I cut my own hair.
Those that know me in the real world would take that statement as an opportunity to chime in with an enormously humorous and completely underused, “Heh, I can tell.”
I do this not for money saving purposes or to make a poorly articulated statement about individualism.
No. I do it because historically I have never been able to find a hairdresser that cut my hair how I wanted it cut. They always cut it how THEY wanted to cut it, or how THEY think would look best. Without fail.
And I’d leave the hair salon with completely unrequested Emily The Strange style bangs or, even worse, a mullet, feeling equal parts angry/sad/confused.
If I request a 90’s style grunge cut 20 years too late then that’s how you should cut it goddamn it! Regardless of your personal feelings or current inspirations.
I’m quite sure no other professionals, in any other field, can get away with such brazen outlandishness.
I mean, if I were having a house built and the builder autonomously decided to disregard my plans and build something completely different, something they felt looked better than what I had stated I wanted, like a waterslide, I’m pretty sure they could be held accountable.
Hairdressers however are a law unto themselves. They do whatever they want, flagrantly disregarding the wishes of their customers, THEN WE PAY THEM FOR THE PRIVILEGE!
Eventually, after completely exhausting the supply of hairdressers within a 30 kilometre radius of my abode, I decided to go to a local hairdressing college.
“What’s the worst that can happen?” I thought to myself.
“I’ve paid ridiculous amounts of money to have my hair massacred countless times so, if nothing else, this time when my hair is massacred for a mere $15 I’ll actually be saving money.” Not quite a win/win situation but, at this point, I’ll take it.
On a somewhat related, and quasi-interesting, side note…
Due to the excessive number of hairdressers I’ve frequented over the years, rarely seeing the same one twice, I have the casual customer-to-hairdresser banter locked down. Who I am, what I do, where I work, where I’ve travelled, etc/etc. I know all the correct answers, oddly enough.
For reasons unknown, possibly simply because I bore easily, in recent times when I’ve been asked these standard customer service questions I’ve embellished the shit out of my answers.
“Hi, so what’s your name?”
“Ryan.” It isn’t.
“So Ryan, what do you do?”
“I’m an antique book dealer.” I’m not.
“Oh. So what is that exactly?”
“I journey across the world buying and selling antique books for my clients.” I don’t.
I’ve been an antique book dealer, a psychologist, a car salesman, a greenkeeper, a semi-professional billiards player, the list goes on.
I may not know much about being an antique book dealer, or whatever, but at the risk of sounding arrogant and/or condescending, I figure I know more about my charlatan profession than the hairdresser I’m conversing with does.
I’m not sure if these innocent people necessarily believed my completely unnecessary tales of nonsense but I’ve since realised that it doesn’t actually matter whether they do or whether they don’t. I’m simply one of the dozens of people they see each day/week and they actually care very little about my personal details. Or so you’d think.
But I digress…
Walking into this hairdressing academy my expectation of success is low. If a fully trained and experienced professional is unable to listen to my simple request and translate it into the outdated hairstyle I’m seeking I hold little hope that a newbie is going to wrangle it.
I surrender my details to the receptionist, my real details, then take a seat in the waiting area and get reacquainted with Jennifer Aniston’s grim love life via an antiquated gossip magazine.
While waiting I arrive at the conclusion that she is a bottomless pit of need and no amount of media savvy interchangeable boyfriend parading will ever fill the void of the “one that got away”.
I spend an embarrassingly long amount of time pondering why I’m so emotionally invested in such trivial things when I’m called up and lead to the cutting chair. I’m met by a spritely young woman with flawless skin and poor posture. She has short, dark, pixie-style hair and a silver nose stud that reeks of socially acceptable rebellion. In short, she’s cute.
I explain how I’d like my hair cut and she nonchalantly says “Yeah, like a rock star” and begins the show. I’m unnerved by her seemingly casual comprehension…
Throughout the cutting process and after the usual hairdresser quiz, which I again answer completely honestly, we talk extensively about video games, comics, beer and kung fu. From all outward appearances she seems to be pretty cool.
Even better, and imagine my shock, this young padawan managed to do what countless masters were somehow unable to manage. She cut and styled my hair exactly how I asked! She even shampooed and conditioned it for no extra charge.
Taking my leave I thank her profusely, wish her well in her future endeavours, and sincerely affirm that this was the greatest haircut of all time.
A week later she calls me. Apparently through some minor detective work she got my number from my booking info. I find this industrious, and I like that. I’m also quite sure it’s not exactly on the level. I like that too.
She says she enjoyed our conversation and would like to see me again. For reasons I couldn’t quite place I was slightly apprehensive, but ignoring these instinctive feelings entirely I decide to follow the white rabbit down the rabbit hole…
The following night we hang out at my place. We drink beer, play video games, watch the Resident Evil films and sleep together. Rinse and repeat.
In an alternate reality, it was everything a man like me could ask for.
But I was in no place to begin a relationship. Coming off the back of a recent soul destroying break up I immediately recognise the potential for this dalliance to not meet all parties’ expectations.
So, from the very beginning of this burgeoning tryst I was brutally honest about not wanting anything serious and I reiterated it time and time again; to make sure expectations would not be unduly set and no one would be hurt.
I was told that this was perfectly understandable, considering I recently had my soul thrown up on, and a casual dalliance with a limited lifespan was perfectly acceptable.
So, on countless occasions over the next few weeks, we drank beer, played video games, watched terrible films and slept together until, not surprisingly, I didn’t want to anymore.
Even less surprisingly, this did not go down well.
Between you and I, little signs began to indicate that she was not taking this as casually as she asserted. The frequency, and intensity, of text messages increased exponentially. Unannounced late night visits inexplicably became a thing that happened. Heart shaped chocolates began appearing my letterbox…
So, after stating I no longer wished to continue our current “arrangement” in any form, followed by a month of repeating that I was not keen on any kind of partnership, serious or otherwise, and that no amount of bizarre overreacting would change that, she decided I was an asshole and moved on.
Now it’s 2 months since our initial meeting at the Hairdresser College, my hair needs cutting and I realise I literally fucked my opportunity to ever have a good haircut again.
Hence, I now cut my own hair.