back from manila. i went, pretty much specifically to have a haircut before this wedding i'm attending. i thought it was smart that i went a couple weeks before the wedding because whatever hairstyle i get shouldn't grow out before the date; what i didn't factor in was what if it turned out to be a crappy haircut?

i didn't know exactly what i wanted, but i had a photo in a magazine. i had been to this hairstylist before a couple of times and loved the first cut, sort of liked the second one, and thought she could just give me the same cut as the first time, which looked somewhat like the photo i had, but not quite. apparently what i wanted isn't really in style--i asked for a shoulder-length blunt cut, with some chunky layers, absolutely no wispy bits. it started out okay--a little shorter than shoulder length, and a bit of layering that wasn't chunky, but not wispy. then she started in on the bangs, which turned out to be an asymmetrical fall so that one side was much shorter than the other. i didn't ask for that, but it wasn't offensive. the only problem was that it was a seriously boring, i look like everyone else in manila haircut, which is something i really didn't want. (note to everyone in manila with this haircut: you look lovely, you really do, but you know as well as i do that you have that haircut because everyone else has it too). so i looked nice and respectable, but i was unsatisfied, especially since it looked nothing like my first haircut, and even further away from the photo in the magazine. i asked her if she could do chunkier layers, and she said yes, and proceeded to do exactly that, but not particularly well, and without a particular order or style in mind. weirdly, it was only now i started to get worried. she cut my bangs even shorter, but still asymmetrically. now my hair looked like effing jennifer love hewitt's in that dorktastic psychic show she's in now, which makes her look like a 13-year-old moppet with a really bad wig (and an alarmingly large bosom, i might add). anyway, i was very unhappy at this point, and made even more unhappy when my cousin and friend both told me she should even out the bangs. which means i now have really tiny prepubescent child-sized bangs. and if you know what i look like, i am not a tiny prepubescent child. i felt all-at-once stupid, immature, incredibly young looking, a seventies throwback, never-been-to-a-salon-never-heard-of-fashion oik. i felt like an oik, and although when i was in the salon, i thought i could live with it and let it grow, but as the night wore on i thought i would never go out in public again. i thought that it would be a haircut my older female relatives would love, that i looked like my younger cousin when she was nine, that i looked like i had a bad wig from the seventies on, and that it seriously did not flatter me in any way possible.

hairstylist knew i was unhappy, and even though she said she totally remembered me and my hairstyle, she obviously didn't, and on top of that she mistook shoulder length chunks for chin length wispiness. also, she completely ignored the fact that my hair is naturally curly and it would take more than an hour with a blow dryer to make my hair look even remotely normal. and she conveniently "lost" the magazine when we were in the salon so we couldn't compare cut to photo. ffffffffffffffffffffffxccccccccck. i can't hate her, but i hate what she did. i'm going to chalk it up to a bad day, and basically, never go to her again.

i blame myself. i can't ever remember the name of the salon she's at, so i've been calling it 'sinking titanico' to all and sundry. karmic payback's a bitch.

anyway, the next morning i wake up looking like vinnie barbarino's love child with a poodle, but i'm having second thoughts about having my hair cut any further. i'm not particularly married to the length of my hair, but my days of carved heads and buzzcuts are over. i put in a little product and combed it back best i could, and went to the farmers' market. just my luck that the first person i see there is my aunt, who immediately says "oh i love your haircut! i want one just like it!" (ding! heart sinks), then i see her daughter (the one i think i look like when she was a pudgy pre-tween) who then says, "i really like your hair, what's wrong with it?!" (dingding! further sinking), then finally, i see her brother--who is my age--who just grimaces and says "what the hell did you do to your hair?" (dingdingding! ask not for whom the bell tolls, for it tolls for me, your friend the troll.) that's it. i really have to get this monster fixed.

i don't know why i didn't think of this before, but besides the one cut that she did that i loved, mostly i've really liked the men who've cut my hair and really haven't liked the women hairstylist--i think it's because the men are more interested in the cut over the style, are more prone to giving me a wash and wear style over one involving a crapload of product and time, and because they don't really care if the cut is particularly feminine. cousin suggested i go to a male hairstylist, and the only one she could think of is a german biker with five earrings in one ear, a pseudo -mohawk, and like, the teeth of a man who has seen some very hard partying in his day, i think. but, he's the salon owner, it seems to be very popular and successful, and is one of the nicest salons i've been in, ever, even with the marginal--albeit original--art. so i saw him for like, 30 seconds the next day, he takes one look at me and says basically that 1) he is a precision haircutter, not a hairstylist so all his work is in the cut, 2) his cuts are all wash and wear, 3) he trained at vidal sassoon, 4) he trains haircutters now so he knows how to fix bad haircuts, 5) he can work with the wave/curl in my hair, 6) it would be no problem. part of me is completely relieved, and part of me knows he could still further mangle my head. still doesn't stop me from making an appointment.

my cousin and i don't actually know anyone who has gone to him, so when i find that an acquaintance i met at dinner that night had been to him, i pounce on her and ask her what she thinks. she's rather non-commital, saying that many people she knows likes him, but she decided to go to another stylist. i ask why, but she just said she felt like a change. i don't accept that as an answer--no one leaves their hairstylist/haircutter for any reason except that they hate what that person did to her hair--you hang on to a good hairstylist for as long as you can. i watch her throughout dinner and realize that i really don't like her hair--it's coloured, highlighted, and bonded with the trademark dead look and flyaway ends. if this her idea of great hair, how bad was her hair then?? so finally i press the point, and she blurts out "i don't know! i guess--i guess he just didn't make me feel pretty!!" pfffft. i wave my hand. whatevs. i can live with that.

so i go on sunday morning, i'm the only one in there. i find it slightly weird, yet more comforting that we don't talk about giving me a hairstyle, just about repairing the job that the other person did. he doesn't say anything bad about her, but occasionally makes a little "hm" noise when he sees a particularly bad cut, or he mutters "you have an interesting haircut". i got the impression that german biker was absolutely uninterested in me as a human being, and just interested in my hair. also, for the hour that it took to fix it, he spent the entire time talking about his motorcycle and motorcycle club. i was under the impression yesterday that he gets a high ex-pat/foreign clientele, many older women and celebrities. i'm curious as to whether or not this is his standard patter with his customers or if there was something about me that said to him, "ya, i talk to her about my starter clutch, she'll understand", or if he thought "fuck, i don't want her as a client, i'll bore her to death with shop talk" (although i wasn't, i was highly entertained). i'm sending in my cousin next time, i'll see what kind of talk she gets.

so ya, i'm satisfied with the end results. i still doubt it as a hairstyle, but with the repair job it should grow in well, and it does flatter my face, even though i feel like it's an old lady cut. and yes, all the old ladies love it, as does my young cousin. sheeeeesh. i will return to the german--aside from being amusing, he really does know what he's doing, and i love that he didn't try to push any product or services on me. i'll return when i have more hair and i'll see if he can give me a haircut i'll actually love the next time around.