“These wispy bits at the back of your head are borderline catastrophe,” she said, kindly.
I’d chosen her salon because there was a winter-themed model train set in the window. Tiny carriages chugged around and around a snowscape and up above, as if by magic, a hot air balloon carrying a family of dolls battled through the blizzard.
The night before the appointment I received counselling from LSB over Skype. “All things considered, Katzi, it’s the right thing to do,” he said.
For the last few months I have been sporting what can only be described as a mullet. Those of you unfamiliar with the term (Dad?) might find it helpful to do a Google Image search. I had been carrying my mullet stoically, concealing the rat-like tufts in a heap at the back of my head or using hair slides to pin them to obscurity.
I had done all this in the belief that good things come to those who wait.
But when the thin, spindly tufts began to take over my subconscious I decided it was time to act. Having dreamt that I was given an impromptu haircut by a concerned friend, I, like all those suffering in silence, turned to the Internet.
I, dear readers, was growing out a Pixie Cut. I like pixie cuts. I’ve had many in my day. Like the ideal babysitting charge, they are short and sweet and require no looking after. But like the model child, their development can take a nasty turn. In the case of the Pixie, everything you loved about the short front and slightly longer back turns into a straggly mess, leaving you looking like a 1980’s popstar.
After extensive research, which included perusing forums offering nuggets of wisdom like “trust me, you need a stylist to get you through this” I decided it was time to limit the damage so that I can grow my hair out with dignity.
“You know, not everybody can do this,” the hairdresser said, shampooing my hair. “They say it’s easy but it requires skill.”
“Oh, trust me I know!” I said. “I don’t have any skill at all. Whenever I try anything with my hair it’s a disaster.”
“Well, that’s why we’re here,” she said brightly.
She brought over some wonderfully old-fashioned books, featuring pictures of ladies with different hairstyles grinning manically. They beat Google-image search hands-down.
We looked at what could be done and she showed me some pictures of what my hair grown out could eventually look like as long as I remembered to come back for a “maintenance” cut every six to eight weeks.
She got chopping. I was startled by the sudden noise of an engine. The train had set off. I watched it go around and around and smiled because outside, in the real world, it was snowing too.
I now have a “bob,” which LSB calls “Robert.” When I told my hairdresser that I was in a long-distance relationship, she sighed and said “From the bottom of my heart I really wish you all the best with that.”
I told her it was really quite a serious thing. “Look,” she said. “At least you’ll have lovely hair when he comes to see you.”
Which is Thursday. It can’t come soon enough.