Sunday, November 1, 2009

My Hairdresser

by Madeleine Kando

You might think that the best place to get information these days is the internet but I would rate my hairdresser as a close second. That’s where I find out who recently had a tummy tuck, whose kids are on ritalin for ADD, how much my neighbor’s husband makes per year and so on.

Hairdressers are so many things rolled into one you see. They not only take care of our looks, they are our therapist, our business adviser and our personal gossip columnist.

Some hairdressers are better at listening than others. Especially the ones that don’t really understand English that well. As you confess your sins of the month, they nod a lot and once in a while respond with an empathic ‘da’ or ‘si, si’. It’s very therapeutic.

In a well staffed salon, the sharing can become a little overwhelming. As I am listening to my hairdresser’s weight loss advise, the woman next to me is engaged in a sinister conversation about the gory details of a bikini wax gone sour which left her looking like a plucked chicken down there.

I have known my hairdresser for a long time. She started out as a trainee in a large hairdresser salon and eventually started her own business. Since then, her reputation as a hair stylist and, more importantly, as confessionalist has spread and she is now fully booked. While I am whisked to a hairdryer, she is already fully engaged in the next client’s confession and I feel completely forgotten and abandoned.

Eavesdropping onto the next client's confession and my hairdresser's total engagement, I console myself with the thought that MY confession, of course, was a lot more interesting.

If I was more coordinated with my hands I probably would want to become a hairdresser. What a wealth of material I would gather to write about. But I am not confident enough. It takes a lot of guts to pick up a pair of scissors and slice through someone’s hair. Haircuts are so irreversible you see. And being confronted with that kind of decision making on a daily basis is only for the brave hearted. Not me. leave comment here