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.