Thursday, October 23, 2014

Haircut Faux Pas

Despite having a grandfather who was a barber, I don't know much about the hair cutting industry.  I just know when I get a good haircut or not.  And I've had a lot of bad haircuts.

I used to have a lot of hair on top of my head.  In fact, you could say I was the Greg Brady (of Brady Bunch fame) of my high school.  My hair was thick and wavy and uncontrollable, and I really hated it.  It's a lot shorter, thinner, and grayer nowadays, and I like it simple.  It matches my personality (shorter, thinner, grayer, and simple).

When I was a kid, my grandfather, Pap-Pap Hair (as we called him), cut my hair.  Pap only knew a few different styles:  short and crew cut.  As I got older and actually cared about my appearance, I went to a hair stylist.  I didn't have a particular person who cut my hair.  It was generally whoever was available.  If I got a bad haircut, it was like a life-or-death situation.  Teenagers are a fierce lot, and teasing was inevitable if my hair looked anything other than what I thought of as normal.

In my mid-20s, my mother recommended a young lady at the local JC Penny's hair salon.  That's when I met Bonita.  Bonita was a beautiful (heh!) southern lady who knew how to cut hair.  I had found my "hair person".  I went to see Bonita almost once every month for much of the next five or so years.  I was one of her "regulars".  It's great being a regular, because you know you're getting treated well.  These people earn their tips.  The only negative is that Bonita would talk me into wearing my hair in styles that I really didn't like.  For a while, it was really long in the back.  Yeah, she talked me into a mullet.  That one didn't last long.  After meeting Teresa, who I soon married, I no longer went to see Bonita.  Teresa didn't want me to, and I honored her request.

Teresa had been getting her hair cut at the local hair chain by a nice lady originally from Nepal.  "Sofia" did a fine job cutting my hair, and I was happy to have a new "hair person".  In fact, Teresa and I would make our appointments with her together so that we could get our haircuts at the same time.  Teresa would go first, then, while mine was being cut, she would run over to the Giant Food Store next door and start getting groceries, and I would join her when I was finished.  Sofia didn't cut hair very quickly, but she was good at her craft.

After Teresa passed away, I stopped seeing Sophia, and eventually, the shop where she worked closed.  I've spent much of the past ten years looking for a new "hair person".  I've tried a lot of different places, and numerous stylists have cut my hair.  I haven't found that person who knows how to cut hair really well.  Whenever I come close, it ends up being a one and done.... the person just disappears, never to be seen again.  Many of the hair chains seem to have a lot of turnover.

Now, with my daughter, Melody, joining me on my trips to these many different hair places, I have to be even more choosy.  Melody inherited the long, thick, wavy, and uncontrollable (but oh, so beautiful) hair that I used to battle.  While she likes to wear it very long, meaning she only gets it trimmed up a few times a year, I needed to find someone to cut her hair, too.

We began going to a local hair place just a few miles away at a newer strip mall.  Since it opened, it's turned over its staff multiple times, as usual.  I usually just get whoever is available to cut my hair, since I'm still searching for my "hair person". Recently, Melody and I went and a very nice young lady took a great interest in Melody's hair.  "Rochelle" provided me AND Melody with advice on how to care for Melody's hair, and I felt like I had found a new "hair person".  So, just over a month ago, I went to see Rochelle on my own, to get my hair cut.  It ended up being a very bad haircut, in my opinion.  While I cringed while watching her cut my hair, we had a very nice conversation about her awful vacation with her husband and some friends at the Outer Banks.  So, I reasoned, Melody had a "hair person", but not me.  The other night, we went back to get my hair cut.  I did my usual whoever's available.  "Martha" cut my hair.  Rochelle was there, and she noticed.  I said hello to her, and while she responded with a "hi", I could tell she was ticked off.  Martha finished my hair very quickly (she isn't my "hair person", either), and when I went to pay, Rochelle had just finished her customer's hair.  Rochelle wouldn't even look my way.  It was very apparent that she figured we had developed a relationship, and that I was one of her "regulars".  I didn't feel the same, obviously, but Rochelle acted like a jilted lover.  I had committed a faux pas.  I may not be able to ever go back.  Meanwhile, Martha gave me a lopsided haircut.

I'll continue to hunt for my "hair person", and pursue the opportunity to once again be one of someone's "regulars".  Besides, don't we all want a great haircut?

Have a great evening, everyone!

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