It took a long time to find a good hairdresser back in Indiana. My first attempt was at a small salon near Toby’s office. That worked one or two times until I realized the hairstylist wasn’t really paying attention to what she was doing. My second hair salon was called: “The Hairman.” You can probably guess why that didn’t work out.
My third attempt was spontaneous. I won a free haircut and style at a hair boutique from a silent auction. I ended up falling in love with the hairstylist, Bobbi. What made her so endearing was that she cut my hair the way I liked and she also, I came to find out, cut the hair of a few of my friends, which meant there was lots to gossip about.
Besides buyer’s loyalty, every female knows that once you’ve gone to the same hair stylist more than twice, he or she owns you. Especially in a small town. Leaving your stylist is tantamount to divorcing your mother. You don’t do it.
My favorite haircut at that time was a style that I like to call – for lack of a better term – Asian wisps (see photo#1). I basically asked Bobbi to study up on the popular hairdos of my Asian girlfriends and apply them to my hair.
I found a few photographs that kind of demonstrate Bobbi’s skills on my hair (see above photos#2-4). Unfortunately, you can’t really see the Asian wisps in these photos. The only good white-girl-with-Asian-wisps headshot I could find of myself was taken by my sister-in-law at the pool (see photo#5). It looks like it belongs on the cover of The National Enquirer with the caption: VICAR’S HOT YOUNG SQUEEZE HAS A SECRET PAST! or more likely:
When I moved to St. Louis, I obviously couldn’t take Bobbi with me. It took over 18 months to find another hair stylist. At first, I wanted to save money. My first haircut cost $5. I called it my “Latvian Rockstar” haircut (see photo#6).
Aptly named in honor of a Latvian seminarian’s wife, Yana, who cut and dyed it for over two hours in her kitchen. (Side note: I am 25% Latvian. Every time Yana’s husband would meet me on the road, he would pump his fist in the air and yell: LATVIAN SISTER!) I would have continued with Yana, but she moved away soon after we arrived.
My second haircut in St. Louis was disastrous. The valuable lesson I learned from this haircut was: Never. EVER. Use a hairstylist from Groupon. At least not one that your friend exchanges for St. Louis Arch tickets. My second haircut was hands-down the worst of my life. It made my fourth-grade “bowl cut” (compliments of my dad) look like an Oribe original.
I traveled about 35 minutes to a small town in the middle of St. Louis nowhere and watched with devastation as my mystery hairdresser cut my hair with what I can only imagine to be a rusty machete (see photo#7). A free haircut will always have a hidden cost. In my case, the cost was pride as well as trying to explain to everyone that I had NOT allowed my 4-year-old to cut my hair with Crayola scissors and a butter knife.
Girlfriends are pretty good about lying to you, to make you feel better about your weight, or your clothing choices, or a bad hair day. But not this time. It took five looks of horror and one scream from my girlfriends to convince me to run as fast as I could to the nearest salon and beg for help.
My husband is pretty good at keeping tense situations calm. When Toby arrived home, I figured he might say, “It’s fine for now, we can set up an appointment tomorrow or this weekend.” But when he came home, he took one look at my mangled hair, cringed, and threw money at me. He could hardly look me in the eye as he yelled, “Go! I’ll take care of the kids and dinner. Just go! As long as it takes!”
That’s when I met Maria. She was the only hair stylist available for a walk-in at 5:43pm on a Monday evening. I was practically crying when I told her my unbelievable story. She was sweet, stunning, professional, and non-judgmental (even though I am sure she thought I had cut my own hair in the conservatory with a candlestick). She fixed my hair free of charge (see pic#8)
and said to come back in a couple of weeks for a haircut I actually wanted (see pic#9).
For the next year and half, I paid more than I wanted to for the insurance of a perfect haircut every time. I never regretted a Maria haircut. I told her she was my saving-grace. She laughed at the time, but in my experience, nobody solved my hair problems like Maria.
Now I have moved to Minnesota where there are salons on every corner but no Bobbi, Yana, or Maria in sight. And so the hunt begins… To find the perfect hair stylist. Time is of the essence. My hair continues to grow, demanding attention but pleading for careful discernment.