Friday, February 26, 2010

An open letter to hair stylists

To whom it may concern:

I understand that hair is your thing.  As a tattooed hipster and/or gay man, those follicles that sprout from the top of your head are more than a biological feature - they're an extension of your personality... an art form... an expression of "you."  Not all of us feel this way.  Some of us, with less time and more responsibility on our hands, just need a way to cover our ears and/or feel feminine when we sprint out of the house without makeup.

Now that we're clear on this, I'd really appreciate a moratorium on the holier-than-thou, judgmental stylist commentary.  From the moment I sit in your chair and you start raking your fingers through my tangled mess of a ponytail, it begins.  First, you cock your head to the side and bite your lip - pensively diagnosing the problem.  Then, you frown - as if the worst of your fears had been confirmed.   After a few moments, you lean over to show me my own hair (like I hadn't seen it before) and say, "Umm... you have a lot of split ends."

Thanks for the insight, Dr. Phil.  Do you think I came to you because I wanted all of my healthy, perfectly moisturized hair removed?  I mean, what if doctors treated us that way?  Imagine: walking into a clinic, tissue in hand, violently ill, only to have your physician look at you with disgust and say, "Um... you have a really gross cough."  It would be one thing if you saw me elsewhere, but I'm here!  I clearly know that the split ends have gotten out of hand... isn't admitting it the first stage of recovery?

Soon after, in a tone of mock innocence, you lay your trap:

"Which products do you use?" 

At this point, I know it doesn't matter how I answer.  What you actually said, masked in question form, was "Whatever you are putting in your hair isn't cutting it... and I can think of a few paralyzingly expensive products that just may do the trick."  I prepare myself to sit through the lecture.  Oh, my hair is coarse and frizzy?!  Really?!  Do you think I made it through middle school without figuring that out?  Oh, I should be spending approx. 1 hour per day pre-rinsing, rinsing, moisturizing, deep moisturizing, and creme cooling?  Never.  Gonna.  Happen.

If you decide that you'd like to go into the business of making people feel bad about themselves, join the clergy.  Or PETA.  However, if you decide that you want to brighten the day of a hard-working, average person with more on her mind than Paul Mitchell and the depth of her artistic angst, ask me how I manage to keep my hair so voluminous in the rain.

Suavely yours,

1 comment:

  1. I too have written an open letter to stylists in my day. Black stylists like to do two things about my hair: 1) complain about how thick it is, 2) refuse to cut it. I also get the "what are you using"? question, and i know my answer, "whatever's on sale--Herbal Essence if I'm feeling splurgey" isn't really the answer they're looking for....



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