Doing battle with daily dragons

Monday, January 16, 2006

Cutting Room

Last week, when I found myself spending more than my allocated 2 minutes in front of the mirror in the morning, trying to coax my hair into some kind of shape that least resembled something dead on the road, I decided that I was in desperate need of a haircut.

Back in the States, as a broke student, a penniless actor and a fiscally challenged book salesperson, I had only to stroll down the street to the local Hair Cuttery; where the inept cut the hair of the desperate. This east coast/Midwest chain of barnet worriers was the refuge of beauty school dropouts and amateurs hopeful of being “spotted” by up-market salons and one could often get a hit or miss cut for around about 7 or 8 dollars. In my mind, playing Russian roulette with my hair was a risk worth taking when one considered the next nearest alternative; a $35 dollar haircut with a “stylist” who used the fact that they worked in a place full of white walls and mirrors as an excuse to charge a lot of “money.”

Gone, however, are those heady days of mediocre or tragic cheap haircuts. On a miserable Saturday afternoon in Aylesbury, my wallet shuddered as I stepped into a Toni & Guy franchise.

I’ve always had a vague fear of the women who work there. They sport haircuts that put one in mind of post-modern literature; you don’t really GET them, but you sure as hell recognize them when you see them. The purpose of these styles is unclear. Are they trying to show that they’re hip and edgy? Is the message, “We’re not afraid to be bold and experimental?” Because to me, these cuts say, “If I’ve done this to MY hair, just imagine what I might do to YOURS!”

Here’s what I got for 50 pounds: (for those of you in the US, that's $88 according to the exchange rate today, Jan 16.)

A shampoo.

A glass of water.

A haircut.

A blow-dry.

A distinct feeling that I’d just been had.