Sunday, July 11, 2010

A salon guidebook

I realize that to some people, trips to the salon may be boring or pointless. Why go to a salon when you can cut your own hair? they may wonder. Perhaps others worry about what a trip to the salon is like. What should I expect? you might ask. Anxiety can be especially acute when trying out a new salon. I have decided, as a public service, to put together a synopsis of what someone might expect on a trip to the salon.*

Trips to the salon are fantastic. Okay, so first you go in and they sit you in a chair and you get to wear a CAPE. They put it on backwards, but still, pretty awesome, right? And you're not weird, because EVERYONE is wearing a cape just like you, and no one makes fun of you for wearing it backwards. After that, they hand you this book with a bunch of different colors of fake hair (at least I think it's fake). You get to pick whatever colors you want from the book. I thought hot pink looked fantastic, but settled for a brighter red then normal and light blonde. The hairstylist disappears to "mix the colors" and leaves you all alone in a SWIVEL CHAIR. So great.

When the stylist returns, your dizziness changes from being due to excessive swiveling to being due to the fumes rising from the bowls of color. You may wonder why she is putting purple in your hair, but don't worry, it usually isn't the color it looks. Kinda like paint when you paint your wall and it looks a different color in the can but then isn't quite that color when it dries, except even more so with this because the purple turns your hair blonde, not just a lighter shade of purple, which is good, because I would love to have purple hair but it probably wouldn't be very professional. The stylist begins to paint your hair and wrap it in foil. It's fun to have someone play with your hair. Of course, the first part of the time your hair is in your face and it kinda gets stuck in your mouth and in your eyelashes and it gets kinda hot if you have lots of hair and you can't read your magazine because there's a giant sheet of hair in your face, but it's still nice.

If you have as much hair as me, you end up with about the equivalent of an entire roll of tin foil on your head and resemble one of those crazy people who thinks they can pick up alien frequencies with a tin foil hat. Silly people. I only pick up radio waves. So you rock out to the radio waves being directly transmitted into your brain, and ignore the strange looks you get as you stand up and start dancing. Seriously, these people are wearing their capes BACKWARDS and they're giving YOU weird looks? Sheesh. This goes on for about 30 minutes until it's time to say goodbye to your radio waves and get the foil removed.

The salon has these awesome chairs that have a sink actually attached to the top, so it's always at the perfect height. Plus, the stylist hits a button and a footrest rises from under the chair, so you're all sprawled out while someone else washes your hair. Pretty amazing. It's like something out of Star Trek. You can sit and pretend you're in some futuristic world getting your hair washed to distract you from worrying about your hair coming out with the foils. It happened once on Step By Step. It was okay on the show, though, because it became the style and then everyone wanted a bald spot. Somehow I don't think that would happen in real life, but it sure worked out well in a half hour sitcom.

The hair washing part is amazing. You lay there and they massage special potions into your hair. It lasts at least five minutes, probably longer. The mix of smells is intoxicating, and you start to think you're having your hair washed by fairies in a magical meadow. These potions make your hair smell amazing and it ends up all shiny and soft. Of course, this only lasts until you have to wash it again. It's kind of like being Cinderella, where the spell wears off at midnight, except you shouldn't shower at midnight because if you go to bed with wet hair it ends up all kinky and it might look like you have a square head if you can't get all the bumps out with a flat iron. But I digress.

You're taken back to a different chair, which also swivels, but you don't really have time to really enjoy it because the stylist doesn't really leave you alone again. You may wonder if she realizes something happened before... She takes out her scissors and proceeds to chop into the locks you have lovingly cared for for so long. It's a little sad, and it's okay to cry at this point. The stylist will probably ignore you, but if she doesn't, you can probably make up some story about flying hair landing in your eye. It's plausible.

After the cut, your stylist blows your hair dry (this may take a while if you have enough hair to cover three heads) and then puts some more potion in it. She flat irons it better than you ever could yourself, spraying something on it that makes it shiny and smooth. One final application of yet another magical substance really makes the hair shine, and it lays down smoothly. At this point, your hair will look the best it will probably look for the next six months, color bright, flyaways and curls tamed. It's enough to bring another tear to your eye, but I would advise against this, as you've probably already used the "hair in my eye" excuse and people start to look at you out of the corners of their eyes like you're crazy if you get too emotional too often. Especially in a hair salon.

You are asked to relinquish your cape, which you must do, or they probably won't let you come back. And you will be back. They will probably ask you to leave after you stare at yourself in the mirror for 30 minutes or so, so you should probably plan to have a good mirror in your car. Just be sure to hide it before you drive home. No need to cause car wrecks over fabulous hair.

My trip to the salon was a magical adventure. I hope yours is just as amazing! Good luck, and good hair.

*Of course, be aware that these trips vary according to salon and stylist used, and service requested. Please don't sue me if your trip is not as amazing as this guide makes it out to be.


  1. You just made me very excited for my visit to the HW on Friday. . .although I don't pick the color he does (he's better at it) and there are no flat irons involved with my hair. . .but I promise I won't sue you. :)

  2. I must say, your salon visits are much more spectacular that mine. I pretty much just get my hair cut, I haven't had it colored in about 3 years & kind of doubt I ever will again! Unless I start going prematurely gray...
    And I hate capes that make your neck itch. Just a thought.

  3. Lol. Maybe you should also work in salon advertising, since your visits are so magical!