by cheri sabraw
In June, I said good-bye to my hair stylist of twenty years. I just needed a change of scenery. She was terrific but the salon was spartan. And so, I made my break.
Since that time, I have been salon shopping, trying to make a match. It isn’t easy because to most women, hair is more critical than say, knees. Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate workable joints, but when was the last time you heard someone obsessing over her knees?
I’m sure my notions about how a salon should look and more importantly, how hairdressers should present themselves, are archaic. Or maybe Freud would observe that since I am not young anymore, I am just jealous that I can’t wear black tights, a revealing tank top, and baubles to work.
As I have said before, I am not a prude, but unless the salon is for men-only (aka message parlor, strip club) who want to get their hair cut while at the same time gaze down a tight blouse, usually stuffed with ginormous breast implants (“Yes…please trim the front of my hair (what’s left of it) very very very carefully and oh-so-slowly, my dear”), then stylists should consider that most of their clients are women.
The first salon I tried in July and in August was clean and upscale, set above a bank on main street. The decor reminded me of a high-class saloon in Virginia City, Nevada. Brick walls, lovely chandeliers, and piano music. It was all quite orchestrated. The stylists dressed in everything from black tights and heels to short skirts and sandals. The talking heads in reception said the exact same words to each “guest” who arrived. “Hi Cheri (said in 1 second). Can I get you some water? Have a seat. Lola will be with you shortly (said in 2 seconds.)”
Oh my. I am not going back there again. Done with Choice #1.
Yesterday, I tried a new salon in a town known for cowboys, vineyards, and space. This one may be a match.
The stylists were young and attractive but whoever owns this establishment gets that all types of people are its clients and that most women, young and old alike, are put off by New Year’s Eve attire on Saturday morning at 8:00 am. It’s like Frank Sinatra at 8:00 am or caviar on a cracker at 8:00 am.
So, there we were yesterday, competing in the Saturday morning hair challenge. We all sat around a table and drank coffee and looked at People Magazines while our color goop tried its best to penetrate our strong grey strands of steely hair.
This salon understands “pamper.”
There I sat, among the group, with a heated neck pillow. When the time came to wash the dye off my scalp, they covered my eyes with an eye pillow and massaged my hands with Aveda hand cream. The wash basins were such that I reclined instead of the usual back-wrenching chairs, not build for petite women, where your neck bends like a pretzel.
I am going to try this salon again in one month.
Of course, I could go grey and save myself a lot of money and salon angst.