Wednesday, September 26, 2018

My Offensive Split Ends

I generally avoid hair salons. I use "hair salon" as an all-encompassing term here; we're talking anything from Barbra's Back Alley Bowl Cuts to Le Salon Chic Chic and everything in between. Yes, I made up both of those names (or did I?). Maybe the whole concept of never paying someone to chop off my hair was so deeply ingrained from my childhood years, when haircuts consisted of my mom and some scissors in the bathroom. She gave me short bangs before they were trendy, or a thing people did intentionally. It turns out my mom wasn't aware that I could NOT pull off the edgy style, and no one pointed it out to her or me (at least, not to my face). Beholding a reflection of yourself with bangs and feeling dread wash over you as you realize the time it will take before those grow out is something I am all too familiar with.

In my younger years, bang trims were a routine occurrence. "Marisa, you need your bangs trimmed!" my mom would insist, to which I always wanted to point out that they were already halfway up my forehead and in danger of disappearing altogether. I often looked like a toddler version of one of the Beatles, albeit with much shorter bangs. But this blog is not about my childhood style choices (or lack thereof). It's about something that seems to frighten people even more: my split ends. Oh, the horror!

Before reading on, please know that I am not a hair stylist-ist (prejudiced against hair stylists, obviously). I'm sure the following paragraphs will offend some readers, because everything is offensive to someone, and writing my thoughts online will surely anger at least a few people. I have definitely had some lovely hair stylists.

If you have the money or are a dude who isn't bald and can't pull off a man bun, I say go ahead and spend money on those monthly or weekly (or daily??) haircuts. As a female who can't pull off a pixie cut, I don't see the point. I also can't recall many times when I've gone to a salon and not gotten a lecture. Sometimes, these lectures last the entire time, which I never understood. Did those hairstylists want me to come back? For anyone who has never been lectured by a hairdresser, they normally go something like this:

Hairdresser: What can I do for you today?
Me: Oh, just a trim please. (Or: "is there any way you can fix what I did to my hair when I decided it would be a swell idea to chop it off myself?" But that is a blog topic for another day...)
H: Well, you have a LOT of split ends. I mean, more than I have EVER seen. Your split ends have split ends. You really need to buy (insert name of hair care product that costs more than I pay for rent here) and come in at LEAST every six weeks.
Me: I like my hair long though (and I don't love paying to offend someone with my split ends).
H: Your hair grows faster when it gets frequent trims.

I just love that last line. I, hair doesn't grow faster when it gets frequent trims, At this point, before he/she has even taken scissors to my mane, it is clear to me that the hairdresser thinks my split ends are an absolute marvel of science and that I should be studied. Usually the whole haircut experience ends with the hairdresser saying something like "I did the best I could..."  or "your hair would have looked healthier if you would have let me cut off another couple of inches" while adopting an expression you'd expect to see on a doctor giving you bad news after an unsuccessful medical procedure. After that, I leave and don't return for at least a year (barring any unfortunate home haircuts gone wrong) when I get to relive the whole lovely experience again.

Generally, I preface my visits with a brief disclaimer that I am well aware that I have split ends worthy of a research study, but that I don't want to hear about it or about the magical $600-product that my distressed hair needs.

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