You might think this is a bit odd, but I hate having my hair cut. An appointment at the local salon is pretty much equivalent to a dentist’s visit on my internal fun-o-meter.
I have tried to get over it. Throughout my life I’ve vacillated between five quid buzz cuts in dingy barbershops to hundred quid cuts in swanky designer places, as well as covering everything in between.
But at the age of twenty-nine I am yet to find my coiffeur comfort zone. Having my haircut remains an ordeal, rather than a treat.
I don’t like the intimidating women with skinny jeans and blunt fringes, who seem to staff the majority of hairdressing salons. I don’t like sitting on seats that are spiky with other people’s snippings. I don’t like the noise, the neck massages, or the abundance of putties, mousses and waxes that leave me smelling of fudge and pineapple. I always end up putting the stupid gown on back to front, or inside out, or upside down. I never know if it’s okay to try and take a sip of my rapidly-cooling coffee in the middle of having the chop, or whether it has only been placed in front of me for show. At the end, I never know whether to tip, and if I do then I worry that it’s not enough.
A haircut, for me, is basically a whole hour of excruciating awkwardness.
The other fairly major issue is that I don’t like my hair. And this is where it becomes a bit chicken and egg. Do I dislike having my haircut because I never like the end result, or do I dislike the end result because I’ve never found the right place to have it done? Hmmm…
I spent most of my early teens being mistaken for a boy, because I had an incredibly short crop. I also tried to home-dye it quite a lot. Every time I tried, no matter whether I was aiming for ice blonde or chestnut brown, it turned orange. Really orange. Except for that one time when it turned purple.
Towards the end of high school, I started to grow it out a bit, and then when I started uni and my first student loan payment was deposited into my bank account, I had my first ever RIDICULOUSLY expensive cut and dye. For a few months after that it was okay, but I couldn’t afford to keep going back. So then I got bored and briefly tried to dreadlock it. You can imagine just how awesome that was…
So I cut it all off again. Then I started to grow it a bit and dyed it blonde. But my roots looked dreadful, so I cut it all off again. Then I dyed my fringe red. On and on it went.
One time – in the middle of an election campaign in which I was a candidate – I asked my hairdresser to give me a ‘strong woman’ cut. I needed to look older, I needed to instill trust in voters, I needed to look like a WOMAN WHO COULD GET THINGS DONE. Something about that request got lost in translation and I ended up, as
DorkyDad someone who will remain nameless said, looking less like Hillary Clinton and more like Macaulay Culkin.
I have had one good hair day in my life – and by lucky coincidence it was on my wedding day. Unfortunately, it’s just not practical for me to spend several hours fannying around with Kirby grips and hairspray before I leave the house every day, so that is unlikely to ever be repeated.
As mother of a toddler, there is now only one thing I am looking for. I want practical hair. I want hair that doesn’t get in my face; hair that does not need to be straightened, blow-dried, or coloured every couple of months; hair that is easy to remove porridge from; hair that I can run my hands through in the morning and then forget about for the rest of the day.
But at the same time it has to be hair that I can do something special with for weddings, funerals and blogging conferences. It has to be sexy hair for date nights. It has to be yummy mummy hair for nursery drop-off.
Ideally, I want all that without having to step foot inside a hairdressing salon.
It’s not too much to ask, is it?