Out walking in the city centre recently I was stopped by a woman who wanted to cut my hair. She was on a training course and just needed two more haircuts to finish. I wasn’t convinced by her offer of a free haircut. I used to go to the Vidal Sassoon training school and I had some pretty fabulous cuts, and never a disaster but hat was when I was a hard up student. These days I’m kind of fussy about who cuts my hair.
“Please” she said, “I need to do these cuts by the end of the week or I won’t pass the course. Don’t worry I’m a trained hairdresser so I won’t mess it up.” She she wasn’t going to change it too much, “just tidy it up, the basic style is there.” She seemed so desperate, and I gave in. My hair was in need of a trim anyway. It would be an interesting experience, maybe something worth blogging about. And what was the worst that could happen?
The next day there was an air of nervousness in the training school, but I’m not sure if the hairdressers or the clients were feeling it the most. Most of the students stood in a neat line by the hair wash section, while the clients sat in a long double row, divided by mirrors so that while I could glance at the women either side, I could only see the feet of the lady opposite. My hairdresser was dashing along, asking the guinea pigs what they wanted and scrawling on their mirror “square layers” or “blunt bob”. Then she saw me and rushed over, scrawling “Trish’s model” ( I got round layers though I didn’t find out until later).
Trish set to work straight away and I spent the next hour people watching.
The problem with hairdressers is that they always start at the back when you can’t see what they’re up to. When it finally dawned on me what she was up to, it was too late.
“That’s really short,” I said, resisting the urge to run out of the place right then. But there’s only one thing worse than a bad haircut, and that’s half a bad haircut. Trish reassured me, it was going to have lots of curl and be really fabulous. And versatile. There wasn’t a lot else to do but wait and hope for the best? In the end it did look pretty good, sleek and shiny and with loads of movement. But that didn’t last.
My hair isn’t destined to be straight, as much as hairdressers love to show off their skill with some crafty blow drying, within an hour it starts to go its own way. And I’ve never been good with a blow drier.
The next day I got under the shower and my hair did what it did. Or it tried to – there’s not really enough hair to get much of a curl, so it tries and then gives up with a lank droop. No amount of careful drying can get it to look anything like the photo, which wasn’t as good as it was before I had it cut, but it would be something. To be honest it’s been painful to look in the mirror ever since. I bought myself a hat so I could go out in public, and it is growing. Slowly.
In truth it’s not so much a bad haircut as a boring one. But I was happy with my hair the way it was. So if anyone mentions the words “Toni” and “Guy” in the same sentence again, I might not run in the opposite direction, but I will begin to walk briskly away.