Monday, October 26, 2009

Luckily, I had (pretty) good hair

My last-minute assignment today: go to prestigious hair salon, watch demonstration to staff by world-renowned Belgian hairstylist, ask questions.

I had never been to this salon before today; it's too high-end for my budget. Part of me would love to have one of the stylists tell me how to solve my hair malaise and help me achieve perfect hair. But since I don't have pocketfuls of money to throw at a hairstylist, I have stayed away from this particular salon.

Thankfully, I curled my hair today. But I still felt self-conscious in a room full of stylists, and I wanted to apologize and explain how difficult it is, you see, to curl the back of my hair, and even more difficult to make it stay curled.

I sat next to a guy who commented on my face shape and my best features, and how all women should have a hair consultation and a good stylist (and, I felt, coming just short of saying "You probably should re-think your hair," but maybe that was just my self-consciousness talking).

I should have said what I was really thinking: When you wake up the morning after getting your hair styled, and you shower and your hair is back to square one, how do you then make it look as spectacular as it did when you walked out of the salon? And is it even possible to achieve picture-perfect hair every day? And how much does it matter?

There are lots of magazines and sites out there devoted to the subject of perfect hair, and how it is critical you achieve that look.

But I don't think it's possible to make your own hair look salon-style perfect, simply from a logistical standpoint. I can't style the back of my head in the same way a hairstylist can because my arms don't bend in the right places, and I can't see it properly.

That's not even accounting for my lack of education. If all women are supposed to have that kind of hair, we need more than just good stylists, or magazines with great before-and-after makeover photos. We need to take our own hairstyling classes from master European stylists. (But then, hairstylists would probably be out of a job.)

And this is assuming it really is critical to have perfect hair. Watch this piece on hair ads from a TV show that examines the lengths advertisers will go to reach the female demographic. (I've just discovered this show and I really like it.)


We want our hair to look good, but is it worth the hundreds or thousands of dollars some people spend? And do regular people take notice and appreciate the time, effort and dollars that go into just attempting to make our hair perfect?

In conclusion (as though this long blog had a point), I may never have incredible hair, but if I just stay out of prestigious salons, then at least I won't notice.