My twin sister and I have tons of hair on our heads, a gargantuan amount that always makes hairstylists lift up big handfuls of it and bounce it. Look at this, Stacey! calling to the next chair. It always causes a sensation in the salon. But in reality, it’s hot, heavy and, worst of all, labor-intensive. In honor of our GTWoman career issue, here’s our ode to a career we could never handle…
Hairstylist. First, we’d like to note that we love our stylists, but we feel sorry for them. We imagine the strike of fear that runs through them when they see our name on the books. We send our apologies now and in the future.
Here’s a look at a typical hair appointment:
1. The Cape. There’s a small struggle with securing the cape around our necks. The snap is under there somewhere, but the stylist needs two hands to hold up the hair and two more hands to seal the deal. Someone from the front desk, usually a receptionist, is called in to help.
2. The Assessment. As the stylist lifts huge gobs of hair in wonder and asks what we want, we cut them off and start asking the questions: Are your arms strong today? Your patience? How long can you make small talk to one person? An entire afternoon? Did you eat a solid lunch?
3. The Color. Our gray, seemingly, is everywhere now. A root touch-up is more of an undertaking than a root canal these days. And because of all of our hair, the stylist always comes up short on color. She hasn’t mixed enough. She can never mix enough. That’s just the way it is. “Can you make me more?” the stylist will call to some invisible support crew in the back room unaware of the hair situation unfolding. “How much?” they will ask, calm, protected by drywall, studs and their own appointments. “A gallon,” she will call back.
4. The Highlights. There’s never a worry of highlighting our hair too much. It’s a worry that the highlights will be visible at all. Our heads are filled with enough foil to cut out cell phone signals in the salon, and a fine-toothed comb is dropped every time. The stylist is getting weak.
5. The Wait. The color sets for 40 minutes, during which the stylist lies prone in a massage chair under a warm blanket.
6. The Rinse. Feeling rejuvenated, the stylist eases our massive head of hair into the bowl and asks if the water is too hot or too cold. We have to be honest: The water hasn’t even reached our scalp yet.
7. The Cut. At this point, everyone is weak with effort and small talk. It is mutually decided that we should skip the cut and instead grow it out another inch. Three women with short hair have come and gone in various chairs around us. We watch, we envy. But, it’s no good. We aren’t able to endure a haircut at this point in the process. Ever.
8. The Blow Dry. If time is tight, this takes two gals. It causes more attention, more calling out to the next chair: Anyone with robotic arms free? Someone’s erecting scaffolding and a call’s been put in to the Redken product advisor. One of them will get a round brush and we will do what we always do: Stick a foot out to brace our chair from rotating with each stroke of the brush caught in our hair.
9. The Tip. How much do you tip a woman who has given so much? It’s hard to quantify. She just took 2-3 hours to do something that she could normally do in half that. Her soul is destroyed. So you buy lots of new products, tip her heartily and hope she doesn’t call in sick the next time she sees your name on the books.
So enjoy this issue of GTWoman all about careers. And be glad that all but two of you aren’t our hairstylists.