Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Putting My Hair In A Student's Hands

Another flash from the past...

Picture it: Charlotte, summer of 2006. DH and I had just gotten married and I was in the midst of my MBA internship with BigFinance.

When DH and I arrived in Charlotte our leasing agent told me that Aveda has an institute right down the street and that is where she goes and gets her hair cuts, facials, etc. So I go online and check them out. The prices are amazing. $12 for a haircut. $30 for highlights. 30 minute facial for $20! Needless to say, I call to make an appointment. The first appointment they had open was for this past weekend. I inquired about highlights but they were booked until the end of September!! I settled on a haircut and "essential back treatment" AKA massage starting at 9 AM.

I roll out of bed at 8:45 AM and head to the Institute. I managed to get a parking space right out front which I assumed could only herald good things. I sit down with my book and wait to be called. As I'm sitting there I start chatting with a woman about how many people are there for appointments. There are about 25 people in the waiting area. She points out a bride and her bridal party that are there to get their hair, nails & make up done. Now, I'm all for a great deal if I can get it but I would never trust my wedding day to complete strangers who aren't even licensed practitioners yet! When I left the salon three hours later (yeah, that's right 3 hours) they were in the final stages of make up. And every single one of them looked like a whore. Seriously, pony up the money for pros on the wedding day!

Anyway my name is called and this girl introduces herself to me. Her name is Heather and she leads me back to her chair. She couldn't have been more than 20 years old. I noticed that her station is labeled#26. I pulled out the picture of Sandra Bullock that I use as an illustration of what I want done to my hair. Yes, that's right. I chose a 40+ year old woman to use as a model for what I wanted to do to my hair. I should look so good at that age. It's a very simple cut - shoulder length and slightly shorter to frame the face. Nothing fancy. Heather starts running her fingers through my hair and making the appropriate comments. As she touches my head I notice 3 things. First of all the girl was very ham handed and was putting far too much pressure on my skull. The second thing was that she was touching me with nails that were soooo gross. In fact she was kind of a mess all around. Not exactly the picture of who I had hoped would cut my hair. Heather is also what appears to be 6 or 7 months pregnant. In the course of our fabulous hair cutting experience I come to find out that really she is due in December.

So after she washed my hair she calls her teacher over to discuss what it is that she is going to do with my hair. And then she starts cutting. Now, I'm aware going into this that I am going to be essentially a guinea pig for some student but I expected that by the time the student was on the floor he or she would be fairly competent. Heather tells me that students rotate around the floor as they gain more experience and work on other types of treatments (like highlighting). Based on our discussion I come to the realization that my station, good old #26, is the first stop on the merry go round that is salon training. I "lucked" out an got put with the least experienced student there. About 20 minutes after she makes the first cut, Heather is finished with the first of many steps to achieve this very simple haircut I'm looking for. She calls her teacher back over and he basically tells her she sucks as he starts cleaning up her mess. But frankly I was not too impressed with him either. He put so many layers in my hair I'm really worried that in certain weather conditions it could appear that I have a mullet. And he cut VERY slowly. After he finishes and tells Heather to blow dry my hair she informs me that its an awesome haircut and she wished that her haircuts came out that well. Sigh. I suppose then it really could have turned out worse that it did.

Fortunately after the almost 2 hours I spend in the chair getting my hair cut I had a wonderful experience with my massage. Very relaxing.

DH assures me that the haircut is "fine". But I promise no pictures until it grows out and I can get a real stylist to cut my hair. I hope my story of hair woes has made each and every one of you appreciate the stylists you go do for your hair cuts. Tip them well.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

this was a true classic. It might also be nice to share some of your greatest hits from American Idol Season. I've been seeing Ryan Seacrest report from "on location" for E!News lately from various casting calls for AI, so I'm hoping the new season will be just around the corner, 4th judge and all!!!