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Published:September 15th, 2011 09:45 EST
The Haircut: "What`s up with the bird's nest on top of your head?"

The Haircut: "What`s up with the bird's nest on top of your head?"

By Donna Cavanagh

It was time for a haircut.  I knew it was time because I had started to scare people on the street and my friends were looking at me and saying, "What`s up with the bird`s nest on top of your head?"  So, I set aside an hour one morning from work to get my hair back into some kind of controllable shape. I headed to my usual salon. I used to go to a place that charged me $60 for a ten minute trim.  Sure, they threw in a nice relaxing hair shampoo, but a one-minute massage on the top of my head does not justify a $60 haircut that lasted about three weeks. So, I found a nice hair styling chain with very nice women who seem to know how to cut curly hair.  

That was until this last haircut.  I went into the salon, and I was thrilled that no one was waiting. I saw one of the women who usually cut my hair, so I thought I had picked a great time to get this chore done.  I signed in and waited, but my usual person did not come up to usher me back.  No, it was this chick, who I had seen before, but who had never worked on my hair.  I told myself to keep an open mind and go with the flow. (Going with the flow is my new philosophy.  I think it might help me live into my golden years or at least through my 40s.) 

Anyway, the red flags sprung immediately. She started to cut my hair dry.  I was going to say something about at least spritzing it with water, but I thought "go with the flow."  As she cut, she asked a few small talk questions which I answered. I like to keep chatter light and to the minimum getting a haircut; I feel as if stylists need to focus when cutting hair like mine.  After a long pause, she said,

This is my last shift ever as a hair stylist. I am moving back to Baltimore to my mom`s house because I can`t figure out life and I don`t want to be a hair dresser anymore, and in fact, my mom is worried because I take no pride in anything I do, and she says I`m not a good hairdresser and I just do things half assed."

Yep, those were her exact words; I am not exaggerating. At this point, she was chopping away at my locks with abandon. Each time she mentioned her mother, a bigger chunk of my hair came out. I tried to calm her down, but I have to say, she was intent on using those thinning shears.  Finally, she said I was done. I didn`t look.  I paid, went home and surveyed the damage.

I had to write three articles over the next two days, so I didn`t go back right away, but trust me when I say my hair was a combination of a mullet and an Afro hair do. It was not a pretty sight. It was so bad that my husband noticed.  Normally, I could die my hair flaming orange and he would not see anything different. But this time, Mr. Observation noticed with the words, "What the hell happened?" So, of course, tears erupted and curse words flew, and I stormed back to the salon demanding a re-do. 

For the record, I am not a good stormer when it comes to getting what I want as a customer; I am as they say "more talk than action."  But just as I have decided to go with the flow more, I have also decided to adopt the "I am just as important as everyone else and demand good service" attitude.  

I walked into the salon with a distinct swagger of determination. I was prepared to argue and bitch about the mess on top of my head.  I was about to let my tirade go when the manager noticed me and said, "Oh, Hon, did we do that to you? Come Sweetie, let`s fix this."

I almost cried in relief.  I was so happy that the salon came through for me even though I lost my opportunity to try out my new forceful personality outside of my home.  Not to worry though, I do have my health insurance company to deal with this week, so I will use my HMO as a practice tool to show the world I am strong, I am invincible, and I am woman - and now I am  woman  with good hair again.