Tuesday, November 03, 2009

MY HAIR AGAIN...

There's something funny about hairdressers - they're always having turf wars and slanging matches. This is why I feel I must name no names. You never know when someone might come at you in a dark alley with a pair of scissors or wallop you with a heated straightening iron. If you try to find a hairdresser by looking at reviews online, half of them are written by employees pretending to be customers saying how wonderful their own salon is and the other half by their rivals trying to slag them off and promote their own salon. That must be what they're doing while your colour's developing. Why is there so much spite and vitriol in the hairdressing world I wonder. Ever had a favourite hairdresser leave the salon and tried asking for their contact details? Best not to risk it.

I really do not enjoy going to the hairdressers but I'm strangely compelled to spend an inordinate amount of time discussing my hair. I've done the rounds of London salons and recently defected from a painfully trendy East London salon I'd been going to for a few years. It was always relaxing, no one ever asked me if I was going on holiday or anything banal like that. They'd make you a cocktail, had good music and magazines but my hair became alarmingly layered even when I could hear myself each time pleading for no more layers. They even told me my hair would look horrible without extensive layering. That was when I dumped them and plumped for the swishest salon in Mayfair. I imagined discreetly eyeballing some A list celebs with their foils in, perhaps a supermodel or two. I imagined luxury, a slight feeling of intimidation. I did not imagine footballers wives with horrifically plumped up features trotting around in gold platform clogs. I did become curious about the woman sitting next to me with the YSL Muse bag, the Chanel shoes, the jewellery that would bankrupt a small nation. This was more like it, she looked kind of European...."Naah, I wannit more baaackkcombed dunnn I? Like BIG awwiiighhh?" was what emerged from her well maintained mouth. There was an elderly woman who looked like Iris Apfel having her hair coiffed into an enormous bouffant, a manicurist and pedicurist worked on her simultaneously. She was more Mayfair - in my memory there's a Pekingese dog on her lap, but I might be imagining it in retrospect.

The whole affair was quite confusing - there were many people to tip - different people who took you into a room to take off your coat, another put on your robe, took you to your seat, washed your hair, took you to your seat, got you a drink etc etc etc. But the hairdresser removed all the horrid sharp lines of the layers and I finally emerged with a fantastic haircut - I'll overlook the fact that they placed A HEATED ROLLER in my hair (for volume!) which was the first and last time that's ever going to happen. Four and a half months later I need a trim. I had been trying to save money which is how I ended up with the home hair dye disaster, the dregs of which I'm sure they'll be able to sort out. So really the expensive Mayfair hairdresser works out cheaper than my local hairdresser and half the price of the East London place where I'd need a trim every six weeks. And the human scenery is much more luridly compelling than a bunch of pasty faced hipsters lolling about. This time I will be prepared for the baffling array of tippable services and I won't bother to dress nicely. I won't even need to moderate the bits of my accent that go all Sarf London on occasion. Perfect.

12 comments:

If Jane said...

oh getting the right person who understands your hair and cuts it well etc...is like looking/seeking/hunting for the holy grail!
i finally!!! after years of searching found my "hair prince", purely by chance!
he is so wonderful that i just want everyoe to go to him! and what is important is that i think the cut should always be "wash and wear"...at least in my case...the less fiddling i have to do the better.
which brings me back to your post...i am super glad that you found someone to give you hair love!
(and i guess the whole WAGS thing for me only becomes interesting if frank lampard is around...;))

Lola Is Beauty said...

If jane - it's likely Frank goes there! I hav eno interest in WAGS - purely in the for my own amusement sense! I actually had a great hair cut from a guy in Montreal - his name is Mario and you go to his house - he looks kind of like a rock star - and his in house salon is all big Indian bed/sofas, open fire, big retro leather barber chair and 20 minute intense head massage. That's the kind of haircut I like...

jennineh said...

omg that's the story of my hair life.
it's hard, hard, hard to find the right place, right now i'm wearing my hair in a bun because i cant bear to cut it or style it, i'm hair paralyzed.

Rose said...

Interesting. I have been to some good salons but never any of the truly proper Mayfair ones. Part of me is scared that I won't be able to live without a weekly blow dry and will be bankrupted.

I also don't really understand about tipping in salons- restaurants and hotels are fine but salons I prefer to leave the tip at the end and you can't just slip a note in someone's hand the way you can at a hotel.

I do need to get my haircut though. Maybe I will have a blow out!

Nice to have you back writing

nina said...

I want gold clogs now...
and a picture of your mysterious hair!

If Jane said...

oh! nice to know...oh now you have put me on a hunt!!! who is mario??? ;)) the head massage is über important! über!

Thea said...

What is the Mayfair one called? I am trying to find a hairdressers. How do you tip by the way? I am never sure how to do this as it involves handing cash over rather than leaving it in on a table.

Lola Is Beauty said...

Rose - thank you for getting that the only real point of this post was to make me write again!

re: tipping - I give it to the cashier when I pay and ask her to divide it between the hairdresser and assistant - I actually didn't tip the cloakroom lady as I feel it's unnecessary for her to make such a big fuss about hanging up my coat and putting on a robe - I would be happier doing it myself!

nina - no clogs, no hair photos!...

If Jane - I wish i could remember his surname - something quite short and Italian beginning with a B I think!

Thea - If I told you I'd have to kill you. No, ha - it's the most famous one that isn't Nicky Clarke.

Juliet said...

I've never been to any kind of fancy hairdresser. But the ones I've been usually diliver. Though all they have offered was water or cofee.

juliet xxx

Metropolitan Mum said...

I don't know what it is with hip hairdressers and layering. I am not and never have been a layer person. I like my hair straight and classy, no matter how boring that may sound.
After various disastrous hairdressing scenarios (both salon made and self implied), I finally found my saviour in a small salon in Islington. So when I went there to book an appointment, they told me he'd left, probably went back to France.
HA! He told me only a few weeks ago he'd stay here, had his girlfriend of six years here and I think they even bought a flat in London. Lucien, if you happen to read this, please give me a sign.

Sundari said...

Haha, you're right about all the hair dressing politics. I just found a really cool hairdresser but from my lack of experience I'm not sure if I have found a great hairdresser in the big hairdressing level of things, but he is good to me. Although I do get booked in every 6 weeks, is that bad?

modaspia said...

my layer story: i went back to a hairdresser who knows nothing BUT how to layer thinking i could explain a blunt bob this time. again, more layers - WORSE layers. 2 days later in the bathroom, looking in the mirror i just cut 3" off all around and asked my husband to cut the back. he was pissed as i'd spent $60 on this haircut. i looked much better afterward.