OK, girls, now that we are alone – My hairdresser is moving!
[pause for exclamatory responses]
Yes, that’s right. Jenny, who has cut my hair for nearly 20 years, is moving. To Florida. Do you know how far Florida is from SW Ohio? Neither do I, but I do know it is too far for me to drive there for a hair cut every 6 weeks.
Now, let me note that I am not particularly vain about my appearance. I rarely wear make-up or jewelry, and my style in clothes is heavy on comfort, function and practicality, light on fashion. But, I have great hair. It is thick, dark, naturally curly, and takes very little maintenance, which is good, since I am pretty much a low-maintenance kind of gal. (Or am I like Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally” – high maintenance who THINKS she is low-maintenance?)
Those of you blessed (and cursed) with naturally curly hair will recognize the love-hate relationship my hair and I have had over the years. In the late 60’s and early 70’s, when straight-straight hair was in, my hair and I received more than our fair share of jokes, but we have gotten our revenge in later years. Now, we coexist in relative harmony, except on days when my hair feels it is necessary to remind me who is in charge of our personal style. (For the record, it is not me.)
My look is dependent to a large degree on the weather (high humidity days are hell) and the whims of my hair’s independent streak. Some days it behaves perfectly well, while other days it is fly-away, frizzy, and sticks out every-which-way. I don’t know why, it just does what it wants to do. When people say, “Your hair looks great, what did you do?” I always reply, “I wish I knew.” However, over the years, I have learned that one important part in the care and management of naturally curly hair is a good stylist. One visit to a beauty school in college and occasional trips to the $5 El Cheapo Salon convinced me that even if I don’t spend any money on the rest of my body, I HAVE to pay for a good haircut.
Finding the right person to cut naturally curly hair can be tough. I find it is best to rely on someone else with hair like yours, which is how I was introduced to Jenny in 1987 or ’88. And, except for the year I moved to Marietta, Jenny has been taking care of my hair ever since.
You can develop a hair-style shorthand with a stylist who has known you that long. I can tell her, “I’m going camping later this month,” and get my “camping” haircut (very short, trimmed in the back, no need for hair care products or blow-dryers) or I can say, “Well, I guess it’s time to let it grow for the winter” and she knows what I need without explanation. A good stylist will be honest with you, too, like the times when I crave long luxurious locks and she tells me, “Kathi, your hair won’t do that, unless you want to spend a lot of time with the blow dryer and curling iron every morning,” something she knows I won’t do. I appreciate her honesty.
And, I trust her not to screw up my hair. Today, I said, "I'm in a rut, I'm bored, I need a change. I am going to a wedding and then on vacation, what can we do to my hair that's fun?" Jenny said, "How about highlights?" So, on went the tight cap, and she began to use what appeared to be a little crochet hook to pluck tiny strands of my hair through the holes in the cap. (This was mildly painful.)The next step was to brush on a really smelly solution, cover my head with another plastic shower cap, and sit under a dryer, baking. What price, beauty.
My first highlights. It doesn't really show in this photo, but I see a big difference in my hair color after that process. (I have to say that, for what it cost me!)