I had to have a haircut the other day, so I made myself an appointment at the local organic hairdressers.
Yes, I know how that sounds. Please understand that
a) I live in a wanky part of Brighton.
(I realise to some people that may as well read I live in a wanky wank wank wankwank. This is a conversation I am well used to having.)
b) Its the nearest place to my house and
c) the only place I can remember the name of, for that very reason.
d) Im so scared of hairdressers I have to just wait for ages then ring up on the spur of the moment to the first place I can remember the name of and hope they have an appointment for the same day.
If they dont, it may be several more months before I summon up the courage again.
On Saturday, they did.
Also, I was always very curious to what Organic Haircutting meant – or whatever the hell they have on their natural-hued sign – as in my imagination, it meant that there were likely to be people scraping the chemicals off my hair with some kind of coral before allowing a herd of sheep to gently nibble my loosed locks into whatever cut they democratically agreed between them would suit me best.
Disappointingly, they turned out to use scissors.
More than that, they used the sweetest, thickest hair-washing lad I have ever encountered in all my many unhappy hairdressed days.
We got to that part where they massage your head – as they do in every hairdressing salon where they think it means they can therefore charge the price of a winter coat to do your barnet. A cheap winter coat, I mean. People keep forgetting to pay me. Im not made of money.
He, bless him, had been talking crap for whole tens of minutes while washing my hair down with tepid water he quite frequently sprayed straight down my prone, hairwashing-vulnerable body, covering me from chin to crotch in water.
Wed talked about chemicals, and lavender, and how he thought hed heard that you shouldnt wash your hair for a week after a haircut (no, said the other hairwasher, that was a colouring treatment). He was clearly inexperienced, and really sweet, and my god when I was his age I couldnt have had the confidence to deal with strangers like he does.
He had squirted on the conditioner, and then, in a massage-posture, he laid his fingers to my skull like someone failing to find the holes on their bowling ball and trying just to make their own in the meantime. As he rubbed his thumbs in smooth-yet-heavy circles – so heavy, in fact, that I could feel my eyeballs binging back into place every time he let loose for a second.
it is the kind of situation I cannot complain about, because I find it too funny.
Here I am, afeared of going to these classy places because I am not classy enough, and because everyone is prettier and, thinner and everyone else knows better, and will laugh at me hating having to look at myself in a mirror for an hour and a half, knowing how much Im hating it. I am so scared of them. And yet I am sitting here with a 12-year-old trying to digitally stimulate my frontal lobe the hard way (eg: without removing my skull first) and I realise that theres not, as always, anything scary about the other people here. And when it comes to the mirror, I can always shut my eyes.
But right now, theres a fair chance Im going to end up with brain bruising. Or a fractured skull, care of an over-zealous hair-washing assistant. At some points it hurts so much, and Im so far away from it all, that I cant help but giggle.
Oh! Am I too hard? Says the terrible, terrified, mortified wet-hair-mortician.
No no say I, as shit as ever I am at complaining.
Im just thinking about something silly from somewhere else something funny. You carry on. Youre fine.