haircutThe Saga Begins

I opened my hotel room door and glanced in the mirror. Big mistake. Nothing had changed in the previous hour. Tears sprang to my eyes again. It would take more than an hour to repair the damage. In fact, it might take a year or two before I would look in the mirror and see myself again.

I should have cancelled my haircut appointment when my Prius lost power. When I glanced at my GPS, I knew I would arrive at least ten minutes late for my appointment. By the time I figured out that I had actually run out of gas, I knew I’d arrive closer to twenty minutes late.

Twenty minutes after my appointment should have started, I rushed into the salon. I have trust issues with my hair. Evidently, I have vanity issues, too.

“What would you like me to do today?” the highly-trained-in-curly-hair-cutting stylist asked me.

“Just a trim, please,” I told her. “And I’d like the back to be a little shorter,” I used my hands to show the angle I desired, “with the front the same length.” The stylist nodded her understanding.

“And it’s ok if I take a little off the ends?”

I nodded. “A tiny bit. I have a few split ends. I’m so sorry I arrived late, I’ve had a crazy day.”

“Your message said you’d run out of gas? On your way from Montana?”

I launched into an explanation, and we chatted about our kids. Her oldest would start at the university in August, and her youngest would begin high school. She snipped away around the nape of my neck, and then pulled a curl up where I watched in chagrin as she cut almost two inches off the curl before pulling up another one for execution.

The Fatal Cut

13 things to do when your haircut turns out horrible. #haircut #disaster #hairstyleI swallowed and asked her about her vacation. Salon-chair chit-chat doesn’t come easy for me. I’d only had her cut my hair once before, but she remembered much of our previous conversation. This surprised me, because I hadn’t been in since October. After all, she lives 10 hours from home. Did I mention that I have trust issues with my hair?

I glanced in the mirror and watched in horror as she hacked a good two inches from the front. Evidently, we didn’t share the same definition of ‘tiny bit’ and ‘leave the front the same length.’

“That’s a little more than I wanted off the front,” I bleated out as she reached for the same shorn curl and prepared to snip a little more. She moved on to the next victim.

I tried to continue chatting, as I writhed in internal agony while she finished cutting my hair. The scissors clanked ominously in my ears. Or maybe my ears had just started ringing from shock. I went through the motions of enjoying the scalp massage as she washed my hair with special for-curly-hair-only products.

The funky-looking hair dryer she lowered over my head filled my ears with a warm buzz. I shut my eyes and pretended to doze off. Escape couldn’t come soon enough. After twenty minutes, my stylist returned and checked her handiwork hack job. She held out a mirror for me.

“Here, you can check out the back,” she said as she swung the chair around.

I held up the mirror and felt what she’d left of my hair. Piles of forlorn locks lay on the floor around me. I couldn’t look. “Nice.” I tried to squeeze enthusiasm into my voice.

“It’s crazy, but your hair looks darker now.”

Shorn Like a Sheep

What hair? I wanted to scream. I handed back the mirror and stood up, the cape still fluttering around my shoulders. She whipped it off and made her way to the front desk.

I pulled out a huge wad of cash, and a little bit of me died while I paid hard-earned money for one of the worst haircuts in my life. When I got to my car, I burst into tears.

The hour drive to my motel in heavy traffic prevented me from peeking in the mirror at my haircut. I had hoped the whole thing had been a sleep-deprivation-induced nightmare. Alas, when I arrived at the hotel, nothing had changed.

I came up with a list of 13 things to do when you have a terrible haircut. It’s the only way I can spend the evening not lamenting the loss of my hair.

Check out these 13 things to do if your haircut turns out horrible. I've tried all of them. they work. Except maybe the second one. #haircut #style Click To Tweet

Funny Things…Sort Of

1. Cry. Yep. Go ahead and cry. I advise waiting until you get to your car, though. And try not to sob too deeply during rush-hour traffic. It’s hard to see through tears.

2. Eat a banana. Every day. Until your hair grows out. I once read somewhere that the best way to combat a bad-hair day is to eat a banana—they hold some natural feel-good chemical that makes your perception of your bad-hair day change. Hopefully, you like bananas.

3. Avoid mirrors. I don’t wear contacts or makeup, so this one shouldn’t be too hard.

4. Rejoice in the fact that hair grows. More quickly for some than for others. Mine grows about ½ inch a year. If I’m lucky. Or pregnant. I’m neither.

5. My hair DOES look darker. Who would have thought that losing most of it would reveal my once-youthful color.

6. Keep your hands out of your hair. That’s right. Wait a few days before touching your hair. Your brain and fingers will forget what used to be. Hopefully.

7. Drown your sorrows in decaf. I suggest decaf because it won’t keep you awake late at night fixating on your loss.

Serious Things

8. Own up to your vanity. I didn’t realize how vain I was about my hair. I wonder what other areas of vanity I need to weed out of my life?

9. Repress your desire for revenge. When I reached my car, I wanted to log on to Yelp and leave a scathing review. I didn’t. It feels good to know that I repressed that desire. I keep referring to number 4.

10. Try to step into your stylist’s shoes. I arrived late and I was her last appointment. Her tiredness and distraction, combined with my fatigue may have caused a monumental lapse in communication.

11. Remember that God can use you—even if you have a horrible haircut. I present at a conference in less than two weeks. God can use me, even if I don’t like my haircut.

12. Grace. When we extend it to others, we can more fully understand the cost of God’s grace towards us.

13. Cry. Again. It’s ok to cry a little as you wave goodbye to your vanity.

Maybe in the morning, after a good night’s sleep, my haircut won’t look so horrible. I sure hope so, because I’m not a big fan of bananas.