Thursday, February 26, 2015

Anna and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Haircut.

I had a nightmare. But I didn’t wake up.

I am sure many of us have had those awful dreams where someone just takes a lawn mower to your hair.

I had that happen to me.

But it wasn't a dream.

Nor was it an episode from Friends when Phoebe cuts Monica's hair too short on accident and it "accidentally" looks really good.

No.. Mine wasn't a dream and it wasn't something from TV-though it probably could be on there.

I couldn’t help but think of a childhood book, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, bad day” and want to rename it, “Anna and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Bad Haircut.” Because this moment deserved a title that crazy.

My hair doesn't grow very fast. And that includes all parts of my body--legs, armpits, head-you name it. It's both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is obviously that I don't have to shave very often, but the curse is that my head hair takes a really. really. really long time to grow. It doesn't help that I caught my hair on fire back right after high school. (Yes.. that did happen, and yes I had to cut off like 4 inches of hair to get it to look normal again).

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It isn't a secret that we are "starving" students and that I have a husband that is very stingy with money. So when I decided months and months ago that I wanted to cut my hair short again-I knew that to cut it out in Chicago, I would probably have to cut it through a Groupon.

Yes-I have already been scolded that I should have talked to people in my ward and found out where they like to get their haircut and that most of the time Groupons are where people who need the business put their stuff up.. 

Lesson learned, I don't need to be told again.

When we were home in Utah, I decided to get it cut by some of my mom and sister's trusted people. But it was the holidays and everyone was pretty busy or booked. So we came back here. All of January I debated whether I should do this-I wanted to cut it to a longer bob but was just so nervous to do so. I finally found a Groupon online and made the appointment for Febrauary 25. It sounded like a fabulous day to do it.

As the day approached, I tried to get in as much "long hair time" as possible. Curling my hair (which I love to do) and letting it go naturally curly with just scrunching it, and straightening it and doing some fun updos.

Once you hit the 3 month mark after having a baby, you start to lose a lot of hair. An average person loses between 100-150 strands of hair a day. A Post-Partum new mother loses around 500-700 strands. And I am pretty sure I was losing the 700 strands. I found my hair EVERYWHERE. In my food, laying on the carpet-- I had to unclog, not just the shower drain twice.. but the sink drains as well. It was disgusting. Lydia especially loved to aid in my hair falling out because she would pull on it ALL the time, every day, anytime she could.

I just couldn't keep on top of the hair falling out and the cleaning. I think I was shedding more than the cat.

Oh and as a side note-I had always wanted to grow my hair out and donate it. It just has always been on my bucket list to do once in my life. I figured.. this was it! My hair was long enough!

Anyway.. it was time.

The day came.

My friend Kristi happily watched Lydia while I got in the car, with the pictures of my hair, and this icky feeling in my gut and drove to Essence VIP salon. I thought the icky feeling I had was due to me cutting so much of my hair off. Now.. I'm not so sure.

The place was kind of hard to find, and it looked super ghetto when I pulled in. Which should have been strike one for me. But I parked my car, took a huge breath, and walked in.

My first impression was that I had walked into Little Africa. The decor and furniture had a safari style with lots of warm colors. My second impression should have officially been STRIKE ONE for me if the outside appearance wasn't-I was the only white person in the whole salon.

The lady at the desk told me to wait and she would go get Teresa (pronounced Terez). I sat down and got out my phone and texted my mom-telling her that I was nervous.

Terez came and took me back. She surprised me with having long red dreadlocks past her bum. I had the thought, "Will she be able to cut my hair if she can't even cut her own?" But I quickly brushed that aside and thought.. "don't judge a book by it's cover. She probably totally knows what she is doing.”

She didn't introduce herself or anything but just brought me back to a chair and asked what I had. I told her I had the Groupon for a highlight and haircut.

She started running her fingers through my hair and told me that I had fine hair which made me nervous so I said, "do you feel comfortable doing this kind of hair?" I could tell that the other women in the room had ethnic hair, one was getting their hair straightened and another was getting the long fake braids tied in. She laughed and said, "Girl, I've been doing this for 30 years. I know what I am doing."

She stuffed a bag down the back of my shirt and disappeared. Again, I found myself texting my mom and Kristi about how nervous I felt and that the icky feeling was only getting worse.

When she came back she set to work on highlights. STRIKE TWO! She hadn't even asked me how light I wanted to go or anything but simply said, "Girl, your roots are so grown out!"

I tried to make conversation by talking about her family and her son and things like that but it always died off. I looked around the room at the other clients and hair dressers and noticed that when they did their hair, they didn't have them face a mirror. I thought that was odd again, and brushed it aside. STRIKE THREE: No mirror.

She started telling me that the she did the sister missionaries all the time. She liked to give them discounts because she believed in them out teaching the "good word." So I started feeling a little better and kept brushing that icky icky feeling away-but it just kept coming back.

She finished doing my highlights in record time and took me to the sink where another lady started taking the foils out. Again I thought, man.. that was not nearly as long as it normally takes! But I didn't say anything yet again. STRIKE FOUR.

The lady doing my hair gave me the deepest scalp scrub ever.. like so deep that my scalp was burning and I wasn't sure if was going to have any hair left. Pretty sure they were prepared for more ethnic hair and not mine. They then put my head in this bag with this deep conditioning stuff and then put me under a blow dryer for 20 minutes. Then they took me back to the sink and washed and scrubbed my hair again.

I showed the lady the picture of the hair that I wanted and she said, "Woah! You are going short" and I said, "yes, I was hoping to donate my hair." She brought me to the chair with no mirror and I asked if she wanted me to hold the picture out so she could see it while she cut my hair and she said no and that "She got this"-STRIKE FIVE.

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This is the picture of what I wanted done to my hair.
She started going through drawers and drawers of stuff that was just packed with, well.. stuff! It was overflowing and I realized as I looked around just how junky all the drawers looked. She pulled out some dirty looking clips and put them in my hair: STRIKE SIX AND SEVEN!

I thought that she would put my hair in a pony tail and measure out the hair I was going to donate, but the next thing I felt and heard was: Snip Snip!! I reached up and felt my neck and my hair was GONE!!

Terez slapped my hand playfully away and said, “Don’t worry! I got this girl!” And I put my hand down and held my breath. STRIKE EIGHT.

I know that I should have said something. Should have told her that I needed to look in the mirror, but I already felt so uncomfortable that I just let the worst happen.

As she cut my hair, I felt like she was just randomly snipping my hair but told myself that I was being ridiculous and that because I had been nervous to cut my hair, that I was just being silly and not trusting and probably overreacting.

After it was cut, I reached up and felt my hair. I tried not to cry out as I said, “uh.. it’s short?” and she said, “Just what you wanted! It looks great!”

She then started blow drying it.. which I could tell she does not do my hair type often because the way she was blow drying it-mixed with the scalp scraping I had just had-my head was melting away. It was so painful.

After it was dry, she cut some more and just did more random cuts..

I twittled my thumbs.

Held my breath some more.

Tapped my toes.

Time had surely stopped moving.

Finally. She declared that she was done and took me over to a mirror. I looked at the floor first and saw a huge pile of hair.. MY HAIR. STIKE ONE MILLION-That hair would not be getting donated. It broke my heart.. to grow my hair out as I had done for 10 years and not even get to donate it.......

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I looked up at the mirror and choked back a scream. My hair. My beautiful long locks that had taken me 10 years to grow out.. was gone. It was as simple as that.

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Terez then said, “so your groupon was for $79 dollars right?” My heart kind of sunk because this was not worth $79 bucks. It wasn't even worth the $50 I had paid for the Groupon. If I could have, I would have just high tailed it out of there.

I told her no, and that it was the $49 dollar one and she scuffed a bit. I handed her the money and practically ran out. She stopped me only to give me her card.. and then I jumped in my car, hastily backed out and then started to cry.

My hair!! My beautiful hair!! It's gone!! I ran my fingers through the back of my head and felt the thick choppy hair.. like she had just hacked it with a machete.

I bawled. I bawled to my mom. I bawled to Kristi. I bawled to Brian. I bawled to Lydia-especially that first moment she looked at me.. where it took her a moment to realize that mama’s voice was coming from that strange looking woman.

The back of my hair was literally just choppy and thick, and the sides looked like stairs. The color is the worst I have ever gotten-where it is at least an inch and a half from my roots. AND it's yellowish and blotchy looking.

After a night of feeling super low and lots of tears and then beating myself for being so selfish and thinking so much about me.. My friend Lynn came to my rescue with a gift certificate to a nice place called Mario Tricoci where I made an appointment as soon as possible to get my hair fixed.

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All that next day until the appointment I just felt down. I didn't want to go out and see anyone and see their shocked faces or ask about my hair. It is amazing how much your hair can affect you. I wish it hadn’t affected me so much, but your face-your head-your hair is what people see first. It is huge on how you look and what impression you give. I looked like a shaggy male. It looked horrendous and I felt that way.

When the time came, I went to get my hair fixed. The lady who fixed it called my hair the worst haircut she had even seen and that the coloring was cheetahish in some places. I showed her how long my hair was before and got emotional. She told me she would do her best to fix it.

And fix it she did.
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It looks much much better than it did. It still isn’t what I wanted, but it will grow. Slowly, but it will.

I am heartbroken that with such a short cut-I didn't even get to donate it. I don't know if that bucket list item will ever be crossed off now.

I keep getting told that I look like "a mother" now-which isn't a bad thing until they say that I look really old.

People keep saying, "Oh! You cut your hair! Do you like it?" And I am trying really really hard to act like I do and not go into my sob story of how my hair was butchered. 

So now, I'm just trying to look at the positive. It dries quickly and I hardly have to use much shampoo and conditioner. I can run my fingers through without getting stuck and Lydia hasn't pulled on it once! I am not shedding like a yeti and my head feels really light.

I hope I learn to love it. 
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