From prehistoric times when cave women brushed their hair with tree branches and accessorized with bones to the emergence of powdered wigs in the eighteenth century and finally to the 1970s when the long and natural look was embraced and ozone-depleting hairspray happily tossed in the trash, women have been obsessed with their hair. As a result, it is no surprise to anyone that, despite a stagnant economy, women continue to cut back on other purchases (like groceries) in order to visit hair salons on a regular basis, causing the hair care industry to grow more than forty percent in the last four years.
My hair and I go back a long way together. Before I was old enough to visit hair salons, my mother (also known as Mother Scissorhands) decided to torture me on a regular basis in a straight-backed chair in our kitchen. After my mother sharpened her scissors, she firmly held my chin with one hand while attempting to cut my bangs with her other hand. Each time, I closed my eyes and prayed that just once my mother would not end up trimming my bangs to mimic Frankenstein’s. “Tsk, tsk,” she would whisper as she realized yet another trimming had elicited crooked bangs. “Tilt your head this way,” she ordered. I tilted my head to the right. She shook her head and tilted my head to the left. “Just a bit more off here,” she’d mutter as I nervously watched chunk after chunk of my beautiful hair fall into my lap. “And there we go!” she’d finally announce as she wiped her scissors off and put them away in the barber kit. She held up the mirror in front of my face. “Open your eyes,” she said. I shook my head. “Your hair looks terrific, don’t worry,” she tried to reassure me. Oh, but I knew better. I opened one eye. Frankenstein stared back at me. I sighed. Once again, I was the proud recipient of sloped, one-inch bangs.
Thankfully after I turned sixteen, my mother finally retired her scissors. I waited a few weeks until my bangs grew out and then decided to visit a hairstyling school down the road with the hope that someone there would be talented enough to change my look from Frankenstein to something much more modern. After enduring three hours of rollers, perm solution, and what seemed like a lifetime under a dryer, the hairdresser-in-training twirled me around so I could see myself in the mirror. I slowly opened my eyes and gasped. I looked like a cross between Janis Joplin and Bozo the Clown. I was beautiful. My love affair with the hair salon had begun.
And so ensued years and years of haircuts and styles that included bangs, no bangs, a punk hairdo with a rat tail, and perms that made my hair do things I never imagined it could. After a bad breakup, my hairdresser loyally chopped my long locks off with a dramatic swoop that launched me on a road to freedom like no other. My hairdresser calmly talked me down off the salon chair while I was growing out my bangs, sideburns, and punk hairdo. In short, no one knows my hair better than my hairdresser. But truthfully, there’s one main reason why I never miss an appointment with my hairdresser, in any kind of economy. By some small teeny weenie chance, I would ever be arrested and sent downtown to be processed, I never, in a million years, want my mug shot to turn out like this:
And that my friends, is the real reason why hair-care is a multi-billion dollar industry.
By Vicky DeCoster – All Rights Reserved