Hair Today…

The other day I was cutting my husband’s hair when a memory made me smile.  Since it seems to make him unaccountably nervous when I smile for no apparent reason while wielding sharp objects close to his jugular, I hastened to explain.

First, a bit of background information:

I haven’t been to a hair salon in years.  I cut Hubby’s hair, and he trims an inch or two off mine whenever I feel the urge to part with some split ends.  This works well for many reasons, not the least of which is that if there are any latent hostilities in a marriage, letting your spouse snip away at your ‘do while you sit defenceless in a chair is certain to bring them to the surface.

Also, we’re both cheap and lazy, with no discernible fashion sense.  Cutting our own hair saves time and money, and as long as there are no visible chunks missing or sticking out, we figure it’s good enough.

But pre-Hubby, I went faithfully if grudgingly to the salon to get my hair cut.

Apart from the layered big-hair era of the 80s and a brief fling with short hair after donating my long locks to the Cancer Society, this is pretty much what my hairstyle has been all my life, plus or minus a foot or so:

Just before I cut it off and donated it about 10 years ago.  (The ends look weird because I had just taken it out of a braid.)

Just before I cut it off and donated it about 10 years ago.

Back to the memory in question…

I love my hair, so (cheapness notwithstanding) I decided to spend whatever it took to make it look good. I experimented with various salons and price ranges, reasoning that an expensive haircut should be better than a cheap one.

That may be true if you have a complicated hairstyle, but I didn’t.  It was pretty much “just lop off a few inches and make sure the ends are straight”.  Other than the time I lost six inches because the stylist kept cutting it crooked and then trying to correct it, there was no discernible difference in the quality of the cut.

There was, however, one commonality between all the salons no matter how cheap or expensive:  the snotty stylist.

You know the one.  When you go into a salon, they put you in the chair, tie the cape around your throat so you can’t escape, and run their fingers through your hair with an expression of pained distaste.

Then they ask “Who cut your hair?” with not-quite-concealed disdain.

It didn’t matter whether I had paid $50 (which was a lot of money for a haircut ‘way back then) or $10, the haircut was always disparaged by the next stylist in line.

But once, and only once, I got my own back.

The stylist plopped me into the chair and ran contemptuous fingers through my hair before drawing himself up to haughtily inquire, “Who cut your hair?

And I replied in complete honesty, “You did.”

It’s one of my most treasured memories.

38 thoughts on “Hair Today…

  1. I’m done with “stylists.” I switched back to a plain ol’ barber years ago. Cheaper, always the same cut with no “experiments” and such, and the guy give me NO attitude whatever. Just the same, “Come in! Have a seat! Be right with you!” every time. No gossip, no inane chitchat, nothing but my standard cut, pay the man, and out the door. But back about 20 years ago, I had ALMOST exactly the same conversation with a “stylist” that you did.

    Quoth he, “Man, who cut your HAIR?!”
    Moi: “You did, and my wife asked me the same thing when I got home! You screwed it up, Bro, you fix it.”

    I’d forgotten that pleasant memory. Thanks for causing it to float to the top again. I needed that. 🙂


  2. Haha, that is great! I have endured many hair-stylists like that and I have no idea why they do it. My last hairdresser was cool though; after I left Amsterdam, I never went to another one 😉


  3. Oh my sweet lord. I knew exactly what was coming with the stylist’s description…the disdain…and the “who cut your hair?” And to get off a line like that? This is what dreams are made of. I have never felt so small and worthless as I have in a hairstylist’s chair. Albeit, not more than once per stylist.


    • It’s amazing how universal that is – do they teach Disdain 101 in hair-styling school? And wouldn’t you think it would be better business practice if they actually tried to make you feel good about your hair?

      Ah, what do I know?


  4. You have a beautiful head of hair! Mine has been similar, long, strong and a mind of its own. Mine is a dark Auburn, very thick and is very hard to work with so I started keeping it no longer than shoulder length for some time now. My sister was a hair dresser and I got spoiled when she took care of it for me. She did say that it was strong enough to string violins. Being as old as I am and joints aching, it’s too hard to reach and brush etc. My only problem with hairdressers is the cost and more so the lack of knowledge with hair like mine. It’s “strong” hair, as I’ve been told and it’s been known to bring even the most experienced hairdresser to tears. Lots of wave, some strangely located “cow-licks” makes it even harder to work with. **sigh**. So it’s mostly short hair for me now. I do envy the long hair tho’.


    • I think your hair and my hair must be twins. Fortunately, Hubby doesn’t know enough about cutting hair to be frustrated by the process; and I can’t see my own back so I’m happily oblivious to any funny stuff going on back there. Win-win! 🙂


    • I’d like to think he learned his lesson, but I suspect not. I don’t know, because I changed stylists after that – I didn’t think he’d want to see my face again, and I hate to antagonize people who wield sharp blades near my throat.


    • It was glorious! He stammered and harrumphed and shuffled his feet for a good few seconds before his natural snootiness reasserted itself. Then he elevated his nose again and pretended it never happened. But it did. Ha!


  5. Best Bazinga ever! Wish I could have seen her face.

    Like you, I have kept my locks long and unlayered for years, and I have no intention of changing the do anytime soon. I love the reliable ponytail too much. Thank goodness I have the same stylist I’ve had for years in a lovely but non-snooty hair salon. And she forgives me when I cut my own bangs because I didn’t get a chance to go in for a trim. No matter what, they always end up crooked when I cut them. And the worst part is, I don’t care…


  6. Wow, gorgeous hair & color! My oldest son is a redhead too, & at 42 he has me cut his hair to save $. I also cut my hubby’s hair; used to cut my Dad’s when he was on a long visit from England, & perm Mum’s hair & cut it (not any more thankfully, smelly, sticky solution!) Did my ex- hubby’s too a long time ago,& one time did nick his ear….. prophetic perhaps!!! I also trim a client’s hair like yours now & again, after her massage, so much fun! Quick, easy & no stress or attitude involved. ✂ 💇


    • Thank you! My haircutting “career” didn’t start off smoothly. When I was a teenager, my mom decided I should cut her hair – she just sat down in the chair and handed me the scissors. I don’t know WHAT she was thinking. I had never been to a salon, never seen anybody get a haircut that looked like hers (typical 50s style “permanent wave”), and had no clue where to start. She didn’t ask me again.

      Then my ex (while we were still married; he wasn’t THAT stupid) asked me to cut his 70s style permed afro. Disaster #2. No wonder that marriage ended badly.

      It was only after watching the stylists cut my hair during the brief time that I had it short that I finally figured out how it was done. Fortunately, Hubby never had to suffer – I made sure I knew what I was doing before I cut his hair. Maybe there’s something prophetic about that… 😉


  7. Haha! That’s excellent. Snotty stylists exist over here too. I don’t go to them any more either since I can’t think of much worse than being forced to look into a giant mirror whilst making small-talk with somebody about the weather and holidays I can’t afford. Your hair’s beautiful, by the way. 🙂


    • Thank you! 🙂

      Oh, the mirror! I had happily forgotten about that aspect – even if you get a non-snotty stylist, there’s nothing worse than the mirror. I’m so glad I don’t have to do that anymore.


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