Sunday, November 19, 2006

4 Pairs of Shears, Two Types of Clippers, Two Razors, and a LOT of Red Flags...

The Farm Boy has needed a hair cut for months. Not weeks... months. I finally convinced him today that he couldn't put it off any longer. It wasn't too terribly long-- he didn't look like he had skater hair or anything, but it was long for him. He doesn't go to the same stylist I do; he'd rather walk into a mall, see who has an opening, and take his chances. Usually, it works out okay.

Today... not so much. To be honest, the cut is actually good. It's really short, and it looks nice. But the experience is the one thing I knew I'd be posting about, and oddly enough, so did he.

We walked into the salon, asked for whoever was available, and were told it would be about 15 minutes. No problem. We walked around the mall a little bit, took a quick side trip into Vickie's Confidential Information, and arrived back at the salon in just under 15 minutes. We sat down. In the meantime, the Farm Boy told me that it was imperative I come with him and sit nearby, because he hates the kind of small talk that most hair stylists have with new or unfamiliar clients. No problem... I like to do that anyway, because then I can tell the stylist what I want for him. ;-)

About 5 minutes later, the stylist comes over to us and tells us it's going to be just a few minutes longer. She's a little weird and mysterious about it... I can't explain exactly why. She doesn't look strange, other than I'm pretty sure that shade of red lipstick takes turpentine to remove. But no big deal, right? Or is this a red flag?

Because I'm a people-watcher, she immediately strikes me as someone to observe. I watch her go back to her chair, and she asks the client in the chair to stand up. This girl's cut looks really good, but the stylist is fussing over little stray hairs.... looking very determined. She fluffs and fluffs, and then switches the part and cuts some more. Fluffs again, and switches the part again. Cut, cut, cut. Okay, so either she's really detail-oriented, or maybe she has a fussy customer. 15 minutes later (we've now waited 30 minutes total), she finishes with this client and is ready for the Farm Boy. She then spends another 5 minutes with the first customer going over the bill. We'll call this Red Flag #2.

So we walk back to her chair. And I notice she's a bit of a fussbudget. And maybe a little bit flighty. And maybe a little skittish. She keeps talking and flitting about without really saying anything or doing anything productive. Oh, boy... the Farm Boy is going to hate this. Red Flag #3.

She asks about his hair, how he wants it, and what she should do. That takes me literally 15 seconds to explain. (A little background information... he was once a military man, and he likes his hair short. It's really easy to explain what he wants, and every stylist we've ever had has been able to listen and do exactly what he wants with no problems whatsoever)

She takes him back to shampoo, and I stay in the chair. When they come back, she's giving him advice on Nioxin (yikes... he's going to be thrilled with that) and he's giving me THE LOOK. I find out later that she explained every detail to him as she was shampooing. "Now, Farm Boy, what I'm using is a peppermint shampoo." He tells me later that, apparently, the strong, pepperminty aroma wasn't enough to give that away.

She straps on a cute little holster bag with all her shears, razors, etc. I think that's pretty cool, because she seems a little absent-minded. Unfortunately, I'm right, because she keeps using some shears and then setting them on her counter... only to forget a minute later where she's put them. She wrestles with the mass of cords that is the result of curling irons, straighteners, hair dryerS, and three different types of clippers. Red Flags #4 and 5. She proceeds to use 4 different types of shears and two different clippers on him. Oh, and two different razors. Red Flags are flying all over the place!

Okay, I have to figure out how to summarize the description.... there's just too much to tell. She keeps stopping to scrutinize her work, then she finds some little stray miniscule hair somewhere, and out come the shears again. One time, she asks him if he'd like her to trim his eyebrows... and his eyebrows really aren't a problem. The Farm Boy is a good-looking guy, but a metrosexual he is not. He arrived at the mall in a leather jacket, Poker t-shirt, jeans, and brown shoes with WHITE socks (he doesn't always listen to my fashion advice). Anyone who looked twice at him would know this. She clips the brows anyway.

Let's just wrap it up with this: usually, a stylist takes the clippers to him, finishes up with some shaping (using a clipper guard) and a normal set of shears, and voila! Done in 10 minutes. 15 minutes if it's been a few months between cuts.

Today... my husband was in the chair for over 45 MINUTES. MY hair cuts WITH STYLING don't even take 45 minutes, and I have a lot more hair! Every time I thought they were finished, she'd swing him around in the chair in some hurried fashion and then obsess over some other part of his head. And each time he was facing me, his eyes would plead for me to save him. THE LOOK. Oh, and there's THE LOOK again. I had to bite my tongue just to stop from laughing my ass off.

The minute we left the salon, I lost it. I couldn't help from laughing. He just said, "Oh. My. God. That was EXACTLY what I wanted to avoid. What a psycho!" He kept going on and on about it, and I laughed all the way out to the car.

In her defense, I'm sure she's in that 'artiste' mode, and she really is pretty good, albeitSLOOOOOOWWW, at what she does. I've seen painters fuss over a piece they just can't get right. I've done the same thing with some of my cooking experiments when I can't exactly get the right flavor. I've even seen some stylists do this with MY hair. However, I think you need to read your customers and know who needs the fussing and who doesn't. Four other guys came into the same salon today to a different stylist... and were in and out in the time it took this one woman to cut the Farm Boy's hair. And as uncomfortable as it was for him, it was extremely entertaining for me. I wish I would have had my camera with me. ;-) So, Farm Boy... lesson learned? Find a barber, and make appointments. Walk-Ins may be welcome, but you pay the price. haha

I can't really do this post justice... this woman was something to be experienced. She defies written description and explanation. I'm not even sure I should post it, because it doesn't read as "funny" as it actually was.


Anonymous said...

You did a pretty good job of describing the agony Farm Boy must have gone through and I can just see you trying to hold back. This would be a great sitcom episode. Thanks for the funny story to start my Monday.

Stinkypaw said...

You related well, Farm Boy reads a lot like Hubby. It was almost like the first time Hubby came to see my hairdresser (because his was on vacation). Hubby only came one to that salon, he liked the cut, but as we walked back to the car he only said: "Man, that girl wouldn't shut up!" He has been seeing the same girl for years now, and likes the fact that he calls, shows up, sits, she cuts and he leaves. He's not big on small talk either, actually hates it... Thanks for sharing!

Jaek said...

I have been there and I empathize with the Farm Boy. I, too, was once a military man, and it was so simple to walk into any place where the people had to only have a rudimentary knowledge of hair styling to understand "high and tight" or "flat top" or "skin tight on the sides, fade it up".

The only perks I found in having a stylist take an inordinate amount of time were the two that she kept rubbing on my shoulders.

Anonymous said...

Poor guy. I can imagine the LOOK, lol. Goldennib is right - that girl DOES sound like a readymade sitcom subject.

don't call me MA'AM said...

goldennib: so, you're saying I should pitch it to the networks?? haha

stinkypaw: exactly! He just wants them to shut up and cut his hair.

jaek: you're a nasty boy!

tammara: He's still shaking his head over it today. And still giving me the LOOK. hahaha!

Margus said...

this is exactly why my stylist is a 65 year old Korean man.

Anonymous said...

You'd make some extra holiday cash.

lizgwiz said...

My current stylist is so laid-back in his cutting style, I sometimes forget he's even cutting my hair. Until, you know, it's suddenly shorter. ;)

don't call me MA'AM said...

margus: yep... we're trying to find exactly that for his next haircut. If we get a head start, we may just find one.

goldennib: Suh-weet!

lizgwiz: Ah, those are the best stylists!! I would love to just zone out entirely!