>Torture Chair

>Why am I so intimidated by hair dressers? Why do they scare me to death? I guess it’s partly because I’m not a girly-girl. I don’t like having my nails painted, even though I do love a good pedicure. Once I got acrylic nails so that I’d look fancy-schmancy in a friend’s wedding. One broke the day of the wedding and I regretted the $40I spent to get them done. PLUS, when they all came off, my real nails were damaged beyond belief. Seriously, it took months before they were back to normal. Lesson learned. I don’t ever dye my hair. Not because I’m too good for that, but because I’m too lazy to go back every 5-6 weeks to make sure it looks good all the time. I just learned how to use an eye-lash curler about 18monthsago. My friend, Corie, taught me at the same time she taught me how to create a “smoky-eye” look. Have I even tried that since she taught me? No. I look like a clown who forgot to bring a mirror to work so unless Corie is going to hop a plane and come help me with my make up, I’ll be sporting the exact same color eye make-up every day, or night, regardless of the dress-upy-ness of the event. All that may explain my anxiety at the mere thought of going to a beauty salon. See, my mom always cut my hair. I was the girl with long blonde hair. (Me at 7.)

When you have long blonde hair, and are 7, you really just need the dead ends cut off once every 6 months or so. (Me at 17.)
Nothing fancy. So when I became an adult, I kept that habit… once or twice a year at the cheapest place possible. I remember when we moved to Columbia, SC I found myself in the seat at Super-Cuts. I actually liked that place because they don’t wash hair there. Oh, I forgot to mention I HATE having my hair washed by someone else. It is horrible! I’d rather have a baby… being tickled is one of my all-time least favorite sensations and having the sprayer rinse water down my head is the worst. That reminds me of an episode of Veggie Tales where the worst possible punishment was to be sent to the Island of Perpetual Tickling. Yep. That’s pretty much my real life worst possible punishment. So, though Super-Cuts wasn’t the greatest place to get a hair cut, I liked the “no-hair-washing” part.
When we moved to Colorado I was a part of a pretty awesome unit, 4-10 CAV. One of our coffees was held at a gorgeous salon, Lotus, where we were pampered with our choice of 3 different spa mini-treatments. I got a pedi, a hand massage, and a face massage. Glorious, I tell you. During one of the drawings, I happened to win a free hair cut with one of their hair dressers, Marrivette. What was there to lose? It was going to be free… So I made my appointment for a few days later and got my hair cut. I’m sure she thought I was nuts for not wanting my hair washed, but trusted that I was telling the truth that I had just come from home and had just washed it. (It was still damp…) When I left that salon, I vowed to never have anyone else touch my hair again! She was magical! I was hooked and went back every 6-7 weeks during our time in Colorado. Before Lotus I always thought a hair cut was a hair cut. Little did I know!
And then, we got great news. We were PCSing to Germany! Awesome! But someone in the orders-making department forgot to add Marrivette to our orders and she was left behind. I had her cut my hair pretty short before we left, just to make sure it lasted as long as possible. That was November. I didn’t get brave enough to go to someone else until April. I thought I’d let her tell me what would look good on me. Not a good idea. She said, “I’ll give you a mommy-cut.” Let’s just say that didn’t make me feel glamorous at all, and the fact that our family pictures were to be taken the next day didn’t make matters any better. The next time I got it cut was September and this time I took with me a picture of a hair cut Marrivette had given me. The lady did okay, but I still didn’t get exactly what I wanted. Partly because I always feel so intimidated to tell them to take more off or to make the slant more pronounced. I’m paying them… why do I feel like they’re going to cut my ear off if I request something specific?!?
Anyway, here it is December and I needed to have it cut again. So, I did what any modern girl would do and asked around on FB. Let’s just say I got very mixed responses to the person I was considering going to see. I had nothing to lose, well, other than a few inches of hair. I arrived at the salon for my appointment and guess where she took me… straight to the TORTURE CHAIR! I asked her if she could just spray it and she said no, that it was better for it to be fully wet. I actually said (because my fear was building and my filter was broken by this point), “This is why I didn’t want a wash… I hate having my hair washed.” She kept saying, “head down… you get wet.” I didn’t CARE if I got wet, I just wanted the torture to be over with! Finally she gave up and sprayed the rest of it wet. I showed her the picture and told her that I had been to 2 different ladies in Germany and neither had given me a good cut. I was pleased that when she was almost done she showed me the back and asked if I wanted her to make the slant more pronounced, which I did. She proceeded to cut more off and I think, overall, she did a good job. There are some really choppy places, things that Marrivette never would have left uncorrected. In fact, Marivette used to dry and style my hair and THEN cut on it a few more minutes, fine tuning the cut. Not so much today. Today I had to go home with wet hair and fix my it myself, even though I had paid enough for it to have included a quick run-through with a brush and blow dryer. I was kicking myself for not just asking the woman to style it enough so that I could go pick Matt up at Mainz Kastel… If I’m paying for something, why don’t I feel I have the right to ask for what I want? I feel confident in stores or restaurants, but for some reason, beauty salons are my Kryptonite.

So, as I typed this I asked Matt some things (like what that stuff was that Superman can’t touch or it renders him weak) and he asked what in the world I was writing about. I told him the basics and he said, “Why are you writing about your hair cut?!?” That is a good question. One I don’t think I have a good answer for, as it does seem like a silly topic. But I think it’s different for men, especially men in the military who have a specific hair cut FORCED UPON THEM for 20+ years of their life. For the women on their arms, however, we have to weather multiple moves across multiple continents, all the while keeping up with the current style (or for me, the style that was “in” a year or so ago because that’s how long it takes me to work up the nerve to try something new…). And sitting in that spinny chair with someone you don’t know holding a very sharp pair of sheers super close to your ears and eyes requires us to give over a bunch of control. Control that we, as military wives, are used to having. Being the only parent in a house for a year at a time can create some super independent women… which only makes it harder to hand that control over to someone else… especially when it comes to something as personal as hair. Overall, I think I’m one step closer to being satisfied with my hair cut. I will likely to back to the lady I saw today although I will have to gird up the courage to ask her to dry it for me. I will ALSO remember to go in with wet hair… oh how I hate that torture chair…

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
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