Saturday, August 01, 2009

I finally got off my ass...

...and got myself to a hairdresser today.

There was a slight problem, though: After going to Chelsea Styles in Manhattan for almost 2 years since moving here, they closed down last May. After that, I had no idea where to go, so in June walked into some random place in Midtown. Where the woman gave me a haircut I did not ask for and didn't love afterward. So after THAT 6 weeks was up, I was discouraged about picking another random place so just didn't bother getting my hair cut at all...

During my former long bus rides to work in Jersey months ago, I'd spotted a salon on that never-ending street called Bergenline that I so hated to travel. And then just a couple of days ago on TV, saw a local ad for the very same salon, which gave the exact address. So, this morning, I hopped out of bed and, not having the energy to research any places in Manhattan and knowing exactly which Jersey bus to catch, just decided to give that Jersey place a try.

Yes, they took walk-ins. Could I wait 7 minutes? Yes, I could. I was kind of worried, though, when I asked the price of a wash/cut/blow-dry: $23!! In Manhattan, they charge for blow-drys, and everything usually turns out to be $70...$23 for the whole she-bang sounded insanely, suspiciously low, like a crappy Supercuts or something! I was mildly heartened, though, when I was first sent over to a hair-washer, rather than to my stylist. (In Austin, I would go to mid-level salons, and never had anyone other than the stylist wash my hair. Later I learned that it's common in nice salons in Manhattan to have a separate washer. Which makes sense, actually. Washing hair is shit work. Why not just have a low-paid kid do it?)

I got assigned to "Louis," a young Hispanic gay guy. Finally! A young gay hairdresser who spoke English! At Chelsea Styles, and at that one bad place, my hairdressers were both Russian women in their 50s who didn't always understand exactly what I was asking them to do! (Though, why am I always sticking out at whatever salon I go to? At Chelsea, it was because I was the only one there under the age of 70. Here, I was the only non-Hispanic person in the whole place--there were young people there, though!)

Louis was cool. I was explaining to him what I didn't like about the last haircut and begging him to fix it, and he explained back: "It's not a bad haircut, exactly. No, not bad. Just...kind of cut in a square in the back." (Oh, THAT's all!) :) And he was charming, and gentle, and took his time with me -- at that last one-time bad place, the mean Russian lady whipped out the haircut in about 15 minutes and pulled my hair in the meantime! I also liked Louis because he said he liked my "English accent"! I was laughing: "What? I'm from Texas! How do I sound British?" But what he meant was, the English language, as opposed to speaking Spanish. He thought my way of speaking English sounded nice: "People around here don't talk like you do." What a pleasant thing to say!

Long story short, his haircut turned out great. At only $23!! And then, having $100 in my pocket, I asked about highlights... Only $43! So I got those, too, which also turned out great! (Louis was new; it turned out that highlights actually cost $60-something at the salon. Still reasonable. But he said $43 was OK, since that's what he'd told me, but just remember for next time.) What was also cool about Louis was that, since he hadn't planned on doing any highlights, he had other customers showing up while he was in the middle of working on me... but he juggled all 3 of us admirably, paying attention to everybody, nobody having to wait too long.

A very pleasant experience. I'm back to looking blonde and tousled and lionessy again. I'm definitely going back in 6 weeks.

Now, to work on my tan. I look so pale and pasty, since not being able to swim every week in the summer, like back in Texas...

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