“I Whip My Hair Back and Forth” to My First Solo Haircut

Mon, Feb 28 § Leave a comment

First off, please note that this blog doesn’t actually have anything to do with Willow Smith. Though . . . her song is quite catchy.

This was my first time getting a haircut by myself (and at a fancy place too), so indeed, I ran into some tiny embarrassments. My sister only gave me a brief guideline of what to do when I get in, handed me a twenty-dollar bill and a five dollar bill, and dropped me off at one of her favorite hair salons, Aveda.  

So. I walked through the front glass door, and the first thing I notice is that everyone there is around twenty to thirty years old and I was also totally underdressed. My matted pink sweater, gray sweats, and old K-SWISS sneakers was so not allowed.

I went up to the woman behind the counter and asked if I could check in. She was tall, had really nice wavy hair, and wore a sleek black dress. “Yeah, just fill this out,” she gestured toward a form on the counter and continued, “then wait over there.”  I wrote my name, signature, and the date, then waited on a cushioned seat and read a magazine, crossing my legs and sitting up straighter, hoping it would make me look more sophisticated.

“Anita?” My hairdresser, whom we will name Hana, called out my name. We greeted each other, and it wasn’t obvious, but deep inside, I’m pretty sure there was a tiny bit of surprise. As she led me to a salon chair, I noticed everyone was indeed twice my age, and all the hairdressers had epic hair. I saw long purple hair, tall curled red hair, black hair with blonde bangs. Hana had bright blonde hair that was clipped up nicely.

“How do you want your hair as?” she asked me. I replied that I wanted the hair on my front to be long and back to be short. She also asked me what type of shampoo I used. “I can’t remember,” I lied. I used a cheap Kirkland brand that I got from Costco. So she just asked me, “Do you use a basic kind of shampoo?” I nodded. When she finished, she verified with her instructor, who had caramel brown curled hair that was a tad too young for her age. (OK that sounded quite mean, but her hair looked fuller than her face, and that’s a little disturbing.)

She told me to take off my pink sweater (which I gladly did, though . . . I was wearing a big gray t-shirt that said tagged on the front so it didn’t make much of a difference), pointed me towards a hair washing sink, then went to hang my coat away. Hana came back and started washing my hair. While she was doing so, I could tell she was trying to make conversation. She asked me questions like how old I was (which was an inevitable question), which school I go to, how I knew the place. Feeling bad that I could only answer with a few words, I decided to ask her why she had an instructor. “Oh, you don’t know? This is a beauty school,” she replied. “And I’m almost finished too.” That makes sense. For the rest of the time, she didn’t converse with me much, and my sister later said that if you don’t want to talk then they stop trying to make conversation. Or just because she doesn’t usually have customers like me.

Hana took a long time on the back of my head, which I thought wasn’t really necessary since people will more likely remember how I look in the front more, but I appreciated her effort. The whole haircut took two hours, and in the end I could tell Hana was a little exhausted. I added that I wanted to cut my bangs a little shorter, and she was patient and finished.

She got me my sweater, led me to the front of the store, introduced me to the guy behind the counter (I was glad she remembered my name) then we both said bye to each other. I think the worst part was how I was such a fool at paying the tip. The haircut was twenty dollars, I had the extra five dollars left, and I thought my sister intended for it to be the tip. Oh my lord. How stupid I was. So I put the five dollar tip (twenty-five percent of the haircut’s price) in a little envelope and wrote Hana’s name on it so she’ll receive it at the end of the day. My sister later said I was supposed to get change and just give her two dollars, which I retorted that she never told me to do. Anyway, either Hana probably thought I was a rich little girl, or she just “caught a pig,” as my dad says it. At least my hair isn’t bad.


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