Sunday, October 18, 2009

Yet Another Episode in the Hair Chronicles

The last time I got a haircut, I looked like this:

Could use a little more zing, perhaps, but not too shabby otherwise.

Then two weeks ago, I got another haircut - and came out looking like this:

I'll talk about the makeup in a bit, but let's focus right now on the story behind the hair.

What happened was that I hadn't been able to get a hold of the stylist who did my hair last time. (Who is, in fact, the same person who does my Mom's hair.) After one last futile attempt to schedule an appointment, I decided to go to another salon in our town, just to get the deed over and done with.

The salon that I visited was different from my usual. While the other place was stuffed to the gills with customers, salon assistants, and diva-esque stylists, this one was very low-key - not too crowded, but most of the customers were regulars and the stylists were friendly.

The stylist who worked with me was an older, soft-spoken man who concentrated on my hair even as he talked shop with the other folks in the salon. I had brought along a picture of Heidi Klum to give him an idea of how long and layered I wanted my hair to look like, plus another picture of a model from a Matrix ad with diagonally-cut bangs to show him how I wanted the layers in the front to fall across my forehead. So he went ahead and got to work.

When we got my hair to its desired length, however, he had this peculiar look on his face. At first I was concerned because I thought it was OK, but for some reason I knew that he was going to let me down if I told him to keep it long.

Then he told me what the problem was: "Tinning seesor."

Long story short - translated and paraphrased from the original conversation in Tagalog - the problem was that the last stylist had used thinning shears all over my layers, which eventually resulted in the back and bottom layers of my hair going totally limp and mullet-y whenever they grow out. In order for me to avoid looking like Steve Perry before my next haircut, he said, he really needed to blunt out the thinned layers by cutting them short. He warned me, however, that it wasn't going to be enough to take out the jagged ends, which meant that my hair was still going to grow out with weird little shaggy tails in them.

By this time I wasn't worried that my hair was going to grow out with zig-zag edges any more; just the way he said "tinning seesor" was enough to snap me back into reality. I gave him the go-signal to keep cutting... et voila.

This was a moment of truth for me, to be honest. Of course my hair was going limp - it was actually feathered to the point of being uneven! And if my old, bowl-cut childhood photos were any indication, blunt-cutting was the best way for my hair to look, and feel, thicker. So how did I manage not to pinpoint that problem with the other stylists I've worked with in the last few years - even after countless pictures from hair magazines? All I needed to do was tell the hairdresser exactly what I wanted.

And this stylist, who charged me no more than the equivalent of US$2.00 (tips included), gave it back to me in spades.

Two weeks after the haircut (and the photo taken above), my hair has grown out significantly. The stylist was correct about the extent of the "texturizing," because my layers have gotten pretty shaggy - but the blunting actually works because it's now growing into a sophisticated, layered bob. As for the diagonal bangs, they're also working for me, because now the hair in the front doesn't just flop straight into my eyes or flatten down the sides; it's not swoopy - yet - but the diagonal angling has done wonders in maintaining the direction of the side part, even without product. Plus, my hair has more body and swing now, so the cut is working wonders.

I'm not sure how long it will take before I'm up for another haircut - not when I'm still growing out those jagged layers - but if I do, I'm definitely going back to this salon. Seriously, it's a great deal, :)

1 comment:

kuri said...

Yay! That stylist sounds like a superstar.
What a great find; it really takes time and luck to find the right stylist.
If I move back to the U.S. I may have to come back to Tokyo periodically just for my stylist - the one hairdresser I've found that I can give free reign and who will always give me a perfect cut.