My hair is not one of my favourite features. It’s kind of an average colour (rendered non-average solely by the fact that everyone else that has this colour dyes theirs a different one), and it’s too wavy to be straight and too straight to be wavy and if it gets one drop of water on it, it suddenly becomes a frizz-factory. When I was in 7th grade, my mother encouraged me rather strongly (at least I thought so) to get my hair cut, even though I had no aspirations of becoming stylish or even much concept of what that meant. I was still disappointed with Auntie El for spiking her hair that had once been long enough for her to sit on, and even though my hair never got longer than two inches above my waist, my goal was to have hair at least as long as hers had been.
But I finally cooperated with my mother’s urging, had my hair cut into 1980’s layers, and thus began my love-hate relationship with hair salons and haircuts. And maybe my own hair. I’m not going to say it was so beautiful before I got it cut, but I never really thought about its not being so until I started fighting with hairstyles that didn’t suit my face, my hair, or my personality. College-Roommate-Jenne and I used to joke grimly that we were going to shave our heads, and the only thing that kept me, at least, from following through with this out of simple exasperation over what was growing out of it, was that I was pretty sure my head was the wrong shape and I knew for a fact that my ears stick out.
And then, in my early 30’s, I met Bledi, and got my first ever haircut with which I was entirely happy. I’ve gushed over Bledi’s haircuts before in the blogosphere, but I’m going to do it again, because I just had another one. I tell him he’s the only person who has ever known how to cut my hair, and he politely pretends not to believe me, but it doesn’t take long to figure out that I’m telling the truth. Until last Friday, I hadn’t had a haircut from Bledi in over a year. I had, however, had at least two haircuts from other people. I kept thinking surely I was exaggerating to myself that only Bledi could cut my hair properly. Surely there had to be someone else on the planet who could do at least a passable job, a little more affordably. And that’s what I got–passable, and more or less affordable. But I couldn’t bring myself to go back. Then I received a gift in the mail and decided it was high-time for a Bledi haircut.
Here’s the thing about Bledi. Whereas with other hairdressers I have to have a really clear photo of the kind of hairstyle I want, and be able to describe it, and then I find I still didn’t quite end up with what I was hoping for. And I blame it on my hair. But when I go to see Bledi, he says something like, “So, what’s going on? Are we growing it out?”
“Yes,” I say. “Here’s a photo of my friend KS-Christie.” It’s a facebook photo and while it’s clear she has a fantastic new haircut, it may not be the best photo for being able to tell exactly what kind of haircut it is. “My hair’s not long enough yet,” I say, “But this is my goal.”
“What is it that you like about this haircut?” he asks.
“The bangs,” I say. “And all the layers. And the colour–but I’m not doing that.”
“Okay,” he says. Then he gets to work, snipping and straightening out all the layers that weren’t properly cut in there in the first place, and adding a few new ones, and when he’s done I don’t look like KS-Christie, but I do look like a glamourous new version of me. I am very happy.
You would think I would post a photo, and the only reason I’m not doing so is because I can’t style my hair as well as Bledi can; for one thing, I don’t have the magical Moroccan Oil that he used which made my hair a completely different texture than it normally is. But I can tell you I’m still happy with this haircut. What I look for is pretty simple: low-maintenance, hair out of my face, feminine, and suits-me. I don’t think I’ve ever spelled it out that way to Bledi before. But he definitely seems to get it.