It happened recently. On a whim I decided to 'walk-in' to my neighborhood hair salon. My hair had reached that point of desperate change. It didn't help that it was the day before my son's high school graduation and something needed to be done PRONTO!
I should have realized that my luck was on my side when I told my 15-year old daughter that I was going to get my hair professionally colored and cut. She shot me a look of disbelief at first that quickly turned into one of sheer relief. You see, for years I have been my own 'stylist'. My hair wasn't all-bad but it wasn't all-good either. I've lost count how much money I've given to Loreal...but let's just say, it's been a small fortune. I've cut and trimmed my own hair, which wasn't bad for an amateur without training. But it wasn't professional. My daughter knew this. I don't think she actually thought for a second I was serious.
I called her bluff.
Even though the sign in the window beckoned walk-ins, I never dreamed in a million years I would actually be able to get a cut and color with no appointment. These things take time after all, and believe me time is what was needed to make over this head of hair. I was prepared to be turned away and getting ready to head to Wal-Mart to pick up Dark Mahogany Brown.
They called my bluff.
As a matter of fact, they did have time to do a cut and color. What were the chances of that?? This either was going to be a very good thing or a very bad thing. It wasn't too late to back out but I don't think my daughter would have let me if I'd tried.
This very nice girl that couldn't have been more than a few years out of high school invited me to her chair. Kaylin was beautiful and had gorgeous long, black hair. She was young, trendy, slender, and did I mention beautiful?? She looked like a stylist. She was hip, modern, and I immediately felt like there might be hope for my hair. After all, anything had to be a VAST improvement over Dark Mahogany Brown and 90s styled loose-curled hair. We discussed my hair history; the colors, the styles, and the gray. After her assessment she ventured into this tiny room and came back with a color or two or three. She explained she was going to dye my roots and then do a pull-thru rinse. For a second I thought I heard my roots scream with glee. I had no idea what a pull-thru rinse was but it sounded hopeful and to be sure, I was about to find out.
Kaylin did my roots first. If early indications meant anything, this color was going to be good. Score! Next, I had to sit for a bit to let the color kick-in. Heck, I was willing to sit there all day if it covered up those dastardly roots! After about forty-five minutes, Kaylin did the pull-thru rinse which is basically using a different color that literally gets pulled through your hair to add highlight, sheen, and to enhance your color. Who knew?!
She rinsed, shampooed, conditioned and when that was complete I could tell the color was going to be fab. Ummm...did I just say fab?? My daughter would just die if she knew I used that lingo.
Now it was time for the cut. Here is where I always get nervous when a hairstylist starts cutting my hair. I've had cuts that didn't go so well and most always never look like the pictures in the books that I picked out beforehand. This was the one and only time I didn't have a 'picture prop' to bring with me. I was completely winging it. I had nada. Zilch. I was toast! The only descrip I could muster was, "maybe long layers...I don't know...just don't chop it all off". Yeah, that had to of been helpful.
But to my surprise, as Kaylin cut my hair, it was as if she knew exactly the kind of cut I wanted. It wasn't too short. It had long layers and most of all it wasn't a cut that was dramatic. IT WAS PERFECT!
On top of that she styled my hair just right. It didn't end up looking like I was from another planet. You know how some stylists get all crazy on your hair. They do these off the wall styles that might look great on the pages of a fashion mag, but certainly would garner some strange looks and double takes if worn in my little small NC town.
Fast forward six weeks...just had my hair cut and colored again today.
I do believe I've found my new stylist. I gladly kicked Dark Mahogany Brown to the curb. Our relationship is history. From now on I'll dig for change in my couch cushions if need be to go get my hair 'did'. My amateur stylist days are over.