I hate going to the hairdresser! I know that for many people it is an hour or two of pampering and luxury. They sit comfortably through the hair wash, chat freely above the noise of hair-driers and they know how much to tip. For me, it’s more like a communication breakdown especially with my current hairdresser. If he were not brilliant cutting my curly hair, I would have left him years ago. Every time I have an appointment, something goes wrong. If I find leaning back into the sink uncomfortable, that’s when: he takes extra time to give me a head massage. If I ask for a wash-and-go style, he starts into an intricate blow drying routine. Last time he sent me out with my hair looking like a dandelion clock after I commented that it was a shame curly hair was out of fashion. What did he think I said?
Having written this, I reflected on it and I told myself that it was pointless to get irritated. There were two alternatives: either I could leave him and enter the search for another good hairdresser- or I could accept these little eccentricities as part of the package. Getting irritated would only rebound on myself, making me tense and uncomfortable when I go there.
Taking it deeper
Looking at it from his point of view, English is not his first language, there is a lot of noise in the salon and he talks softly as he’s quite shy. On the other hand, he takes his work seriously and always does a good cut, even those times when he has misunderstood and cut too much off. The Afro washed out leaving my usual tidy curls and come to think of it, it was quite funny!
I soothed myself by thinking: I’m not the only person who dislikes the salon experience. Some of my friends never go to a hairdresser at all but rely on a friend or relative to cut their hair at home, or do it themselves. I am lucky to have a stylist who cuts so well that it lasts two or three months and I don’t have to return more frequently. He always greets me with big smiles, and if we need a topic of conversation, I can ask him about his children.
In this way I talked myself out of my grumpiness and into a better mood. Of course, I could have had some fun casting him as a wrong-doer, imagining that he deliberately gave me an Afro blow-dry so that he could laugh at me. I could build up a great head of steam, making myself even more irritated, refusing to go back or planning revenge. I could even write a short story about it called, “the malicious stylist”. But what a waste of energy! Far better to cheer myself up and go with the flow. I can rewrite the short story to say: I never quite know what will happen in my visits to the hairdresser. It’s a little adventure each time but that’s okay as I always come out with a good cut.