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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Magic Scissors

If there's one thing people still do when there's a recession on, it's get their hair cut. Sure, they may wait an extra month between cuts, or they may opt for highlights instead of all-over color jobs, or they may even *gasp* buy bottles of color from Sally Beauty Supply and do their own dye work. They may get their wives to do the honors on the preschoolers' dos. But, at some point, most grown-ups, no matter what the economy, will walk into a salon or barber shop, sit down smiling, getting up smiling even more, and walk out with a springier step.

My stylist tells me that she and her cuttery friends have noticed that most women, when they walk out of a salon, get three or four steps before the pleasantly unfamiliar bounce and swing of the new cut registers, and then they ALL unknowingly touch their own hair with a little pat or flip of glee. I know that feeling. That "my head is just so happy" feeling never fails to put an extra spring in my step as I walk to my car. And I know I am totally guilty of the extraneous head toss or two while I'm about it.

I'm feeling all grateful and lyrical about haircuts tonight because I just had one. And, seriously, I think I might have the best hair-cuttery woman in the universe. But in a stunning example of lack of forethought, I have no plans to go anywhere tonight, and so even though it's only 8:30, I'm already in my (absurd) striped jammies and sitting on the couch totally wasting the glory that is my freshly-cut hair. So I figured I'd do my best to wax poetic about women who wield magical scissors, so that I can pretend I'm not sitting here drinking alone. (What, you wouldn't celebrate Haircut Happiness with a glass of shiraz while your husband goes on his video game date with his dorky 30-something online gaming friends? I thought so.)

It's probably not fair to say that my stylist has magic scissors, since that might seem to imply that it's not that SHE knows what she's doing, but rather that her scissors have all the power--sort of like the Red Shoes in the fairy story that enable the child to know how to dance magnificently as soon as the shoes are put on. It is certainly not the case that her scissors know better than Kisten does. She is, hands down, the most magical stylist I've ever had.

I have curly hair that is temperamental. It's not super-curly, like the enviable ringlets sported by that stunning English red-head who was finishing her PhD the year I was starting. Nor does it frizz into a poofy poodle in the humidity (thankfully). It seems innocuous enough with its long loose curls. And yet, it Does Not Like To Be Messed With. If I fuss, or apply too much goo, or generally try to manhandle it into shape, I end up with a limp mess. Limp mess also happens when I have really important functions to go to or when I am trying to look particular polished at work. Or when I accidentally look at my hair cross-eyed or the moon is out of alignment. Basically, my hair is simply perverse.

But Kisten? She can manage all of that. She has cut it super-short, coaxed it back out long, put me into a bob and very long brick-cut layers and everything in between. In short, girlfriend can do curl.* Every cut she's ever given me is great.

How did I find this magic hair-cuttery goddess? When I first moved to Michigan and was desperate for a grown-up haircut, I went up to a woman sporting fantastic hair in a bar and asked her who cut hers. Her hair was nothing like I'd ever want mine to be. But one look her, and I knew that someone who seriously knew how to wield scissors had been working on her head. I wanted what she was getting.

It was the best random accosting of a stranger I've ever done.

Today, I told Kisten I wanted something a little sassy in preparation for our upcoming trip to New York. And she obliged with something that moves and shines and feels splentabulous. And when I tell you I was overdue for a cut, you should think about know how long you sometimes stretch the wait between cuts so that you can look good for a particular event, and then add at least two months. Yes, THAT overdue. She had her work cut out for her with my mop.

Of course, I will never again be able to make it gleam and sit as smoothly as it does today because I hold whatever title is the opposite of Master of the Magnificent Hair Blow Out. But here's the thing: my hair will somehow look nice even though I apparently have two left hands and fewer than zero skills with a round brush. I give all the credit for that to the Goddess of the Scissors. Kisten manages to give me these cuts that look awesome when she blows them straight (which she has to do because the whole process of getting combed and cut puts my curls into a funk, so that they will not behave and recurl until they've been rewashed and properly coddled -- and who has the patience to indulge snitty curls? not me.) and also far better than passable when I dry them curly (which is to say, that my daily hair could look better if I did anything to style it beyond walking around in the air and letting my styling products languish in my closet, but that's not Kisten's fault; she can't help it if her clients are Hair Incompetents).

I have been trying for half an hour to take a picture of this new hair, so that we could all have a little toast to the great stylists who brighten our days and make us feel so much better about ourselves. But, of course, I am also the opposite of Master of Self Portraiture, and everything I've taken is either out of focus or a photo of my shoulder or otherwise ludicrous.

So you'll just have to settle for this, with my deepest apologies to my hair (which thinks it should have its own name -- like Genevieve or something equally glamorous -- on hair-cut days) and to Kisten (who deserves a better photographer for a client).

Isn't it glossy and sassy with that fun little flip at the bottom and those nice little pieces angled in towards my jaw? And if I had the patience to wait till Monday to post this, I could wash my hair and give you the curly "after" view too. But I don't. Sorry.

Anyway, the point of this post is really that today I've been reminded of something I knew but forgot. Namely: if you're feeling blue about your appearance, or your life is a bit too complicated, or you need a pick-me-up of any kind -- just go get a haircut. Seriously. There's magic in them thar' scissors.

(And if you live anywhere within driving distance of Ann Arbor, MI, go get a haircut with Kisten. she'll do you right.**)

Now, a toast: to all the Magic Scissors in our lives. Cheers!

* Amazingly, she can also do straight, as evidenced by her masterful work on my sister's head of I Won't Curl Even If You Beg hair.

** Seriously, if you want to go to her, email me. You get a discount if you get referred by a current client. I'll hook you up with a stylist you'll never ever break up with. And no, there is no kick-back or deal for me in this post. I'm just feeling all happy (and wine-y) and thought I ought to spread the love, as it were.


Tara R. said...

I got my hair cut the other day too. Mine is ruler straight and fine. Can't do much with it. I'm tempted to shave it all off and get henna tattoos for the summer.

Audubon Ron said...

Yeah, I like it.

Fawn said...

Too bad I am nowhere near Ann Arbor, Michigan! I could really use a little snippy-snip to get things back in shape, but I'm afraid my bangs will be done too short if I go now (public performance in two weeks...) Your 'do is fantabulous indeed! And I think your opinion of your Self Portraiture skills is much too modest -- you look so sweet and sassy!

Auds at Barking Mad said...

"That "my head is just so happy" feeling never fails to put an extra spring in my step as I walk to my car. And I know I am totally guilty of the extraneous head toss or two while I'm about it."

No truer words have ever been spoken, especially, in my case, colour. A really good foil changes everything. Well OK, for ME anyhow. It just brightens my day.

And there is absolutely NO denying the fact that I can never get my hair to look as awesome as it does on "New Hair Day"...you know what I'm talking about, those thing your stylist does that only S/HE can do. I totally take advantage of it. Well, once I'm feeling better, I plan on it anyhow.

I just wish I could get that "new hair look" (its in the same family as "new car smell") the 2nd and 3rd days...

By the way, HAPPY HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to one of my favourite Bloggywood Moms, especially one I'd love to have sit down and have a cup of coffee with.

Angie said...

I heart Kisten. She rocks my world. I have to get there very soon.

Lipstick said...

So pretty!!!

LceeL said...

Now that's not a hair style I could handle, myself - but it looks great on you.

TeacherMommy said...

Awesome, girl!

I, too, am awfully careful about to whom I go. I followed one stylist from salon to salon for seven years as she moved her way up in the salon world (and, unfortunately, in expense). I finally left her for a new woman when she informed me she was moving to California.

I loves my new stylist too. And she's half the price!

Jennifer said...

Replace all the mentions of Kristen with Tom and of course appropriate pronouns, and you are describing my hair guy. Yeah. And I'm terrible with hair so people only know right after I visit him that he is truly fantastic.

Jaina said...

Sounds like a fabulous stylist. I need to go see mine, he's awesome! I needed a new stylist down here since it just never worked to see the one my mom and I go to. There was a cute little salon literally around the corner from my new apartment, so I took a chance and made an appointment. They set me up with my new stylist and he is absolutely fabulous! I of course suck at actually going to get my hair done and am at least a month or two overdue. I should totally get on that.


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