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An Inner Monologue of Getting a Haircut

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An Inner Monologue of Getting a Haircut

There’s something about going into a hairdressing salon that just makes my palms go sweaty and my stomach go a bit swirly. From the harsh lighting which shows up all your blemishes to the awkward social chit chat, I think that it just feels like an absolute minefield for social cock ups on my part and I can’t say that I particularly look forward to these visits…in fact a trip to the gynaecologist seems somewhat more appealing.

In the vain hope that I am not the only one that feels like this when they go to the salon, I thought I’d share an inner monologue of my experiences in order to maybe put your mind at ease that you’re not the only one to freak out a bit when its haircut day, so here goes:

You pull up outside the hairdressers feeling a little bit nervous but otherwise mainly positive about how you’ll feel when you walk back of said salon in a few hours time most likely in slow motion like in a tampon advert with an ethereal glow to you glossy flowing locks in tact with a sly smile that says ‘yeah my roots are the same colour as my tips now, what have you done today that made you feel proud’.

You open the door. The heat from all the electric contraptions whirring away inside hits you at once making you want to strip off all your layers so that you’re just standing there in your underwear waiting for that beautiful moment when the next customer walks through the door and you feel that sweet, sweet breeze against your skin.

You approach the counter a bit awkwardly and wait patiently for the Saturday apprentice to come and ask your name three times before you have to point out on the booking sheet that the lady who booked your appointment must have misheard you on the phone and that you assume that ‘Reece Curtis’ is in fact meant to be ‘Ruth Cutts’. You’re given a reluctant smile as you point out the mistake and you proceed to take your seat.

Whilst waiting you start flicking through some magazines which are all uber trendy hair publications with ‘“cutting edge” styles, you make a mental note that blue mohawks and asymmetrical, cubist styles are in this season, you’re approached once again by the apprentice who asks you if you want a drink. A coffee will do in this instance.

You are called over to your station, walking like a doomed prisoner on death row about to be given the Last Rites, and you set up base in what will be your temporary home for the next 3/ 4 hours (I have a lot of hair FYI). You settle in, watching everybody else in the salon, listening to their conversations and you start to relax. Right then a bubbly attractive young hairdresser will come bouncing over, introducing themselves and will proceed to ask: ‘so what are we going to do today then?’. They start fingering your hair whilst you mumble something about layers, but all the while their face is dropping with every split end they find, with every root they see untouched, with every knot they see before them and suddenly their bubbly persona has taken on that of a puppy whose been caught out pooping on the carpet.

They disappear to god knows where probably to either a. cry, b. cancel their afternoon appointments, c. take a shot of gin or d. all the above. They come back with what looks like a workman’s belt but instead of hammers and screwdrivers they’ve got scissors of every size and shape, a teeny tiny comb which barely looks big enough to brush your eyebrows let alone a head of curly hair and they’ll have a spray bottle holstered to their side ready to draw at the sight of a dry hair like in a Western movie.

Just as the process begins, the Saturday apprentice has come over with your coffee. You taste it. It’s not the best instant coffee that you’ve ever had but taking a sip is a great way to procrastinate the cutting of the hair for a little while longer. You’ve got ever so hot however in the past ten minutes and the synthetic gown is acting like a green house. At this point you’d have wished you’d gone for the luke warm water option instead of the Nescafe Gold.

It starts. You know you’re in for the long haul so you’ve tactfully brought over a couple of the trendy hair mags from the waiting area earlier. You’re set. Let the lion tamer work on your mane back there whilst you read an obscure article about how ancient Peruvians used donkey semen on their dry ends. Then you hear it…. first you can’t be sure….

....but oh yes…

....the small talk begins….

“You going anywhere nice on your hols this year love”


Why is this happening!?!?! What have you done to deserve this?!?! You want to pour the remainder of your slightly rancid coffee in their face but instead you say…

“Nowhere nice this year just going to <insert mediocre holiday destination here>”

It continues. Your arse starts to lose all feeling and so does your soul. The smell of the bleach is making you slightly delirious and the coffee you had 2 hours prior is making your breath smell like that of a Maths teacher after mid- morning break.

Finally after what feels like a lifetime you’re tentatively guided over to the wash basins feeling a bit like the professor from Back to the Future with your crazy sticky up bleached hair. You lean back and place your head into the soaking wet leather head rest. They ask you if the water is too hot, you say no, I mean you didn’t need that top layer of skin anyway did you?! They start to massage your head which really is quite an enjoyable part of the process, a part which is over far too quick before you’re lead back to the torture chair of doom.

Then the cutting starts. It’s an art form really watching the hairdresser contort their arms into all kinds of funny angles taking a snip here and there whilst the floor begins to resemble a furry sea of dead blonde hair. Your head is pushed from side to side and you’re convinced that you need to sneeze but that in doing so the hairdresser may slip and you’ll end up with one of the funky, asymmetrical hairstyles that was in the mag when you first came in. You stifle the sneeze and the need to shuffle in your chair to get the feeling back in your bum and you let your head become a play toy for the hairdresser to move at their will.

The cut is done. You’re at the home straight. Then comes the blow drying. *please note that I have curly hair and only use a diffuser to dry my hair, there’s a certain knack to using a diffuser to avoid producing too little volume aka ‘the lank wave’ that simply looks like you couldn’t be arsed to straighten it, and having too much volume aka ‘The Brian May’ circa 1989*. You’ve managed small talk for most of the process but when the hairdresser continues to talk whilst the hair dryer sounds in your ear (like when you open your car window on the motorway) you have to adopt what I call the ‘nod and smile’. You have no idea what they’re saying to you and inside you’re raging but on the outside you’re cool as a cucumber with what can only be assumed as super human hearing because no one and I mean NO ONE can hear what the hairdresser says over the sound of the hairdryer. Nuh huh I won’t believe it.

You’re super hot now. You’re dehydrated but also desperate for a wee. They bring over a bunch of products which they’ll start manhandling your hair with until they take a step back. Admire their creation and bring over the hand mirror. They’ll show you the back of your hair and you’ll once again adopt the ‘nod and smile’ even if you’re dying inside a little. You say ‘I love it thank you’ as is obligatory in these types of social situations.

You’re almost free. You go to stand up but have to take a minute to steady yourself because you’ve been sat down for far too long and you may have lost the ability to walk. You pay. You go to walk out but the apprentice stops you- ‘did you want to book in for six weeks love?’

Oh dear.

You can’t think that far ahead to be honest.

You’ve only just gone through the ordeal and the thought of booking another session of such trauma is not an appealing thought.

You say, ‘oh I’ll be in touch’. The apprentice looks dejected. You haven’t bought the over priced products that they tried to sell you earlier and now you’re standing them up leaving without making a follow up booking. They feel that they have failed and you feel like a right C U Next Tuesday for making them feel that way. You’re about to leave but your conscience kicks in…

“actually I’ve got a free Saturday in about 2 months time (you don’t- looks like great Aunt Mildred’s birthday party is going to have to be pushed back a week), can I book in for then?”

Their face lights up.

You feel on top of the world as you walk out that door desperate for a wee, a bottle of water and for the pins and needles to stop shooting up your left buttock.

Ready to go through the entire ordeal again in a mere 8 weeks time.


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