Sunday, July 13, 2008

It'll grow back

I had my hair cut yesterday.  I think she cut it too long. I realize that I am probably the one woman in 10 who would say something like that. "it's just hair, it will grow back" has been my mantra since I was 27.

I told her I wanted a couple inches cut off and she gave me that look stylist give women who say things like that. The look that says "You mean millimeters don't you?" because most women really do mean millimeters. She held up my hair and said "a couple of inches would be about here"; just to make sure I understood what she thought of when she heard 'a couple of inches'. I replied "Better make it 3 inches. I need all the damage off". We talked a bit more about just how short my well below the shoulders length hair would end up being once all the layers & things were done & I reassured her. "Even if it's shorter than I'm thinking, it's just hair. It'll grow back."  She seemed relieved by that.  I can understand why.

I would imagine that stylists encounter the "I didn't mean for it to be so short" problem almost daily. A quick informal poll of the women I know reveals that 95% of them are not entirely honest about just how not short they want they hair trimmed. They think they are. They are saying things, but not the things they really mean. And when the stylist doesn't read their mind to find the correct interpretation, they tell everyone they know that the stylist did a bad job without perhaps all the details of the conversation.

"I said I wanted a couple inches off, by that I meant millimeters"

"I said I wanted some layering, I meant don't cut my hair any shorter"

"I said I needed a trim, I meant get rid of the split ends without actually making my hair any shorter."

Don't believe me? Watch What Not to Wear sometime. What is the number one thing almost every one of those women is most afraid of? Not having thier clothing choices mocked on national tv. Not shopping for bras and thongs while millions tune it. No, they are afraid the hair stylist is going to CUT THEIR HAIR. And he is. It's going to be noticeably shorter than it was and probably a different color as well.

All this makes it quite difficult for those who actually want a decent amount of their medium length hair cut off, to get the results they want. The stylist, with knowledge from experience, doesn't believe us when we say 2-3 inches off because they think we've never actually held a ruler up to our hair and seen just how much that is. Or when we point to our mid neck and say "about to here"., they are sure we THINK we want that but faced with the reality we will go off about it being TOO SHORT. They have seen these things happen too many times to take such statements at face value. I don't blame them either.

If I regularly went to a stylist I'm sure we'd come to terms on this. She would, with time, come to realize that I know how much 3 inches of hair is and if I say cut it, I mean cut it. Problem is, I don't get my hair cut that often.  This is possibly the second time this year I have had it done.  I never remember where I went or who did it last time.

I did end up with something close to what i want. It's a bit longer than what I had in mind but since this was more of a damage control issue, rather than a desire for a specific hair style, I can live with it. If I want it shorter I can go back & have her trim some more off. And if I don't like, it'll grown back, it's just hair.

Just for the record, in case I do manage 2 visits in a row  - it was Angie at Hair Cuttery by Target.

1 comment:

Swistle said...

This is great, and I think you're exactly right. I find it helps my stylist if I refer to a previous cut---not like I think she'll remember, but more so she knows I know how short it is: "I usually like it cut to chin-length," I say. But she's also really good, because what she does is do a first quick cut all around, and then she says, "Like this, or shorter?" so I have a chance to change it. I always end up saying "shorter," though, because she does what you mention: tries to interpret what I really want.