Monday, January 11, 2010

Copper Tone

A few years ago my hair styling guru took a very long vacation which forced me against my will to find another stylist. Oh, it may be immaterial to some but who cuts the coiffure is an issue of matter to me. I went to the most popular man in the place and he was fabulous with a pair of shears even if each haircut dominated the entire morning because he was a frequent-pause-to-tell-a-story type of guy. I just made sure that I quickly accepted that my 45 minute slot would NEVER finish in under 90 minutes. Never.

Even though I missed my former stylist and pined for his return, the replacement soon created stylist-client pleasant bliss. Until the incident.

I have long locks. I have hair shorn above the ear (Dorothy Hamill phase but then again in graduate school when a smooth talking and uber-sexy Italian man in London talked me into it….I didn't love the haircut but oh how I loooooved the haircut provider). JohnnyMac is not obsessed with hair and while I am sure he prefers it long, he is a modern man and realizes its my hair and I shall do with it what I like. And since I already live in his cave, the long hair is merely for aesthetics and not something by which to drag me around.

I once dated a man, he of the worst gift giving ever, and once at a party a friend of mine from college was talking about my very short hair back in the day. His comment (which took me by surprise) was that his wife would never be allowed to cut her hair. I am sure (not a bit) he was joking but over one more sip of martini I said, “Well, let’s just break up NOW, Archie Bunker.”

So one day as I sit in my new stylist chair, I tell him I want highlights. Not chunky- monkey -Cindy Lauper style highlights but just-back-from-Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat-sunkissed-around-the-temple highlights. He concurred but added the highlights would look smashing if we also lightened the whole coif. Mmmmm. Lightening the brunette? I vacillated between yes and no. He indicated we would go just a shade or two lighter. OK. Lighten away my Doyenne.

Hair color is not a quick process as many of you know. And by "know" I mean, know from a friend telling you. I am sure those blond tresses are your goldeny blond birthrights. And since it is not a quick process, time slowly ticks by but I look forward to what lies under all that potion.

And then the big reveal. He, smiling like a kitty on a brand-new satchel of catnip day, turns me in the chair to the mirror.

WOW, I say.

And there are several kinds of WOW.
WOW like I just found a smashing pair of Christian Louboutin’s in my size on sale for 100.00.
And WOW like I just heard someone talk about their jock itch.
And my WOW from the chair was NOT the shoe on sale kind of WOW.

Him: What do you think?
Me: It’s lighter (said with poker face which is rare for me.)

Him: It’s gorgeous
Me: Ummmm, it’s copper
Him: It’s multi-tonal
Me: It’s multi-tonal copper
Him: Its auburn. –ish.
Me: Copper. In fact, excellent camouflage for PENNIES.
Him: Darken it up a bit?
Me: How quickly can that occur?

Luckily for me, I learned my hair lightening lesson and the yummy icing on the cake was my stylist eventually returned.

And once, just for fun, I asked him about highlights.
“In your hair,” he asked. “NO.”
Perfect. I will keep him forever.

81 comments:

mo.stoneskin said...

Those frequent-pause-to-tell-a-story types are maddening. They should learn to multi-task or at least, grow another brain.

Theta Mom said...

Isn't that the worst when they just don't get it right? Anyone who doesn't color their hair has no idea about not only the process, but the agony of finding the RIGHT colorist to do the job!

af1blog said...

I'm sure your hair looks absolutely divine, darling (as stylists might say - well, London stylists anyway). However, I wouldn't be surprised if JohnnyMac has more sense than to say so, but I just bet he DOES care about you hair - obsessed or not - although I dare say you're right and he loves it just the way you have it.

I suspect your returned stylist knows you very well. Was his extended trip away something to do with the diplomatic service? lol

JenJen said...

My processed-because-age-turned-her-blond-by-birthright-hair-into-a-charming-shade-of-dishwater told me this all the time....

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

I just had my colored on Friday...those pesky grays...and asked mine to cut off all the yuck that the previous lover had burned up and he said NO SHORT HAIR ON YOU!

I think he and I are going to run off together and marry...and he's straight.

Joshua said...

I have pretty dark hair, but bleached it one time. In an effort to get it as light as possible, I ended up burning my scalp. No worries, really. But my head ended up orange. I'll have to find and post the picture soon; will let you know when that happens...probably sometime toward the end of this week.

-Joshua

Jenny @ Words on Wendhurst said...

I have yet to meet a man who does not prefer long hair. Whether or not they express it varies, but like I said, still haven't met one who says it. I am terrified of coloring my hair, and always have been :-)

Sarah said...

I had to leave my favorite stylist because the last time she foiled my hair (chunky monkey style) my bangs ended up looking like someone painted them with white out....I cringe still when I think about it.

Busy Bee Suz said...

WOW. (and not the good kind)
"camouflage for PENNIES"...that would look good on NO ONE.
Just like bad boyfriends, a bad hair story is so relatable for women.

Buckeroomama said...

A good stylist would say no to a treatment or extra even if it might mean a higher commission to himself --especially if he feels that the treatment would not suit the client.

The Peach Tart said...

I can relate. I've had every shade of red from burgundy to fire engine to orange.

Eric said...

Copper hair is sexy in a bronze statue kind of way.

Jenn@ You know... that blog? said...

Oooh can I identify. I have extremely dark brown hair, and lightening rarely works out well for me ;) I do have copper highlights, but they're totally natural. No... really.

So excellent when you find a keeper! My stylist is AWESOME. I call him "Zohan" (even though he's never been inappropriate with me, haha!!) because he's sexy, buff, AND is an ex-Iranian soldier (yes, really!) and cuts hair like a dream. He's also married with a beautiful daughter the same age as Wee One. KEEPER!

Emily said...

A hairdresser who's learned his limits is priceless!! My husband will never understand why I'm addicted to my guy...

Uptown Girl said...

what a sad sad tale of woe! I had a similar experience in July. But I had to leave my fave stylist bc her dye-job was aweful. And she blamed me instead of fixing it. I still cry at night...

SO glad your stylist returned!

Michael Rivers said...

I used to do a few highlights now and then. But that went out of style for guys a few years back. Maybe one day it will be in fashion again. Doesn't everything come back?

Nonflammable said...

Definately, the good stylists are the ones that tell you no. I hope he was able to tone the copper without frying your hair.

I would be devastated if I had to find another stylist. I always feel vulnerable sitting in a stylists chair for the first time, not knowing if I will have to leave with a sack over my head.

Mom in High Heels said...

Oh, the hair stylist. Massively important. One of my goals in life it to be well coiffed and well shod. Right now I am not well coiffed and it is killing me. As often as we move it's really hard to find a good stylist. My most recent stylist was from Iran and kind of insane. I liked her, but she upped her prices big time and got sloppy. That's a no go. I'm now on the hunt for a new stylist who can do my just back from the islands highlights (not that I ever go to the beach, being milky white and prone to burn) and is well versed in the art of Japanese i-straight. Difficult to do when you don't speak the language other than the basics (and the really, really important stuff like asking if the sommelier has an aglianico).
BTW, if you ever find Loubos for $100 in a size 8, you shoot me an email. Okay?

Susan Erickson said...

Colouring is bad, but bad cuts are even worse. I once let a trainee cut my hair. I sat in horror as she kept cutting and cutting. My voice left me and I kept hoping she had some idea of what she was doing. By the time she was finished, I could shake my head and nothing moved! People gasped when they saw me. The worst part was,....there was no hair to hide behind...my face stuck out like I had on a very unbecoming bathing cap. Long hair ever since.......

Secretia said...

It's always exciting to do any color change, because it's so noticeable to people, more than just a new style.

Secretia

Kaela said...

I have so many things to say I don't know where to begin. Ah, here we go:

1) I am deeply sympathetic to what could only have been a blind panic upon learning that your regular stylist would be taking a break. I have had one person do my hair for approximately 9 years and I would absolutely lapse into an apoplectic fit if she were to leave me. She would never commit such an atrocity without THOROUGH consultation. She also makes most of my hair decisions. Like she'll ask me to choose between two different options, and I just make her choose anyway. And it always turns out fabulous. If otherwise I was a mean and selfish person, I would still give her a kidney to keep her alive as long as possible.

2) Apparently Chris Rock did a documentary called Good Hair. I saw clips on Oprah. They focus mainly on African American hair (i.e. weaves) but lightly hit on white girl hair as well, and how we all pretend to be blonde because we stand out more. But when everyone is going blonde, you really are just making yourself blend in. This is, perhaps, why I stopped highlighting and went DARK RED. Again, men do not understand this.

3) Was your ex-boyfriend uber religious or something? I feel like men who are overly concerned with hair being long usually have a strong biblical undertone. At any rate, I would agree that any vehement insistence on a certain appearance is grounds for immediate dismissal. Dizzle mentioned once that he prefers short hair, but everything he says to me regarding my appearance is in the positive. That's why he still has all his extremities firmly attached.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

A good hairdresser is hard to find. Keep him.

Bossy Betty said...

I TOTALLY understand your devotion to your hairdresser! I have one I adore and I live in fear of the day he quits!

Dumblond said...

I have been searching forever for a good stylist! I think I found her last spring. The haircut was the best I have ever had and she didn't bat an eyelash when I told her I wanted some purple locks. I dropped a crapload of money that day but ohhhh I loved my hair. I don't care if she works the next town over, I'll make the drive!
Here's to fabulous stylists!

Kristina P. said...

I have had too many hair disasters to even count!

Corrie Howe said...

I agree a good stylist is worth waiting for...to get an appointment, to be in the chair much longer than you planned...

I can't believe the cooper color. I can understand returning to your original stylist.

Thank you, why in fact this is my natural hair color. It's gotten darker with each pregnancy; however, when I think about lightening it, I still get stylists ranting over the natural color. So I guess I'll die with natural color hair.

Slamdunk said...

The Mrs. had a couple of hair highlighting horror stores as well (a going blond thing). This is the type of safe humor mishap that I enjoy reading about--since there is a zero percent chance that my follically challenged self will experience such discomfort.

foxy said...

A bad color job has got to be the worst. Well, besides a bad colorER.

Nyx said...

Oh...I feel your pain! I remember when I first hacked off all my hair - two feet of it (it got cut all the way up to my chin). I adored my stylist - it was a work of art. However, because she got a better job offer elsewhere, she left the salon - I have yet to find someone to replace her.

They've tried to recreate her sucess. I either wound up looking like I was wearing a helmet, or wound up looking like Martha Stewart. No offense to Martha, but she's not exactly what a (then 21) year old female wants to look like.

Oy and vey. My hair is back to being long now, but I've been itching to chop it off again. And so I search for my hair-dressing soulmate.

Tiffany said...

i once had copper hair...self-inflicted, unfortunately and it broke some of my hair off. never. again.

Summer said...

Good hairstylists aren't afraid to say NO. :)

Brian Miller said...

that is why i cut my own hair...i get all the blame. lol.

Jules said...

NOTHING worse than hair mishaps!

Ms Bibi said...

My hairdresser is my friend. We met 8 years ago when our boys entered Kindergarten and I don't know what I would do without her. Nobody is allowed to touch my hair, but her.

I do highlights once a year just to break it up, but I like it and I do look pretty good with them.

Eva Gallant said...

Only your hair dresser knows for sure, they say!

i am playing outside said...

i've been having some stylist problems as well. my regular place has 2 stylists; one is amazing, the other is awful. its the type of place where you don't really have a choice which one cuts your hair, because they're the only two employees and you just feel too awful to turn the one girl down. also, the place is very old an outdated, so i decided i wanted to leave this dump and the 50% good hair cuts, for somewhere more upscale.

well, the new place certainly was more upscale, but the hair cut was not. before the stylist touched my head, i knew it was going to be a trainwreck. she asked all the right questions, but gave all the wrong responses. the parts i wanted her to buzz, she used scissors.

when i told the girl near the end of the hair cut that the right side was considerably longer than the left, she said "oh i'll wet that down"... and she did. she didn't CUT IT further, she just smoothed it down with water.

so for double the price of my old stylist, i got to come home and shave my own head.

Martha in PA said...

I've got short hair, but am still particular about my stylist. I just went way too long without a cut or color. Saturday was THE day, and I spent 3 1/2 hrs in the chair from start to finish! It is a long process.

Meg said...

i'm just impressed you had the balls to correct the situation then and there... the one group of people i am absolutely terrified of offending is hairstylists. who knows why? but i have left the salon with more bad haircuts than i can even remember, just grinning and saying thank you and trying not to cry.

Poindexter said...

definitely worth it when you have a really great stylist that really knows how to manage color. It is a painfully long process (so I've heard...)

Aunt Juicebox said...

I have hated my hair almost every time I've had it cut. Even this last time, I liked it better than how it looked before, but the layers were a little shaggy for my taste. Sadly I can't cut my own hair. Maybe wigs would be a better option. lol

Intense Guy said...

I just need a bowl and sissors to do mine. :)

I had to stiffle a laugh at "And since I already live in his cave, the long hair is ... not something by which to drag me around..." I shouldn't read your blog when a client is visiting. I can't multitask that well.

blueviolet said...

It took me 8 years out of the 10 living here to finally find a stylist who can do hair properly. It's really nightmarish out there.

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Your too funny. 'How quickly can that occur?'
I've had one hell of a time finding a great if even good salon here in Houston area. I measure everyone up against a killer salon called "NINE" in Seattle (downtown & Bellevue Square). Nothing has ever compared..tear * tear*

I wanted to tell you that I am a "Snoho" raised in Snohomish from the age of 3. So glad you knew of it Jenny. Small world & getting smaller. Happy Monday to you my dear xx

Pres. Kathy said...

I was so nervous whem we moved that I would not find a good hair stylist. I had the perfect one back one!! I miss her so much!!!! Well, the first one I went to I was so depressed after. Then I tried another salon. I prayed so hard before the appointment and thankn God everything was perfect!

Liz said...

My hair dresser is the chic-est gal I know and has been currently been going off to do hair for NY fashion week, and the like. I know it is a matter of time before I lose her to Manhattan. I have made her promise to continue doing my hair if I visit. ANd then, I will have a place to stay when I go to NY. I am incredibly low maintenance when it comes to styling my hair...I wash and go...MAYBE some hairspray and poofy-like substance to make it a bit more Carrie Bradshaw-circa-season3-like, but other than that, nothing. YET..when it comes to my color, I am uber-obsessive. And I go like every 6 weeks and spend about 4 hours and 3 digit figures. Luckily, she and I chat like BFFs when I'm there.

Existential Waitress said...

Finding a good stylist/colorist is a very difficult endeavour. I thank my lucky stars that I am IN LOVE with my hair girl. If she ever moves out of state, I will follow her. LOL.

Unfortunately, I have had my share of misses too, and one time my hair ended up bright YELLOW. My mom said I looked like a deranged baby chick (b/c unfortunately my hair was also extrmemely SHORT). Someone else told me that I looked like Billy Idol. Not. Good.

Salt said...

Like you, I am extremely particular about who I allow near my head with scissors or hair color. I never had a dye incident, but I did try a new stylist who I swear must have been on methamphetamines she was so wired and when I made the enormous mistake of asking for bangs, she gave them to me. All the way around my head.

It was a bad hair day that lasted for 4 months.

Pricilla said...

I had copper hair once...but it was what I wanted and it went perfectly with my Irish skin and freckles. But it was hell to maintain.

Now the goats just try and eat my hair. *sigh*

Herding Cats said...

You know what's awkward? Breaking up with your stylist. I've done this with three stylists, and I always feel so bad. But, I knew it was the right choice.

linlah said...

My new DIL use to cut my hair and then they moved far, FAR, away. Still looking for a good cutter.

Little Ms Blogger said...

Oh....I feel your pain. I've had the highlights where in certain store lights appeared ORANGE. Scary ORANGE....

La La La Leah said...

I just put my hair in a srunchie! Problem solved!

Becky the Sign Lady said...

My stylist, whom I love, must have been on drugs last time she cut my hair. I looked like she had put a bowl on my head and cut around it. I got into my car and cried all the way home. I think she was trying to punish me for going so long between cuts, so she made good and sure I wouldn't be able to be lazy a pull it into a ponytail.
It's about time for another cut... over a year... and I'm gonna give her another shot. This time I'll bring pictures of EXACTLY what I want.
(holding my breath)

Matthew said...

I have had so many dodgy hairdressers in my time. The girl I go to now, I've been going to since I arrived here. She's lovely - and I know for a fact she'd rather die than put a colour in my hair.

The Revolutionary said...

The relationship between a woman and her hairdresser is FAR more sacred and important than the relationship between a woman and her husband, because the relationship between a woman and her hairdresser consists of love WITHOUT the pre-nuptial agreement or alimony.

Rowe said...

I have a phobia about going to the hairdressers. I'm rarely happy with what they do to my hair. What's with them? I know, there are so few damn good ones.

J.J. in L.A. said...

I love the guy who cuts my hair so much that I moved when he moved (to another salon) several miles out of my way. It's worth it!

Kathleen said...

Pictures of the copper do?? :) I'm still looking for the perfect stylist; maybe I should get the name of yours!

Myya said...

Ohhh the awful copper... been there done that! My hair does not lighten well either, especially now that I have so much freaking grey! I'd go get my hair done & unless they bleached the heck out of it forever (so then it looked like straw) it would be copper. Hours & hours of sitting waiting for what you imagine to be beautiful locks only to get yucky orange... sooo not fun! For the last couple years i just go to the beauty supply house, buy the stuff & do color myself. When my kids get older & I can "get away' for hours again I'll go back. Until then... one color it is :(

M-Cat said...

Nothing like a bad hair cut or color to completely ruin a perfectly good day.

Or in my instance, a VERY bad hair cut which made me look like I had switched teams for MANY months...... And the kicker? I had to get my passport. It will be with me for too damn long.

Simply Mel said...

To find and remain with a great hair stylist is one of life's greatest achievements!

secret agent woman said...

Ha, once I darkened my hair and as soon as I saw it I thought, "Shit! Goth!" After putting in highlights, I turned into goth-with-red streaks. I still shudder to think about it.

strokeofliving said...

It takes a few years [unfortunately] to find your perfect hair stylist. Before I started locking my hair I went through quite a list in NYC and in LA. I'm glad that you found your guy. It's a process for sure. Great post!

sheila said...

I need a color. And a cut. Bad. I wish you would have posted a pic.

It's hard to find a good stylist.

The Boob Nazi said...

I currently drive 45 minutes to get my hair done. It's nothing I take lightly.

Lauren said...

I can't do highlights either. I am all for experimenting with color but I do not do blonde well. At least the "copper tone" man was willing to fix it!

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Oh how tricky these relationships can be. I broke up with mine, only to go running back into his arms after getting butchered. He was very forgiving, though.

Jen said...

Is it any wonder we're reluctant to change stylists/styles/colors? You just never know what you're going to get. Even if you're not thrilled now, there could be worse out there. Good ones are worth their weight in gold :)

Ela said...

WOW! I feel your pain. But mine was self-inflicted back in my HS days. Penny camo, I love it!
And you are so right about stylists, mine hurt her back and was gone two years, I went through a lot of trauma without her.

p.s. I hope you win them all! You certianly deserve to!

K a b l o o e y said...

I haven't had an absolute disaster since adolescence, when it used to happen with regularity. Lots of tears shed. Now I don't let anyone cut too short and I won't cry over hair. Unless I am given another asymmetrical '80's cut, that is.

Also loved "How soon can that occur?"

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

I was red for about a month, thought it would go well with green bridesmaid dress I was wearing ... was attempting strawberry blonde, ended up with clown-ish Bozo-y red. Hard to pull off. V. light or v. dark seems more ... natural. Glad you are back to the roots.

Midday Escapades said...

Did you keep him forever?? LOL. Copper Tone is perfect title for this post. Love it.

Kato said...

Oh aren't they just artists in their own right? I am quite lucky that my sister's best friend is so talented it's scary. Because what she charges her regular clients would have me living on the streets. With good hair, but on the streets nonetheless.

And I have had it happen to me. Only I went from halfway down my back to pixie. And it was AWFUL. How do you fix that? Sigh.

Life Laugh Latte said...

I do my own...and even I know copper=BAD! What a true salesman he was!! Good for you for not going along and leaving in tears. I've done that! Wimp...spineless wimp that I used to be. Toughening up...42 will do that to a gal. Holly

The Absence of Alternatives said...

"And since I already live in his cave, the long hair is merely for aesthetics and not something by which to drag me around." One of the best lines!

I love the ending of this story. You are a great story teller. A good hair dresser who GETS your hair is hard to come by. I have been with mine for over 10 years now. I followed her around and now I drive half an hour to be where she is. But it is worth it. :-)

CONGRATULATIONS on being nominated for the Bloggies. And for 3 categories! Awesome! Let's celebrate with some cocktail, shall we? :-)

the walking man said...

My hair is longer than my wife's but then so is my beard.

Laoch of Chicago said...

There is nothing like some purple streaks to pick things up.

shortmama said...

Your perfect stylist is so much like finding the right pillow! Youve got to hang on to the good ones. I love my stylist even if I only visit her like twice a year because I do my own color and my friends and my moms....why am I not getting paid for this??

Grand Pooba said...

I'm one of those girls that crys every time she gets her hair cut. At least I used to be, one time I went from long flowing blonde hair to short above the shoulders dark brown hair. I bawled!

Lee said...

No photo? :-)

Nathanael Rey said...

Christian Loboutin's for $100.00?! My wet dream... but only in the twilight zone. You're so crazy, I love it.


A good stylist will give you what you want. A GREAT stylist will give you what looks good on you... or some dribble such as that.