we speak. But the hairdressers are quite nice, it is convenient and affordable (a nice walk across the park if I wasn’t feeling comatosely sick like I was Friday), and so I guess I will stick with it. Even if I can’t shake the feeling that my freshly-blown-dry and beshortened hair makes me look like a lapdog, or maybe a Fairfield soccer mom…

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