Monday, March 31, 2014


It is not unusual for things to go awry in our lives. Usually we learn a bit and just go on. However it is when we pay good money for the event and it affects what little vanity old age lets us keep, that makes it a bit harder to just grin and bear it. 

Some of you know I have been nursing a sore shoulder since a January spill I took on some ice. I am much better but still not totally functional.  Combing my hair is still a painful process to be avoided.  So as my former perm died and my hair was in desperate need of a cut, I was forced to seek help. My street person look was getting too realistic. So instead of cutting my own hair and giving myself a 5 dollar perm as I normally would, I hired out the job.

A lot of beauticians employ the trick of not letting the customer see what they are doing. They position the chair so our back is to the mirror and talk a lot to distract us. I can understand the reasoning. 

This girl had done just that and when she was down to about 4 rollers left to position, she swung me around to see.  Mercy, she had used more curlers on a third of my head than I use on my whole head.  Well I thought, this perm should last a while. 

When the curlers were removed, I was a bit stunned.  I was uber kinky, and not in a fun way. There was one real possibility in my future. I could definitely apply to clown school. Where did I put that red nose and huge shoes from my high school days as a clown?  
Not me or my picture. I didn't have the stomach to take an actual photo. Even old gals have pride.

Ok, that picture is a mild exaggeration but my hair really was out of control. It seemingly had grown an incredible three extra inches, had flared out in all directions and was perfectly frizzy. The image made me chuckle, till I realized, 'Oh crap, that's me.' 

Did my beautician act alarmed or at least a bit sheepish?? Nope. She not only did not try to comb it out or style it--she just shoved me under a dryer and then quickly out the door after making sure no one would see me exit her shop. I was surprised I didn't get the back door treatment. 

I was several inches taller and 75 bucks lighter. Actually, had this happened when my face was all puffy a while back, I could have gone on a 5 county crime spree and no one would know who I was. 

I wasn't too alarmed and was thinking surely I could tame the mess somehow once I got home.  However hours of painful manipulating with a bum arm did nothing but make it seem to grow bushier and set my shoulder recovery back a good month.

I buried my pride and went to lunch with some friends two days later. It was too early in the perm to do anything but wash and pray.  I did meet them for the meal but only after I had wrapped it tightly in a scarf for hours to smush it down before lunch. All through lunch, I could feel it slowly springing back to its original state. Feeling your hair literally growing on your head is a wee bit disconcerting.  

My head no longer found rest but remained several inches above what ever I laid it on. I was pretty sure if dropped on my head I would just bounce. The texture was very similar to steel wool and I was thinking it might take tin snips to cut it. After struggling for a week trying to regain control, I could take no more. I needed professional help.

I was not willing to let that original cold hearted beautician tackle the mess even though she owed me. So I desperately hunted for a beautician that could take me in RIGHT NOW. I needed help and I found it.  Maybe I should have taken this beautician's instant availability as a warning but I was desperate. What could she possibly do to make it worse? Push come to shove, I would just have her shave it all off and start from scratch.

The new salon was totally empty except for one beautician, usually not a positive sign. She was a  middle aged, very thin woman whose own hair was in dire need of a make over. I tried to console myself  that often the best beauticians and mechanics seldom had great looking hair or good running cars as they were too busy to work on their own.  I didn't hesitate to settle in the chair for I was desperate and there was always the shaved-head solution to fall back on.

However, my luck really improved. She turned out to be quite pleasant, very quick and thankfully talented. In just a few moments, she had deftly lowered my wild hair, clipped off the frizz, shaped the cut and gave me back a modicum of pride. Finally I could go out in public again, hold my head up and be recognized by friends. My budding career as a criminal or a clown was over before it got started. Life was good. 

  Am I still very curly?? You bet, but the kink has softened enormously and my head no longer bounces off the pillow. I miss my little bangs to hide my high forehead but I am Ok. My hair grows very quickly so hope is back that in a few weeks or so, all will be be back to normal once again. I can do this. Now when I wake up, I can shake my head, run my fingers through the really short curls and I am good to go. The no pain from useless brushing is a lovely gain.   

Have you ever had a disaster at the hairdressers or barber shop?? Would you have immediately demanded satisfaction from the original beautician or would you have done like I did to crawl meekly off with a silent vow of never to  cross that threshold again? 


  1. The end result is adorable, but I would have loved to see the "before you went to the second beautician" photo! I had a really bad hair experience once and like you I slunk out the door hoping I could just fix it at home. All I can say is keep that second beautician's name because your hair looks really nice now! And you are too funny, I loved this post.

  2. My bad experience also involved a perm and I - like you and Aunt Betsy, was a slinker.

    Not so sure that I would slink off these days, but fortunately I have a wonderful stylist I have been with for years.

    Funny story. We all can relate.

  3. You have done an excellent job of reminding me of the positive side of being bald:) No more slinking moments for me. I just pop on my wig of choice and am off for the day.

  4. Your "after" picture is wonderful. I also would love to have seen the kinky picture you wouldn't allow me to enjoy. It's been a long time, but once I went to a swanky salon where I got the weirdest haircut ever. It was almost shaved on the bottom part and longish on the top. I sure did look funny, but according to the stylist, I was very avant garde. Yeah, right.

  5. I've had many a bad experience in the name of hair beautifying. But you look wonderful in the photo. I like the haircut and the curls. That green color is definitely enhancing for you. High-five girl.

  6. LOVED the bouncing off the pillow stage of your story. I'm currently in hair flux myself. My hairdresser, who I truly like and have been going to for years, in spite of what i say,keeps giving me the same haircut, which looks to me like the Acme-all-purpose lady over sixty cut. I used to have much longer hair and miss it - although I don't miss taming my too thick, stubborn waves.
    Your cut, on the other hand, is a big success. Very flattering.

  7. Well the end result looks great. I'm not sure if you've ever seen a photo of my hair but i think it's fair to say that nearly ever time I leave the salon my hair looks a disaster. :D

  8. Well your after after picture is beautiful. And yes I have had a few bad beautician incidents but one that comes to mind is when I was to give the sermon along with the teens for youth Sunday. The night before I went in for a trim and "maybe" a color change. When this "person" was finished with my color I looked like my calico tortoise shell cat, orange, black, brown and white. Oh well, I knew no one would be listening but they all stared real well. Oma Linda

  9. Oh My ---Been there--done that.. But--I think it looks great now... I love the short hair on you.

    Before you told us about going to another beauty shop, I was going to tell you to get it cut... You did that --and it's really NICE.. I don't think it's too short.

    I don't get perms anymore --but just wear mine straight.. Much easier.

    Maybe Spring is finally coming to our area this week... I hope so since it has been a LONG winter and a crazy one!!!!


  10. Well at least the end result is wonderful!! This could make for an awesome sitcom episode :)

  11. I was in tears from laughing about the "feeling your hair literally growing on your head" and picturing that! I know it wasn't funny at the time. You look beautiful with your re-do. I haven't had a perm since I was a kid. They used to turn my hair frizzy and I hated them.
    Have a nice week!

  12. You look great in that picture. I once went to the barber for a cut and left looking like I was wearing Frank Sinatra's toupee from his later years.

  13. Your second hairdresser did a wonderful job. I think it looks great. I can't do a thing with my hair so I don't even try. It's the nature girl look.

  14. You do look as adorable as ever in that list pic, so all is well. But what a crazy, but not unusual experience. I always think it is risky just to get my hair cut. The request to "just take an inch off" falls on deaf ears. Or, the concept of "an inch" is variable and not an absolute.

  15. It's such a good thing when you can make so much fun of a sort of disaster. I laughed all the way through your story and then I was so happy to see that great picture of you after the redo. And what a beautiful color hair you have.

  16. Aunt Betsy,
    Aw, thank you and I am not sure you would have wanted to see it. Pretty scary. I got her card and she gets all my future haircuts.

    Perms offer the greatest possibilities for a disaster. Lucky you having a regular. Mine kept getting pregnant so I started doing it myself.

    Grannie Annie,
    I came close to joining the bald club and if my hair keeps thinning, I'll be there. Love the idea of wigs.

    Thank you, the comparison was impressive. I just didn't have the heart to scare everyone. Ouch. I hate when they experiment on us and call it the new "in" thing.

    Thanks so much. I am getting use to it. Think in a few weeks, I'll be happier. Green and orange are my favorite colors.

    Thanks so much. Ha, I wish this gal had a regular over sixty approach. She was a 20 something and I am not sure she did too many seniors.

    I love your vastly different haircuts at least the ones you showed us.. You have the courage to try new stuff.

    Linda W.
    Oh my gosh, why is it that they mess up the most when we have to go some where. At least you had their undivided attention:))

    Ah but your hair looks so good straight and it must be easy to care for on all the hiking trips you do.

    Thanks so much. It felt like it at times:))

    It really felt like it was moving--up and out. Creepy!! I have always permed my hair. Just like my curls or at least a bend in the hair for mine is poker straight otherwise.

    Oh my, I can just picture that. Yikes. Hope your hair grew quickly.

    But you can pull off the nature girl and look at all those nasty chemicals you are missing. Stay that course.

    Ha ha, you are so right. A little off is never just a little. My dad always said that you pay a barber for what he leaves on, not what he cuts off.

    I am so glad I tickled you for that was my goal. Some things you just have to find the humor in. Thanks about the hair color but I am two toned. From my ears back, I am mouse grey. Have no idea why.

  17. Oh, my what a disaster that sounded to be sweet Patti. The second beautician did a fantastic job though your hair looks great! The last perm I got I said...never again. I came out of the shop looking like you did at the first place. I sure didn't want to go back for more of what I already received so I cut most of it off when I got home. I used a lot of conditioner on what hair I had left when I shampooed and it looked okay until the perm was all gone. That was about 6 years ago and I have not had another perm. Hugs!

  18. Yes, this very thing happened to me. I didn't go to another hairdresser though- I went straight to Wally World and bought a home perm and just combed my curls out. Fried my hair in the process, but at least I could tame the mess and go out in public. You look marvelous in the pic, BTW.

  19. Your hair looks beautiful in the picture. My mother went to beauty school when I was a kid and practiced cuts (chopped) and perms (frizzies) all the time on me... you have no idea what that woman was capable of...

  20. Oh my. And yes I have. Instead of the local barber some friends have been touting the female barber mass production place in Rochester. I thought what the heck. How could I go wrong for eleven bucks... a haircut,shampoo and neck and shoulder massage. When asked by the attractive young lady how I wanted it done I replied as I do locally, "a little on the short side." "A number 2, she ventured tentatively? Trying show my cooperative nature, I said "sure" It turned out to be the Michael Jordon look and yes my wife laughed when she saw me...

  21. You look great! but what an ordeal. I don't know what I would have done but it seems to me someone in the original shop should have made it right, for no additional charge.

  22. I love the final look, it looks soft and very flattering.

    Like you, it was horrid perm. It stood out a good 3-4 inches all over my head, and I recall bouncing off the pillow.

    Not surprising, my next 'do was a pixie cut!

  23. I feel your pain. I have been going to the same hairdresser for many years, but in the past couple of years, he has done a terrible job, and I don't have the guts to quit going to him. I need a haircut now, and dread changing shops, but I think I have to. Is your new hairdresser in my town? If so, would you e-mail his/her name to me? I'm getting desperate. lol

  24. Well, the end result is Darling! I would loved to have seen the CLOWN-ROBBER!

    I've butchered my own hair a few times in the past----I kept cutting and snipping and it was so short I wore a Turban for about three weeks....! It looked a lot better than my hair! LOL!

  25. You have got great hair so that is good.

    I had a girl, who was a hair dresser by trade, offer to give me a free haircut if I moved out of my bedroom a few days early. She was taking my place in the house. I agreed. I went from about 8-inches of hair hanging from the top of my crown to 1-inch. It was not a good look. We were in the kitchen without mirrors and when I saw the chunks flying down I knew there was no going back.

  26. Maggie,
    Oh how I wish I could go uncurly. I just have so many cowlicks that unless my hair is long, it goes its own way and I am too lazy for long hair.

    Didn't think of that but you are so right. What will curl hair, will also straighten it. Hum--
    Thank you, I still have a way to go yet.

    Ha ha, how scary to be a beautician's lab rat.

    And you didn't even get the tee shirt:)) Somehow, measurements are not required in beauty school.

    Linda R.
    I am sure they would have or I could have worn a sigh outside the door:)) "This shop did my hair." I just didn't trust her to fix what she obviously had no interest in.

    Yes, you know exactly what it was like. Thanks but it still could use some softening. Time will help.

    I feel your pain also. Too bad but she is several hours away. Wonder if she would do house calls and travel.

    Ha, I would have killed for a turban to wear to that luncheon. I don't even have a hat except for a sun bonnet.

    What a miserable deal you got. She must have had a hidden agenda. Maybe her boyfriend thought you were cute.

  27. Patti - You've given me a belly laugh! I surely have had some hair disasters and my friends aren't letting me forget. Every birthday, one or another sends me a photo where I look like Bart Simpson's wife. My hair is in a frizzy cone in an unnatural auburn color. I actually look better as an old lady than I looked back during the hair disaster period in my 40's! You look great with the new cut, though - thank goodness!

  28. I had a girl turn my hair green once - it didn't actually turn until I washed it at home, so I just found someone to fix it.

    I like your short curls - they are really cute!!!

  29. Oh you brought back memories of a bad perm - I wouldn't wait for my regular person to come back from her holiday - and a wool touque I wore for a month after!!! I eventually confessed to my regular person who cut it short & conditioned it till it looked like hair again . . . Stay with the new person!! I think your new DO is lovely.

  30. Barb,
    Oh my that is so funny. Was that an intentional look or a mistake. I have had some suspect intentional looks.

    Ha,ha that reminds me in high school everyone said they would dye their hair a weird color with food coloring for the next day but guess who was the only one who did. My nickname that year was Greenie. At least yours wasn't self inflicted.

    Thank you for stopping by TNS and commenting. I did have to look up touque and think I could have used one. Welcome to the once was frizzy club.

  31. Yup!! Miss frizz I was more than once.
    Glad the second lady got it right. Prednisone can alter how hair will react to a perm.

  32. Oh yes! I remember having a couple of really bad hair cuts. I actually went back and had them fix it for one of them.

    Your hair got fixed up very nicely. It really looks great. You'll have to warn your friends not to go to that first person.