I took a lengthy glance into the mirror, deliberating on my options. I was sitting by the dressing table of my room, scared and angry emotions brewing simultaneously. I took one last peer at my reflection in the mirror, before shying away in deep disappointment. Why? Because of this terrible haircut that my hairdresser just did for me barely hours ago. My originally healthy and long black tresses were relentlessly assaulted by her, leaving me with a severely uneven haircut, with the longest layer hanging just below my shoulders. She must have been feeling scissors-happy, but I was no pushover. This was the last time I frequented her.
I was once loyal customer of hers. I value myself greatly on loyalty. If I like a hairdresser’s work, I will probably go on and patronise her services for a considerably long period of time. However, the haircuts that she have been doing for me in the past few appointments were close to horrendous. I had given her chances several times, hoping she would return to her best where she impressed me at first, but to no avail.
This appointment was going to be the last opportunity I gave her in hopes she can present a decent haircut. It was a severe letdown that she did not, and I have accepted that. This also served as an imminent sign – it’s time for me to change salons.
I immediately switched on my laptop and searched up a list of hair salons within the vicinity. There was one that particularly caught my eye, and there were plenty of good reviews of the hair services from the salon. I pulled up the GPS on my phone and entered in the address of the salon, and made a break for the salon instantly.
Following the GPS, I drove up to a quiet street filled with shops along the pathways of the street. It was Saturday and pretty late in the evening, thus most of the shops were already closed. I was resigned and thought that it was too late into the night, and the hair salon would have probably closed. Just then, I saw warm lights ematting from one of the shop windows not far ahead from my car.
‘That must be the hair salon.’ I thought. I decided to park my car nearby, at a lot just beside a shop house some distance away from the salon because the parking lots near to the salon were already all occupied.
I strolled nervously along the pathway towards the salon, my heart thumping heavily away because it’s been a long time since I’ve been to a new salon. As I walked up to the front entrance of the salon, the warm lightings became more vibrant. It however, seemed pretty quiet for a hair salon supposedly raved by its clients online. ‘There was probably not as much business on a late Saturday,’ I supposed. I took a few heavy steps up to the salon entrance, and pulled open the door slowly.
I was instantly greeted with the pungent but familiar smell of hair chemicals, but my main focus was quickly drawn to the decor as I took a good look around the hair salon. Five black salon chairs were situated on each side of the salon, accompanied with a frameless rectangular mirror that enveloped both sides of the wall.
A young looking lady, probably in her early twenties, quickly noticed my arrival and stepped off from the front desk to greet me. ‘Hello, are you here for a haircut?’ she asked politely. ‘Yeah, it’s well, actually my second time in a salon today.’ I replied shyly as I ran my fingers through my rattled head of hair. She seemed to have understood my point quickly. ‘Take a seat, I will be right with you.’ she said with a smile. I took a seat at one of the salon chairs as she quickly emerged again, from a door just behind the front desk.
She had now a hairdressing pouch strapped around her waist, and unfolded a white hairdressing cape as she began a series of questions about my hair. Basic hair salon procedure, where hairdressers find out about colour and chemical history, how often a client styles her hair and more. These questions were important for a hairdresser to formulate the final hairstyle for a client.
I answered as she questioned, but personally did not have any particular end-look in mind; all I knew now was that I wanted to get rid of this terrible mess on my head. It was so uncomfortable to live with my hair like this, I would rather hack it all off super short. At least then, it would look neater and feel cleaner.
‘Hmm, it seems like I may have just the style for you. Would you be interested in getting a whole new look? Pixies are pretty trendy these days, easy to style and look neat,’ she proposed after learning sufficiently about my hair after the quizzing. I deliberated at her sudden suggestion, but was not going to refuse her outright – I certainly did not expect to get my hair cut that short, and I actually haven’t had short hair since I was 12. At this stage, I was actually surprised that I was actually considering her suggestion, despite how much I loved keeping a thick head of long locks.
Seeing that I was not immediately put off by her suggestion as most long-haired customers would, she folded up my hair to give off the illusion of short hair on me, and pulled the front towards the side to resemble a side fringe. Brilliant marketing, letting the client know what she is in for before actually getting it. ‘I could cut the sides and back pretty close, but keep the top section considerably longer with a sideswept fringe,’ she said with an almost questioning tone. She was beaming now, with the prospect of chopping off whatever is left of my locks very possible.
I was however, not dissuaded by her behaviour. It didn’t matter to me too much that she as the hairdresser wanted me to do the pixie cut so badly. In fact, I appreciated it. At least in such a case, I would trust that she would do a good job with my hair. I was not going to experience a second hair disaster within a single day. I had made up my mind.
‘Okay, I want you to do it, show me your best,’ I said, without any further consideration. I was shocked at my straightforwardness, and wondered whether I should have doubted myself a little more. I was about to lose all my long tresses from this rash decision I made, hopefully not one on a moment of folly!
Pleased by my decision, she then tucked a shampoo towel around my shoulders into my collar, and shook the white cape over me, fastening it snuggly around my neck. Drawing a pair of sharp scissors and a long comb out from her hair pouch, she combed out my hair, taming any unruly kinks that were present. My hair at the top was then sectioned off from the sides and back and pinned up with a long hairpin.
‘Schnick schnick!’ She sliced off my long locks at the back, and my head almost felt lighter instantaneously! It had finally began, the chopping of the locks that had accompanied me for many years. She moved on, cropping my sides and back tight to the skin, but still keeping the texture soft. As she chopped off my hair at the sides, the long tresses slid down the white cape, gathering in my lap. My eyes got wet but I was determined to not cry. It was after all, a decision that I had made for myself.
The top section was then unpinned, and the long hair on top draped down over the now cropped sides and back. For a moment, it looked as if nothing had been cut as of yet, with the long locks covering the chopped sections. I was however, quickly brought back to reality as she sectioned out a part of my long hair and ruthlessly sliced through it. A pixie cut began to take shape as she gradually snipped the remaining sections of long hair off.
I was momentarily shocked at my dramatic transformation. It was a little bit of a bittersweet emotion – although the look was chic and certainly suited me, I felt that something still seemed to be lacking. I needed some edge in the cut.
‘Can we go shorter on the sides and back?’ I asked the hairdresser.
‘Sure, but I would have to use a pair of hair clippers to get that sort of length even throughout.’ she responded instantaneously. I nodded, providing her with the approval to carry on as she desired. She grabbed a pair of battery-operated clippers off the charger stand on the narrow table in front of the chair, and gently tilted my head forward to a 45 degree angle. I was then greeted with a sudden thud from the hair clippers – this was the first time I was going to get my hair cut with a pair of hair clippers. She pushed the clippers straight up my nape, littering short strands of hair around my neck, gathering on the cape. A cold sensation could be felt with each pass of the clipper up my nape, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. She then quickly moved to work on the two sides, driving the tool up my temple. I took a glance at my reflection in my mirror, and was finally beginning to be satisfied with the oncoming look.
My hair was finished off with some hair spray, and I was now sporting a chic pixie look with tightly cropped sides and back. It was a good contrast from my past, where I favoured long hairstyles for a prolonged period of time. Despte that, as I touched my hair at the back, the short stubble gave a prickly feel, and it aroused me, mysteriously. One thing was for sure, my long hair days were not coming back anytime in the near future.
She then unfastened the cape, and the pile of long hair that gathered in my lap slid off onto the floor. I got off the chair, thanked her for the haircut and gave her a generous tip before exiting the salon.
As I walked towards the lot I had parked my car at, I gazed at my reflection from the shop windows, and was fascinated by how feminine and elegant the pixie cut looked. I was thankful that this ordeal was now over, and pleased I have discovered a hairdresser that I could place my faith in again.