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Tales from the Battlefield of Beauty

I didn’t die.

So much. So much. And I wrote an outline, but I left it somewhere, so now must traverse onward. I should probably wait to post this until I have pictures, but I won’t. Because I love you all too much to keep it from you. Yes, you. Love you more than all the rest of the readers. They don’t understand me but you, dear one, and I are soul mates.

I hadn’t been entirely happy with the funkitude of my hair. I found it to be less than Rock Star as the color faded into Lounge Act territory.  When I finally hooked up with Chauffi on Wednesday, he confirmed that it looked better when it was channeling Sharon Osbourne with dark tones, and finding myself with little to do and disposable income, I asked my concierge to recommend a hair place and then made an appointment for that afternoon.

Again, I would like to reiterate the need for a Greek chorus in my life. Or at very least a soundtrack, so that when I’d hear the music of impending doom, I could back slowly away and go out for coffee instead. But no. I have nothing but my poor misguided sense of self awareness in which to lead me through my days.

I went to a place called David & Friends on Sutter and was instructed to change. Right away I was out of my element. Change? Get naked to get my hair done? So immediately, I’m a bit off center because it’s nearly impossible to have self confidence when you’re sitting there wearing the chic version of a hospital gown and surrounded by people the size of eleven-year-olds. My stylist Tia was dressed very chicly, but I could tell right away that she was not really listening to what I was saying. “I want it to be more red, darker, I don’t like so much of the light brown and the blond streaks. I want to be more bold.” “More gold, right.” “No, bold! Darker. More red. Foiled with streaks and then colored all over with dark something so that I don’t have roots.” “Right, ok, we set you up good. You look real good. And we cut, yes?” “Yes, just a little to give it lift in the crown, but not a lot because I’m trying to grow it out. Basically a trim.” “Yes, we put lots of color, some blond, some red, some dark brown like eggplant, and some rich brown. We have fun! Fun!”

She proceeded to very carefully foil my head. I decided right then that she was either really new at this or really exact. I was nervous that there was one container that was larger than the rest and that’s what she was putting on my existing blond streaks. And after she was done foiling chunks, she did not color the rest of my head, but by that time, I think I had gone into a fugue state of denial or was so traumatized by sitting there gripping the smock closed so that my breasts would not break free that I had morphed into a little bleating lamb. I might have squeaked about the remainder of my hair and Tia said “Yah, we fix, we fix, but wait until process. Just wait.” Feeling chastised, I fled into a Marie Claire. After processing, she then painted my roots with what I thought was the bleach again. It was all very confusing and terrifying. Then after the wash out, I could see that there was a powerful lot of blonde happening on my head. In fact, while there were chunks of deep brown and a strawberry red, the majority of my hair had faded to a mousey blahety blahcakes. I told myself that it would get better when it was dry, reserve judgement for the drying. It just got lighter. I think I was just staring at the mirror in horror, which was easily read by the other stylists, as they began coming out of the woodwork to exclaim how cute my hair looked. “Nice work, Tia! That looks really good!” “Oh wow, I like what you did there, Tia!”

And then came the kiss of death.

“Wow, Tia, that looks really good. You’re really getting good at this.”

I wanted to scream. But I could not. My naked fatness kept me silent. I am so very ashamed. The meek will not inherit the earth. The meek will simply inherit really fugly hair.

I almost cried in relief when I was allowed to get dressed again, my head had been turned from rebellious fun into office carpeting. In shock, I signed over my credit card receipt, giving her the requisite 20% tip (yes, yes, I know! I know!), the total of which cost more than three trips to my beloved Stacy.

Later, at dinner, Jenfu declared that my hair wasn’t just overly streaked with blonde, but was bordering on platinum. I couldn’t quite explain how I went in asking for darker and redder and walked out with lighter and blonder, but Chauffi and Jenfu demanded that I call them and have them fix it. And not let Tia near my head ever again.

The next morning, I screwed up my courage and called. The scheduled me with Joseph. I did not know Joseph, hadn’t met him the day before, but even his name made me feel better. Joseph. Some svelte gay man who will recognize me for the lush presence that I am and fix the atrocity at once. He would take it on as his personal crusade. He would make me beautiful and we would depart, eyes full of tears for having survived the ordeal and come out on top the better for it. Joseph. My salvation’s name was Joseph.

Then my phone rang. Caller id was unavailable. It was Tia. She wanted a chance to fix it. She insisted that I come in and visit her. I feebly offered that I already had an appointment with Joseph, for whom the heavens parted and the gods of hairstyling shined down their graces, but Tia was insistent and apparently my kryptonite is impossibly small aggressive Asian women. Note to self: avoid Yoko Ono if at all possible.

I went back in and this time David himself discussed the color choices with me and oversaw the preparation of said colors. This time Tia simply did my entire head with red, basically undoing the foiling/chunking effects completely. Then, at one point while the color was processing, she did something to my bangs that I later realized was inexplicable razor cutting. I don’t even understand it, quite honestly, but now my bangs are really really short on top. In fact, everything is shorter, but perhaps I had been too distracted by the blinding blonde streaks to notice the first time.

In the end, everyone likes the Hair Duex the best. But the lesson learned: don’t cheat on your hairstylist. It’s bad for everyone involved. And also, I am a wuss.



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