Thursday, February 25, 2021

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Reading Time: 3 minutesFinding a new hairdresser can be a nerve-wracking experience

For a person who likes to go with the flow when it comes to most things in life, I am extremely hesitant to change the relationship with three important people in my life; my dentist, accountant, and hairdresser. I have held on to my accountant since he filed my first ever tax return. With the dentist, I did change once a few years ago, but that was because the previous dentist packed up shop and moved to another town. I have been going to the same hairdresser for almost a decade now. I have moved house twice, and the salon is now more than a 30-minute drive away, but I feel it’s worth it to hang on to her. There is a simple reason for sticking with these three people in my life – every time you visit them, they can just pick up from where they left. You don’t have to go through your entire history all over again.

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Unfortunately for me, on my last visit, my hairdresser told me that she was pregnant and would be away from work for more than a year. There was a lot of silence between the two of us during that trim. As she finished my haircut, I congratulated her, wished her luck and left the salon in a daze. Now I was forced into a lingering search for someone new to cut my hair for at least one full year!

I left my hair to grow a bit more than my usual four weeks, just to defer the impending change to a new hairdresser. But the moment finally came when my wife, Jassu, told me in no uncertain terms that I needed a haircut, pronto.

As we walked past different salons in the shopping centre, I spent a good five minutes peering into each of them from the outside. They all looked snazzy enough, but somehow I resisted going into any of the three we’d seen. I was not ready to have that initial conversation. “How would you like the haircut today? What number of clippers? How short on the sides? How short at the back?” And then what if they still cut it ‘their way’ and not the way I wanted them to!

Soon Jassu sensed my reluctance and finally donned her ‘boss’ hat, held my hand and led me into a salon. I protested! Even tried to run away! But then came that “look” from her. And the next thing, I was perched in the seat with that black cape around my neck.

Then came the dreaded question from my new hairdresser, “How would you like it?” I so wished I could say, “Just the usual, please.” With a heavy heart and a soft voice, I explained my desired cut. I felt the spray of water and then a gentle run of fingers through my hair. They did not feel the same. I looked at Jassu from the corner of my eye. She was sitting merrily in the waiting area, browsing through a gossip magazine, unaware of my trauma.

Then I heard a ‘snip’ as I looked up in the mirror. She had clipped off the first strand. “Too late now buddy,” I thought to myself, and tried to settle in the chair. To be fair to my new hairdresser, she exercised extreme caution in manoeuvring around my head while cutting my hair, and asked me a number of times if I was happy with the progress she was making.

The hair cut lasted just 15 minutes, but it felt like an eternity. I even had my fingers crossed underneath that silly black cape!

And then she dusted off the hair from my shoulders and set me free. Jassu came running over to me, looked at me in the mirror and smiled. “Looks nice eh?” she exclaimed. I just smiled back.

I was glad that anxious ‘first time’ was over. Hopefully next time all I will have to say is “Just the usual, please.”

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Sanam Sharma
A typical middle class guy who is abundantly opinionated, moderately flawed, and adequately grounded

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