For a long time now, I've been a basic haircut kind of person. Nothing frou frou. Nothing involving lots of maintenance. Or any maintenance, for that matter, beyond a basic haircut and some minimal daily styling. Part of it is because I don't have the patience to stand around fooling with my hair or having roots done every month, but I also simply am not interested in becoming a high maintenance woman. Luckily, as I near the mature age of 38, I don't have a lot of grey hairs. Yet.
So I've always gotten my hair cut at basic places. The kind that don't have "salon" in their name and, if they do, it's a desperate attempt to give that place a bit more class. I spent years going to the Hair Butchery before I finally threw in the towel and went upscale by one tiny, almost indiscernible notch to J.C.Penney's hair place. Not much of an improvement, I know, but at least I could make an appointment instead of waiting around the Butchery. Plus, so many of the, ahem, stylists at the HB had clearly just graduated from Hair School. Like, just last week. The ink was still drying on their licenses.
But the thing about J.C.Penney is that it's a bit, um, stodgy. Middle aged. And, in spite of my age, that's just not me. Really. On the outside you might see a basic khakis-and-t-shirt-wearing-Mom-who-needs-to-lose-some-weight, but inside I'm hip and cool and definitely svelte. Yes, that would make me delusional, but there you have it.
My hair is short. Boy short. It's baby fine and has no body, but yet I have really thick hair. Many, many hairs per square inch. Lots and lots and lots of baby fine hair. Oh, and it's stick straight. So I keep my hair short as a convenience. Also, because it just looks better that way, particularly with my round face and 17 chins. But to have hair that short, I need to have it cut by someone who knows how to thin in the right places, cut at edgy angles in other places, and generally someone who puts some thought into the process and not just moving my fat ass out of the styling chair.
Stylists like that don't usually work at the Hair Butchery or J.C. Penney. They tend to work at frou frou places and chic chic places. Places that cost more than 20 bucks for a hair cut. Places that cost significantly more than 20 smackeroos. And that presents a dilemma because I'm not sure I want to pay $50+ for a haircut.
As it happens, we don't spend a lot of money on haircuts here in Jenworld. I keep Pete "high and tight" every month with a buzz cut. He likes it super short (think 1/8 inch or less all around) and it's a basic cut that I really can't screw up too much as long as I pay attention to what I'm doing, don't let my mind wander, and don't do something sudden, like laugh. Both Graceful and Elegant used to have short chin-length bobs, which needed regular maintenance by a professional, but the girls have been growing their hair for Locks of Love (wigs for children with cancer), and now that their hair is down their backs, it's easy enough for me to trim the ends.
Last October I went to my usual stylist at Penney's and got a haircut. It was okay, but I wasn't totally satisfied. So I decided to just not get my hair trimmed again for a while until I figured out what to do. I just left it alone until about late December, when I had Pete trim the back a bit with the electric clippers I use to do his hair. Then my bangs needed a trim, so I took care of that myself. I basically kept hacking at my own hair for three months because I didn't know what kind of style I wanted and I didn't have the time to go to a professional. And it showed.
So a couple weeks ago I decided that the time had come to get a real haircut. An adult (as in mature and professional, not as in porn) style. But where to go?
Last week I went into a local hip salon with full spa services. I was there to get a gift certificate for my friend Melissa in lieu of a normal baby shower gift. (By the time a person gets to her third child, she doesn't need receiving blankets and pacifiers; she needs pampering herself. So a bunch of non-pregnant moms got her a really nice gift certificate to a chi chi place so that Melissa could choose whatever pampering made her heart sing.) While I was in there, I decided, oh what the hell, why don't I just make an appointment for myself? I felt a bit sheepish, but also somewhat excited. I took lots of teasing from Pete for several days before my appointment, who said I was becoming high maintenance.
I went in yesterday and met with Richard, who was clearly horrified by what I had done to my hair, but felt that it could have been much worse and that he could work with it. (His comment, "Oh HONEY, what have you been doing?!")
An hour later, I came outside with much shorter hair. It had been layered, thinned, trimmed, and tamed. Even my "wicked cowlick" (Richard's term) on the crown of my head had been dealt with in an appropriate manner. I love my new haircut. It lays just right and doesn't require any fussing with. Normally, if I just dry my hair and go, my hair is really limp and flat and I look a bit, well, butch. (Not that there's any problem with that, it just doesn't work for me.)
I already have a follow-up appointment in six weeks, which is about as long as I can go between hair cuts before I start to look shaggy. But man, 50 bucks every six weeks? I don't know if I'm willing to spend that kind of moolah on myself. In my heart, I know I'm worth it, but I don't know if I can live with such an extravagance.
So now I have to figure out what to do: Stick with Richard and pay $50 per whack or go back to J.C. Penny and pay less than $30 but not look so utterly fabulous? In my heart, Richard is my new hair boyfriend and I am already his hair whore. But am I willing to pay so much for my hair? Do I want to be high maintenance? Am I worth it?
Yes, I do believe I am.