April 1, 2009

hairdressers

I hate going to the hairdresser. Well, that's not true. I like MY hairdresser, in Toronto, who is nice to me and is very reasonably priced for how fantastic her services are. Unfortunately, as I have spent the majority of the last five years living in Kingston Ontario and London, England, I can't always go to my hairdresser. When that's not possible, my haircuts cost more. I don't want to take a risk with having a bad hair cut, because they are hard to hide, so I usually just end up going to a reputable chain like Aveda, assuming they'll have high standards. So, when I went to Aveda in London, which cost literally twice as much as my Toronto hair dresser, I was expecting not just a technically GOOD haircut, but a good experience, too. This mean, if bitch cutting my hair couldn't say anything nice, bitch shouldn't have said anything at all. Unfortunately, bitch did.

I have had this experience before. Being made to feel my hair is the weirdest, most abused hair EVER so that I'll buy all those Aveda products to fix it that they shill at the Aveda salon. But still, the experience sucks EVERY time. This particular stylist said to me, "You have the dryest hair I've ever seen in my life." Um, yeah. My hair is definitely at the dryer end of the "oily" or "dry" binary. Still, this woman had been a hairdress for 15 years. Mine was CLEARLY not the dryest hair she'd ever seen. I mean, I don't straighten it (I used to occasionally, but I haven't in 8 months), I don't put towels on my head and I don't spend time in the sun (This is because I am the palest person ever. I am pigmentless. If I didn't have hazel eyes and dark hair, I'd be convinced I was an albino). There are women who have hair on the dry end of the spectrum and do all the abusive things to their hair I just mentioned, so their hair HAS to be worse than mine. But said hairdresser refused to admit this, and told me I should come in for regular (and expensive) deep conditioning treatments.

At the end of our appointment, the mean hair dresser followed me to the area where they keep the products (I only went there because it was also where the cash register was and I needed to pay). The women pointed to about 150 pounds worth of stuff I had to buy in order to be a responsible hair owner and tried to book me for one of her "deep conditioning" dealies, to which I replied that I could condition my own hair myself, and would do so. Unless bitch was going to open my scalp and put the softening chemicals right in there, I failed to see how she could give me a far deeper conditioning treatment than I could give myself. Couldn't I just put a whole bunch of Paul Mitchell conditioner on my head in the shower and leave it there for 15minutes?

When my guy friends go to hairdressers, they don't report being harrassed and shamed as bad "hair citizens" of the world. Is it that people don't think they'll fall for it or that they don't think that men are resposible for making their hair better or both? I think it's both. Campaigns like Dove Real Beauty tell us that beauty is every woman's responsibility. Beauty is work and you should never be happy with what you have looks-wise when it's only the product of minimal effort. How do we take responsibility? Expensively! Don't condtion your own hair! You are only allowed to have it if you pay someone to condition yourself. Why do something yourself if you can pay someone else to do the same thing for way more money?

It's not just normal, everyday girls like me who feel ugly at the hairdressers. One of my friends at school models and she never EVER goes to hair dressers and just cuts her hair herself, preffering not to expose herself to hair dressers' judgmental comments and attempts to get her to buy shit. I wish I had steady enough hands to cut my own hair. Still, my guy friends who go to barbours don't report the same trauamtic experiences. They just go on without making an appointment first, read the paper while the barbour does his thing and then go home happy. Hmm. If only I didn't feel the personal need to perform my gender in ways that don't include a buzz cut...

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