Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cut and Color 101

This past Sunday night I got a phone call. An unfamiliar male voice was on the other end.
“Hello, Rachel? How ya doin?”  he asked.
“Fine thanks, and who is this?” I replied, thinking it’s some telemarketer or professional fundraising service. They seem to call here a lot.
“It’s Donnie, and I don’t know if you’d be interested at all, but tomorrow I’m taking a cut and color class and have a 2:00 and a 4:00 opening, and I know it’s last minute, but I thought I’d call and see if you’d be interested."

It takes me a second as the gears start churning and chunking into place: Donnie is the guy who cuts my hair, he has an opening at 2 and 4, and he wants to know if I want to come for a cut and color class? In the few seconds of silence as I try and process everything he just told me he says:

“The cut would be $15, and the color would be about $25 for a full highlight.”

Well that changes everything. Sign me up, like yesterday.

It’s short notice, I have no child care lined up, and since he moved salons last fall I’m not sure where he’s even located. But how could I refuse a price like that? That’s like your garage calling up to say, “Hey, would you like to bring in your car tomorrow at 8 a.m.? We’ll rotate your tires, change your oil, and detail your car for $20 bucks. Interested?”  You might have a very important meeting at 8:00, which you’ll reschedule because the opportunity to save a few bucks trumps any joint merger you may be discussing with potential clients. And seeing as how I cut my hair about as often as I get an oil change, I jumped at the chance to do it and save money at the same time. Bonus.

I tell him I’d be more than happy to take the 2:00 appointment and gather a few details from Donnie; where he’s now located, how long the whole process will take, but honestly I don’t ask too many questions. I’m going to score a haircut and a highlight for around $50 bucks and I don’t want him to realize he’s made a mistake.

After I hang up, I head to the computer to Google the address and get a glimpse of the new salon he is now at. Zona Hair Salons has two locations; one in Hingham Square and one in Norwell, which is about 30 minutes from my house. The education page of the site shows two young girls with very trendy styles, one sporting chunks of bright fushia hair. I’m not completely worried, but now I’m thinking that maybe the catch to the fabulous price is that he’s practicing with colors like azure and lipstick red. Worst case scenario, I’ll let the azure stripes grow out. For $25 bucks you can make me look like Cyndi Lauper.

Since it’s now kinda late on Sunday night, I’m forced to find child care Monday morning, farming out my kids to various neighbors so no family feels overwhelmed. At one point I just leave a message for my oldest daughter’s friend, saying something like, “Hi! It’s me. Just wanting to see if my daughter can play over at your house for a couple hours after she gets off the bus. Thanks!” She’s over there everyday anyway, so I didn’t think it would be a problem, only later that night (after I’m already at the salon) I find out that it’s the mother’s birthday and they are having a cake. Oops. I shake it off because she’ll have another birthday next year. I may never get the chance to get these services performed again for such a screaming price.

Turns out Mondays are training days at Zona, when stylists “can work on guests they bring into the salons, under the watchful eyes of Aveda educators,” (from their website) which is why the price he quoted me was so ridiculously low. Almost all women know the real cost for services such as these, and we’re willing to pay them for the time it buys us in looking and feeling younger. Or sexy. Or up-to-date. Or to cover up the grey.

 The salon is very nice, has a posh waiting/reception area, and after a few second Donnie comes downstairs to greet me. The floors are shiny wood, the walls lined with Aveda products, and it smells like shampoo and mint. We start discussing my hair, what I’m thinking about doing, and I confirm with him that I do not have to get blue or red highlights. This class is just to help train him in the “Aveda Way,” using their products. There is an instructor there who comes over, introduces himself to me, and starts discussing with Donnie how he should proceed.

There are now two grown men playing with my hair, lifting it up, letting it fall, using lingo like highlights, lowlights, cool tones, warm tones, and caramel, while they tousle my hair, identify how fine it is and at this point, I’m totally in heaven. I would have paid $50 bucks just for these guys to play with my hair and I’m fighting off the urge to close my eyes and fall into a peaceful sleep. Memories of third grade are coming back to me, when I used to beg a little girl with long braided pigtails to play with my hair during movies. I couldn’t tell you what those movies were about, but I can tell you that I nodded off during each one because having someone play with my hair is just about the best feeling in the entire world. Clearly at this young age I was oblivious to the lice concept. Thank you Jesus.

A few hours later, my foils taken out, my hair cut and blown dry, Donnie’s teacher comes over to inspect the work. He smiles and nods, plays with the hair some more, seemingly pleased with Donnie’s handiwork and my “caramel highlights.” I was excited that my hair was cut, didn’t have blond streaks (or blue for that matter), and I got to read two gossip magazines while someone played with my hair for three hours. I’m ridiculously easy to please. Here's the results:

Thanks to Donnie, I now have a slightly new look. I also don’t have to schedule my once annual haircut while I’m back visiting in Arizona, which opens up another day—perhaps to get a facial. All I can say is that I'm happy to take a last minute appointment again. As long as it's scheduled for Monday.


Anonymous said...

I love the color! Good for you!


Rachel said...

Dawn (I assume)
Thanks so much for being a loyal commenter! I love knowing that you read it and the post made you laugh a little! You are a truly great friend!