Hair is an important substance for most people. We all want it to look its most stunning and, in turn, gel us in to picture perfect gods and goddesses. A simple process one would think, hair is quite malleable willing to bend to the majority of out chemical coercions and suggestions.
However, for the last century or since the sixties when I first became aware of hair importance and its power to persuade observers of ones inherent coolness; I have been a hapless venturer on this battle ground of tonsorial teasing.
I would witness my female friends and relatives going out to get a haircut they would be gone for days but upon their return they would look amazing. I could never actually tell which hair it was that had been cut but shimmering and coiled goddesses they had become. They smiled I smiled and all was right with the world.
Then it would be my turn…twenty minutes later I looked like hell and there was no way one could confuse which hairs had been mutilated.
Being philosophical, at the age of ten, I put this phenomenon down to one of those cruel tricks of life that men are plagued with; such as not knowing anything of any real value. Clearly women know an awful lot of things and one of those things is, how to get their haircut.
Time marched on and I lurched from one disastrous haircut to another. All around me females continued to glorify the world with flowing waves or cropped bedazzlements. I was happy, of course, to see such artistry but remained hideously follicly challenged myself and, perhaps, a little put out.
Then came the advent of unisex salons and a chance to view just what the female process was. No more the secluded temples that produced such inventions of the past. Their secrets would be revealed to me I too would then command a great haircut? Or so I thought.
A young woman sat in the chair with an attentive hairdresser and they seemed like close friends plotting something splendid. The woman explained what she wanted in great detail using hand gestures that flipped from back to front of her head. Chopping motions, that I deduced signified length desired, flashed to and fro like frantic butterflies. There were lots of smiles raised eyebrows and emphatic nodding.
I was mesmerized; I should have known there was more to this challenge than simply saying Haircut please. I studied the woman’s sign language and committed them to memory no easy task when you consider that I am a male attempting to understand what a woman is saying from 20’ away. It’s hard enough when you have been married for 31 years and the woman is using simple phonetics.
Needless to say, 45 minutes later, the final result of the woman’s coif was stunning I was tempted leap to my feet and give an excited standing ovation shouting Bravo! Encore! But, I contained myself even though I was beside that self with joy at witnessing this ancient secret. Hair surrounded the salon chair and yet the woman did not look as though an accident had occurred. She left smiling with bouncing shimmering locks that were a credit to her and the artist that had shaped them.
It was my turn. I took my position with a positive smile and proceeded to deliver my instructions in great detail to the hairdresser. There was a moment when I thought she looked confused and about to slap the back of my head but I put that down to the rareness of a male being so explicit, articulate even. She set to work scissors flying intent looks and careful leveling of sides. 20 minutes later I was outside the salon minus $14 and rushing to the car lest anyone should see my hideous haircut.
My wife placated me with sweet hot cups of tea and a warm blanket to hide under. She looked good after her haircuts my female dog came back from the groomers looking totally splendid; so what was it with me? Was something lost in the translation or am I just the subject of one of life’s harsher cruelties? A hapless male destined to roam the planet, Flying Dutchman like, sporting dismal haircuts to warn the hapless en route to salon quests.