Saturday, September 26, 2009

A bargain of a haircut, or was it?

One of the reasons not to abandon your old life and move 3000 miles to the west coast is so that you don't have to find a new hair dresser.  We have both dabbled in keeping our hair trimmed since leaving Lexington, but this week, Lynne took the plunge to try to find the right place.

In search of a truly cheap haircut, Lynne took the advice of one of our young friends and went to a beauty school in downtown Bellingham.. To set the picture, Bellingham, being the home of Western Washington University, close to Seattle and generally part of the edgy NW culture, is full of young people with weird haircuts. This particular beauty school is part of a chain called Toni and Guy's. Here's a link in case you want to find one for yourself:

Lynne had the feeling that this might not have been the right place when she looked around the salon with 30 or more students and all the student stylists and the instructors had colored hair, many tricolored. As in blue, or blue, pink and orange.  Lynne also didn't see any other customers. Most of the students were practicing cutting, rolling or dying the hair of maniquins. The young woman assigned to cut Lynne's hair had blue hair, and a low cut top revealing a full set of tattoes across her chest. I'll call her Student B.

Lynne had a clue about Student B's progress in her studies when Student B didn't know how to put the towel arond her neck, and then when she washed Lynne's hair by using only a smoothing motion as you might smooth a cowlick. Student B commented that she had been in the program for three months, but Lynne had the distinct feeling that this was her first haircut on a living person. It turns out that the Student B's life's dream was to go to Nashville and cut hair for the country music stars.  Apparently this goal was in the distant future, because she sighed and said that she would repeat the 11 month program if she didn't graduate the first time around.  For now, she concentrated on Lynne.

Lynne's sinking feeling grew more desperate as time passed. After an hour and 20 minutes, and frequent trips to consult with the haircutting book and the instructor, Student B had only cut the back of her hair, and seemed perplexed about how to do the front. At one point, fully wrapped in her robe, Lynne got up to go feed the parking meter, but another student intercepted and insisted on doing it for her.

Thinking of the list of errands that she had been planning to run, Lynne was silently hoping that the instructor would finish the haircut. At two hours, when most of the other students had left, Lynne insisted that she had to go too.

As demonstrated by the videos running on the huge plasma tv, the salon's style of finishing hair is to make it look like you've been in a hurricane. Lynne got a similar treatment.  She demonstrated to me at home later by sweeping the sides of her hair against the grain diagonally from bottom to top, and then the top in multiple paths until it looked truly chaotic.  The picture at the top of this page, taken from the Toni and Guy web site, gives you a good example.

Two hours and twenty minutes after she entered the beauty school, the haircut was done. Lynne called me in a very dispirited voice. She was completely worn out, and decided she wasn't going to stop in at Lowe's after all. She just needed to come home and recoup.  Now that Lynne's hair has had a chance to grow out a little, it's looking pretty good.  The experience cost $12.  A true bargain...or was it?

Note to our young friends:  we love you just the way you are.

Next time, I'll tell about our trip to Vancouver.  This picture is of a rose blooming in our side yard.

Hello to all,

Love, Sky

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