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For me, haircuts are not routine maintenance. It is a crucial moment of glory that allows me to reinvent myself for the next few months!
A few weeks ago, I walked into the beauty parlour to get a haircut after almost a year – thanks to the pandemic. I was assigned a Senior stylist and gave her specific instructions from my years of experience in dealing with over-enthusiastic stylists. Especially the ones who recommend the most outrageous hairstyles.
I even showed her a photo reference to ensure she gets the length & styling right. She seemed a bit like deer in front of the headlight which was alarming given her ‘seniority’ status.
Despite all those precautions, in exactly 10mins – my haircut was turning to be live proof of Murphy’s law “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong!”
So I gave up after a mild warning not to fool around with the hair length since I’d asked for shoulder length. I was almost sure that I going home with a pixie to scare my mum. To cheer up myself, I decided to drift into a nostalgic trip of all my previous haircut experiments!
From childhood, I have been habituated to short hair length – thanks to years of boy cuts at my dad’s regular hair salon. But my mum decided it is time to take over during my middle school years. And by the time I reached college, there was a knee-length serpentine braid that required hours of daily maintenance.
Finally, this long braid had to go after about 6 months of hostel life – for there was no time and patience to care for it amidst the academic requisites. Thus we entered the new era of ‘shoulder-length haircuts’- which I would rank as one of the best human inventions.
A few years later in my MBA days, while conducting a study on the beauty salon industry, a bunch of friends planned a trip to a nearby salon. Soon we got distracted and booked facials. But I decided to venture further and got myself a fancy haircut! When I returned back to class the next day, heads turned my way, there was mild gossip in the air and I had my moment!
Unlike men, haircuts for women are not routine maintenance exercise. It is a crucial moment of glory that allows us to reinvent ourselves for the next few months. But a haircut gone wrong can potentially impact the purse and the soul – paving way for few weeks of self-imposed exile/quarantine.
Once my regular hairstylist was too excited that he had learnt a new blow-drying technique. So he went out of his way spending almost half-hour in curling my hair and setting it with what he perceived as chic elegance.
When I stepped out of the salon, my husband stared at me for two minutes and promptly asked, “What do you call that breed of dog with excessive curls and confused facial expression? A poodle right?” Thankfully the curls didn’t last till we got home, lest my neighbours see me in my non-human form.
I realised the power of a good hair styling session when I quit my first job. After days of contemplation, with a better job in hand – I just couldn’t muster the courage to inform my boss that I wanted to resign.
One of my friends suggested a spa session to calm the nerves, which quickly escalated into a new hairstyle with glorious golden streaks. And voila! A new and upgraded version was ready for launch. I walked into the office the next morning, got trolled instantly by my teammate as ‘Striped like a tiger.’ Then I went straight to my boss and said ‘I quit.’
Haircut days are usually accompanied by some unwritten rules – to start with the scheduling. It is not a question of your imminent need to reduce hair length, free weekend slot or incorrigible messed hair standing upright like you touched a generator.
The day has to be chosen well that you will have a photo opportunity within a few hours after the haircut. So pick either a bright sunny day when you can trouble the spouse to do a mini photoshoot right after you step out. Or right before a party, event, dinner or gathering where there are naturally photo opportunities and a better pool of photographers.
Whatever is the occasion – the post haircut look needs to be preserved!
Your relationship with your stylist is of paramount importance. If you got a good haircut, build a rapport by at least showing interest in the product they are recommending. You need this guy as much as you need your cook, house help and spouse (not exactly in that order!)
If you got a bad haircut, work on your acting skills, for they won’t let you walk out with a disappointed expression. And will go overboard to ruin it further.
Next is the critical few days after the haircut- when you glow and get all the attention at the workplace, lobby, lift, gym or wherever! If a dear friend didn’t acknowledge your new hairstyle – they should be instantly unfriended. (I am just joking here!)
And if you have a colleague who tries to act inspired & schedules a haircut appointment in the same week to steal your thunder. Well, that’s your arch-rival, nemesis and do whatever it takes to bring them down.
Remember, nobody comes between a woman and her hair cut week!
Picture credits: Tresemme’s ad on YouTube
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Electrical engineer turned into Marketer. From heartland of Tamilnadu but almost Mumbaikaar.
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