Saturday, September 16, 2006

Published September 16, 2006
St. George Spectrum & Daily News

I have a new nickname at work these days. Well, to be honest, I'm not sure I had an old least not one anyone wanted to share. The new one's not bad. It's growing on me. There are a lot worse things I could be called than "Betty Boop."

My new hair is the reason for the new nickname. After letting it grow down to my shoulder blades without so much as a trim in over a year, I decided the "sigh resignedly and twist it up with a clip" look had seen better days. I marched into a salon and gave the stylist carte blanche to do whatever she pleased.

Ahem. This is the first stylist who's ever been brave enough to actually cash the blank check. After clipping away looooong sections of my hair without letting me have so much as a peek, and then smacking my hand away any time I tried to see just how much she was cutting off, I ended up with a do that was much, much shorter than I expected, but so cute that I've just signed and notarized a contract in blood to actually maintain my haircut for once. I also liked it so much, I've decided to not press charges for her repeated assaults on my hand.

Hair is a funny least it is for me. My usual pattern is to walk into a salon, choose a picture, and say, "Make me look like that!" After a stylist finally gets her laughing under control, she explains all the reasons why "that" will never work for my curly hair/face shape/bone structure/climate/benefit of mankind (only once has a stylist said, "your weight"). Then she tells me what she thinks she should do, cuts it, styles it, and I go home feeling really good about this smart lady who didn't let me go through with what I wanted.

And then it's the next morning, and my shower has effectively washed out all the product that kept my hair looking like she made it look, and I'm again realizing that I have NO IDEA how to do hair! Let's consider this for a moment. If there's no way I can recreate the good look a stylist gives me anyway, why not just give me the look I really wanted in the first place, since I won't be able to do that one either???

That brings us back to the blank check cashing, long hair chopping, hand smacking stylist of my dreams. Not only did she take my hair in a direction it's never been before by "Booping" the heck out of it, she also took the time to walk me through each step of the styling process, using very small words, flash cards, and little songs she made up on the spot to help me remember. ("The hair gel goes before the pomade...the pomade goes before the hair spray...the hairspray works to keep the spikes spike, Sarah, spike!")

The result of this second mile service is that I, Sarah "What have you DONE to your hair???" Wilson, have a hairdo I can actually DO! Is that worth a little pain and anguish over the suspense she put me through? YES! Is that worth a few bruises and welts? HECK, YES! Will I be going back for a trim sometime soon? OF COURSE!

I'll be wearing padding this time...but she's getting a good tip.