Women and their hair

Photo credit: Mango

It seems I have an addictive personality. I mean, I can exist a certain way for a long time, until I can’t. Seems overly simplistic, but I’m not sure how else to phrase it.

I haven’t had my hair cut (by someone who professes to be a hair stylist) since November 2009. My eldest daughter has had her way with me with the kitchen scissors in the back yard a few times since then. Frankly, she’s done a fair enough job to keep me out of the hair salon, until now.

Women’s hair cuts are expensive. For many periods in my life my hair has been short. There are some men who have hair longer than mine. Mine still costs more. I totally understand why it might cost a bit more when my hair is longer. Once a stylist explained that women tend to like their hair styled and fussed with. This takes time. Time is money. When I was trying to come up with a lean budget I could live with in January, I knew the $55 plus tip hair cuts had to go. So what’d I do? I didn’t get my hair cut at all.

Let me reveal a dirty little secret: Often, I feel like Samson. The biblical Samson. First, I’m not a bible authority, but I recall a story about Samson feeling his power or strength came from his hair. Should his hair be cut, he feared his power would go with it. Every time I’ve cut my hair short, it’s been because I was unhappy in a relationship, or I thought I was punishing myself. While I enjoy the simplicity of short hair, I feel truly feminine when my hair is longer. I feel like I have more power, in the Samsonesque way. Even in my current frame-of-mind when I’m totally not interested in dating or being in a relationship, I want my hair to be nice.

This week, I’ve come to the end of my avoidance of hair care. I want a change.

My hair was pretty short in November of 2009. It’s now shoulder length, although in a gazillion layers. Last week, I pulled out a dress that makes me feel like a brunette Marilyn Monroe to go to an event. My hair wasn’t very “Marilyn”, so I walked myself down to the drug store and bought myself some curlers. Not the cool steamy or hot curlers that are $60 plus, but the $11 variety. Hey, I’m on a budget. I couldn’t escape without some hair dye either – thought I’d go a bit more red. Now we’re pushing $30.

Hanging over the tub like a bad morning after a drinking binge, I died my hair and tied it up in rollers. One of the kids remarked I looked like a 1950s housewife. Bang on observation. I totally did. However, at the end of the day, with the rollers away and the hair done and the dress on, I felt like a million bucks. People I didn’t know stopped me on the street to tell me how fabulous I looked. Good for the ego. So much for detached Torontonians – I was feeling the love, in a good, safe way.

A few days later my hair was starting to get me down again. Sure, it was a funky new colour, but I was needing it cleaned up. Then I saw a picture of Scarlett Johansson’s Mango campaign. Frankly, a bit Marilynesque if I don’t say so myself.

I’ve decided I want my hair cut like Scarlett. I’m not going to be blonde, tall or as drop-dead gorgeous as she is, but I can do the hair – I think.

Yesterday I toiled with going back to my old hair dresser ($55 plus) who rarely listened to me, always questioned if I really wanted to have my hair cut like the picture I carefully cut out and carried in my wallet. Nice man, not my favourite hair dresser. Anyway, he’s closed on Mondays. Then I figured “hell, I’ll go to Holt Renfrew to a Junior Stylist, I’ll be it’s about the same price, and perhaps I’ll discover somebody I really like”. I called Holts, got put on hold. I was on hold enough that I hung up. I figured the gods were telling me not to chat with them at Holt Renfrew. Eventually, I just went to the cheapo, total no frills hair place in the mall. No wash, no blow dry, no care.

When I showed the lady the picture of Scarlett, she said “your hair already looks like this!” What? It does? What the hell is wrong with my mirror? Anyway, she cleaned it up, so to speak, and took less off the length than I asked her to, thinned it out more than I asked her to, refused to stop thinning it out when I asked her twice, and I left with my hair spritzed wet and frizzy in the humidity. My logical mind knew she didn’t take enough off for me to be a freak, but I was feeling like one when I left. Sure, it was $16.95, but for the love of Pete…

After I got home and showered and styled it myself, I calmed down quite a bit. There’s no way I have Scarlett J hair, but I’m not a freak either. Truthfully, I think my hair has some growing to do in order to cut it the way I think it should be cut. Meanwhile, I’m going to start polling some women I know about where they get their hair cut and what they pay. I think I’ve officially washed my hands of the $16.95 hair joint in the mall.


4 responses to this post.

  1. That’s a funny blog post. Honestly, I haven’t had a hair cut since May 2009, so I know how you feel. The stylist I go to is very expensive and I usually only go once a year, but since implementing our budget last August, I decided to skip the cut this last spring. As a result, my hair is just passing my underarms in length. At 44 yrs old, that’s getting a bit long… makes my face look a bit tired and saggy. But if I can’t afford the $200 it costs to get a cut and colour from my fabulous stylist, I don’t wanna see anyone!!! I’ve been tempted to grab the scissors myself but have thus far resisted the urge. WHY does hair maintenance cost so much??? !!!


  2. Posted by seenonflickr on August 18, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I get my hair cut at Poison Ivy at College and Manning. It costs about 50 bucks with tax and tip. (I have always been happy with the cut/care I get there, and are happy to look at pictures and talk about options with me.)


  3. Posted by Busy Mommy of 3 on August 18, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    For both budget reasons and personal preference, I too haven’t had a haircut since June 2009. I usually colour it myself, but I haven’t even done that since April 2010.

    I’ve always had chin-length hair and I got so tired of short hair that I wanted to grow it out. So far, it’s only just past my shoulders, so I am going to wait a couple more months to get a good cut and colour so I can justify the $80.

    I agree that a good cut is expensive, but if you get the right stylist it’s worth it. The cheap chain salons just don’t have experienced hair dressers.


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