Bases Bloated: The Haircut Misunderstanding


I’ve never left the hair salon happy. I’ve always had to mask my tears and smile when the stylist would hold up the mirror so I could see the back of my head. I would even take a selfie after for Instagram even though I hated the cut. Here’s the thing, I’ve been getting the same haircut for years: shoulder-length lob (re: long bob). I shouldn’t be crying after each cut but there’s something about getting a haircut that I can’t handle.

Yet, I still have to get my haircut because if there’s another thing I can’t handle, it’s long hair. Give me enough hair for a ponytail and I’m all set. Give me hair that goes to the elbows and I will be curled up in a ball on the floor sobbing. Yes, I go to therapy. Why do you ask?

After years of being told I look like Tim Lincecum I started getting a blonde ombré. This is when your hair gets lighter as it gets to the ends. People would tell me all the time that I resembled the pitcher and they weren’t wrong. We are long-limbed with shoulder length dark hair. Our noses and face shape are similar too so, yeah, I get it. It was becoming annoying though especially when I’d get Lincecum’d by strangers. I’m sure the real TL has heard this before while jogging through his neighbourhood, “Nice legs, Lincecum!” Jokes! Only I got that one. Thanks a lot, patriarchy! The best part was it came from a teenage boy. Teaching them to catcall at a young age. So great. So, so, so, great. But I digress.

The blonde ombré had to go because when you bleach dark hair – even with the good expensive salon stuff and take care of it with the good expensive purple shampoo that smells like bananas – your ends turn to straw after a while. It was time for a cut. I figured I’d get the usual, shoulder-lenghthed situation. This is when the trouble started.

The crab hat I'm going to have to wear to cover my awful haircut.

The crab hat I’m going to have to wear to cover my awful haircut.

My usual hairstylist charges an arm and a leg. Unfortunately this week, I needed all my limbs to play softball so I went to well-known chain haircuttery that has horrible commercials where everyone that goes in has crap haircuts but then they come out with big smiles and even bigger hair.  Haircuttery offers trims for $18. My brain was like, “maybe this isn’t the best idea.” My bank account was like, YOU ARE A FREELANCE COPYWRITER NOT THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND. GET THE $18 TRIM.

This is how it went down.

Me: I would like a trim.

Receptionist: Great, [Redacted] will be with you in just a second.

[Redacted]: Hi, I’m [Redatcted].

We shake. This is customary when meeting a new hair dressing professional.

Me: Can I just get a trim? I like to keep it shoulder length.

[Redacted]: Ok!

She sits me down in the chair. You know, the chair. The one where it looks comfortable but it’s actually a pain in the butt. Literally.

Then, she starts cutting. No hair washing which, ok, for $18 I wasn’t expecting but a little warning first. Amirite, ladies?

[Redacted]: Do you want your hair like mine?

[Redacted] has a lob so I was all like, “yeah.” I  figured that was a safe answer. She continued to cut. Occasionally, she’d spray some mist on my hair that smelled like Big Mac Sauce. Probably because it was expired. Or it was actual Big Mac Sauce that she had turned into a spray. Either way, I was starting to get worried and hungry.

[Redacted]: I’m going to take a little extra off here because it’s uneven [she holds up a chunk of hair].

Me: Uh okay? Can you make it even? I would really like that.

[Redacted] nods and proceeds to cut the back of my hair so short that it no longer covers my top vertebrae. I did not sign up for this. What started off as a trim had turned into a full-on cut. She was understood the word “trim” to mean “go nuts.” The lob idea was out and the manic pixie garbage bob was in.

I wanted to scream as she held up the mirror so I could see the back of my head. She didn’t straighten it or blow dry it. It was a short wavy mess of that looked like the kind of bacon you get at a diner. Great on a breakfast plate but not so great on my head.

[Redacted]: What do you think? It’s healthy and fun.

I didn’t leave with a big smile fresh locks. I left with a bizarre awareness of the back of my neck and ran straight to the grocery store across the street to buy chips (and tomatoes and the other stuff that was on my grocery list). I bet Tim Lincecum felt the same way when he cut his hair. And we’re back to square one.

The moral of this story is – wait you’re still reading this? Wow. Thanks. Anyway, don’t pay $18 for a trim.

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