A bad hair day can make you curl up
OPINION: The trouble with hair is that beyond the age of, say, 5, you need someone other than your mother to cut it. Finding that person is not easy.
It is often more difficult than finding the perfect partner and equally as fraught as dating.
You might be set up with your hairdresser through friends, or maybe something about them catches your eye as you wander down the street. It can often end in the gut-wrenching feeling of having to dump them or simply disappear without notice. Sometimes, you just have to run home and have a cry in the shower.
After many years of searching I have found a hairdresser that's right for me. I hope we are till death us do part.
I have become quite relaxed in this salon. To the point that last time I went under the scissors, I accepted the offer of a wine. Although it seems customary to offer wine after a certain hour in salons these days, I usually turn them down.
Who knows what crazy whimsy may take me while under the influence?
However, some weeks ago, I was preparing for a holiday in Melbourne. Step one: a fresh dye of the locks. Step two: accept wine.
My best mate, Hayley, also gets her hair cut at this salon and her appointment was set for precisely two wines into mine.
She passes behind me and I glance at her in the mirror. Our greeting is subtle, just a raise of the eyebrow.
Shortly after, I turn around to see her dipped backwards over the sink getting a good old rinse.
The wine tells me to say the following: "Hey, Hayley. I can see straight up your nostrils."
I only say this because it is true but she ignores me. I do not wish to be ignored, so I increase my volume.
"Hayley, I can see right up your nose."
It becomes apparent that Hayley hates being yelled at across a salon and continues to ignore me. Just when I think it might be time to end our 26-year friendship, her hairdresser looks up and mouths the words: "It's not Hayley."
I mouth something that is not exactly a word but my face contorts in a way that proves my face has not been exposed to Botox.
Finally, my hair is finished and I am released from my seat. I go to find Hayley and tell her the story. She says she already knows because the girl I was yelling at is sitting beside her as I recount the tale.
Suddenly, salons - once a place of sanctuary - are becoming a minefield.
The day after having my hair done in Christchurch, I arrive in Melbourne and plan to have my hair styled for a fancy award ceremony.
My Aussie friend suggests a place up the road but warns she has not tried it out yet. They have an appointment available so I ask for a "few curls".
About 15 minutes into the curling process I realise that their idea of "a few curls" and mine do not match.
Within 40 minutes I am Shirley Temple but I am on a bad ship. A very bad ship. I am deeply ashamed and unhappy. And desperate for a beanie hat. I walk back into my friend's house where we dissolve into nervous laughter. Her two young sons look scared and tell me as much.
I post the photo online and my friends start exposing their children to it.
"Weird," says one.
"Really funny," says another.
Hayley says her son Cooper says I look pretty but adds that he has a temperature and had vomited earlier.
Friends ask if I am having an "I'm-nearly-40-crisis", they're scared to look because of the Medusa effect. And finally, someone's 5-year-old comes up with the apt description of "spaghetti". All valid points.
I shall never again fall into the arms nor the curling irons of another.
- © Fairfax NZ News