Sunday, September 4, 2011

Haircuts from Hell

A good hair stylist is like a good doctor. You feel lucky when you find them, and don't want to switch once you do. Hair and health are two big areas of stress for yours truly in Mexico, the former being harder to solve than the latter.

Thoughts as to why; 
  1. My hair texture, color, and volume is totally foreign to most hairdressers here. Thick, course, black hair is 99% of the population. Fine, thin, brown, hair is something seen only on TV. This results in my hair looking 'tiered' vs. layered due to the huge chunks cut at a time.
  2. I am admittedly spoiled. My best friend is my hair stylist at a salon I adore in my hometown. She knows me, my hair, and is all around awesome at what she does. So my expectations are a bit high.
I've had my share of bad hair experiences here. Recalling the first one...

Next-door neighbor with a small estetica (salon), advertised hair cuts, color, nails, etc. I went in for a trim.

Felt my stomach sink when she wet my hair with a spray bottle - no source of running water. Then pulled out a pair of what appeared to be sewing scissors. Now I was scared.

A few snips later, literally, she turned me around with a "Ya esta" (All set). Five minutes total, tops. 

With wet, matted hair cut into a few chunks, I felt like the photo above. "Didn't you just leave?", asked my husband upon walking in the door. Ugh.

Then there was the botched attempt at highlights from a well-respected (and expensive) salon downtown.

Apparently, in Mexico blonde highlights are achieved via high amounts of hydrogen peroxide. Must not have occurred to the stylist that pouring on the peroxide may react differently on lighter brown hair vs. black.

I walked out with white streaks. "I think it looks good", Saul said. God bless my husband.

Took my friend back home three long appointments to clean up the damage. She worked miracles in a very short period of time. God bless her, too.

Then there was "Gina". "He's good, but he's gay.", said my mother-in-law. So what? Sexual preferences unimportant, I just want a good haircut.

Walked into the salon, to see the back view of beautiful, long, blonde hair down her back. Skinny jeans with rhinestones, a cute, teal halter top and matching high heels.

Being the only two people in the salon, I thought for sure I was in the wrong place. Where was the gay guy? "Sorry, I think I'm in the wrong salon", I said in Spanish, and turned to walk out.

Turning to face me, a protruding Adam's apple gave him away. "Oh, no, sweetie, come one in...", Gina said in a tenor-toned voice. I later explained the difference between gay and transvestite to my MIL.

Gina didn't do too bad. Not great, but he cleaned up the split ends. Competent.

Then we moved to Xico. New town, new service professionals. Most of the hair salons look like those from the first disaster. Looks can be deceiving, not worth the risk.

One day in Xalapa, I passed by a salon that looked like it might be good. High-end products on display, washing sinks, hair dryers present. And everyone's hair in there looked really good.

So yesterday I gave it shot, and got what I expected. An acceptable haircut, ends cleaned up, feels healthy again.

Same issue persists with layering. Cutting huge chunks of fine, thin hair does not yield the results of thick, course hair. Wish I could communicate that better here.

No color, we aren't at that level of trust yet. After the white highlights I hold off until I'm back stateside for color.

It's not my beloved salon in Wooster, Ohio, but for emergencies it'll do. I'll get a clean cut.

And hopefully no more haircuts from hell.