A Trip to the Salon
It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon and I’m in my local hair salon, sitting under a hair dryer, waiting for the bleach to lift that Vivian, my hair stylist, just applied to my hair. I’m not a natural blonde, but I love the color. Besides, something about coming to the salon and getting “beautified” makes me feel renewed and refreshed.
Every time I go to the salon, it is two hours of torture and dare I say, slight humiliation. I’m used to slouching down in a chair so that the stylist can see the top of my head, but it doesn’t exactly make it any less embarrassing. I’ve been this tall since I was thirteen. My long legs always end up getting in the way of other stylists in the salon. Between me trying to keep my legs tucked in and the other stylists apologizing every two minutes for tripping over them, I manage to tell Vivian about my day and engage in small talk.
Heat acts as an accelerant and makes the color process a little faster, so sitting under a dryer is mandatory. Vivian moves me to the dryer, which is the worst part. I dread the dryer because I have to cram my near six-foot-nine-inch frame in it and sit that way for over an hour, not to mention it is unbearably hot.
So, here I am, terribly uncomfortable, with the whirring sound of the dryer deafening the world around me. I wonder why it is that I do this to myself, then my mind drifts to daydreaming about being sprawled out on the beach so I can ignore my butt going numb and my body crying out for me to move.
Every so often, I think of what others must think of this sight. I imagine myself as one of my Boston Terriers that has snuggled in between another one of my dogs and the couch, her fat rolls exposed. If only I were as cute. Ha!
“Just ten more minutes,” Vivian sweetly says to me.
Oh, is that all? Just ten more minutes? Tell that to my neck, back and legs! I’ve been sitting like this for about an hour now, you said ten minutes ten minutes ago! But, instead of lashing out, I just look at her and smile- I know it’s not her fault, so there is no need to act like a jerk. “Sure, no problem, thank you.”
The slogan “Beauty is pain and pain is beauty” is my truth, as my height makes getting beautiful a little more challenging than your average girl. Sure, my scalp is burning from the bleach like anyone else’s would, but my body is stiff from having to keep bent and slouched down the entire time.
FINALLY, I’m at the wash bowl, my feet are resting on the lockers straight ahead because there is no other place for them to go, the so-called “leg rest” stops halfway down my thigh.
She turns on the water and tells me to relax. This, this right here, after about an hour or so, at this wash bowl, is where I can finally, truly chill.
The lukewarm water relieves the burning sensation on my scalp and her fingertips roam through my hair, gently cleansing the product away and massaging my scalp. She washes my hair with a lavender shampoo, while slightly tugging my hair at the roots, opening the cuticles to absorb the conditioner. I close my eyes and reflect back on my day, this is by far the best five minutes of it.
A towel is wrapped around my head and soon I’m rushed back to her station in this busy salon. It’s Friday night and there are a zillion people in here getting groomed for the weekend. I can finally sit up straight in the chair as she gets a workout blow-drying my rather thick, course hair.
“All done!” Just like that, it’s over- I take a glance in the mirror and I see myself transformed. My hair is soft and bouncy, it shines like diamonds in the late afternoon’s sunlight. I run my fingers through my hair and I thank her. At last, I’m able to stretch out of my temporary cocoon and fly away into my own Friday Night adventure.