Hairy Tales I: a work of Beauty
Hair is very important to me. Which isn´t to say I don´t shave mine all off with some degree of frequency. But this means finding a good hairdresser is vital; my hair is perennially growing out, and needs to be skilfully coaxed towards the desired level of chic(k)ness.
Before I left Cape Town, I was fortunate enough to work for a company where everyone understood this hairy imperative. I don´t know if it was official policy, but in our corner of the office it was perfectly acceptable, even encouraged, to take an extra-long lunch break to get your hair cut, as long as we weren´t actually on deadline.
Witness my last haircut before I left. We´d just finished the nine o´clock meeting, when I casually mentioned I was thinking of dying my hair chocolate brown.
“Chocolate brown,” my editor enthused. “That will look fabulous. You must do it. Make an appointment for today!”
“Ja, well,” I hesitated, disingenuously. “I have a long list today, and we´re going to print next week. Perhaps the week after that?”
“Nonsense,” she countered. “Call your hairdresser right away. You can have an extra-long lunch.”
A few hours later, I waltzed into H.A.N.D in Green Point. Luckily Beauty, my favourite hairdresser in the whole world, had a free slot. The truth is, I´m not actually that picky when it comes to my hair. I´m not going to bring in some picture of this week´s latest celebrity haircut, and demand to look exactly like Katie Holmes or Posh Spice, or whoever. I mean, why would I want to look like Katie Holmes, or Posh Spice, or whoever? I just want to look like me. But it is beyond my limited linguistic skills to explain what “me” is hairstyle-wise, especially since I don´t really know myself. In true passive-aggressive style, I want my hairdresser to access my subconscious; analyse my bone stucture and hair type; and come up with the precise haircut I desire, without me having to actually tell her what it is.
Beauty can do all of these things, which is why I love and miss her. On this particular occasion she stripped my hair of its previous redness, applied a gorgeous chocolate-brown dye, and rounded off the effect with a haircut that was the frigging shiznic. Everyone in the office was so dazzled by my transformation they failed to comment on the fact that this time it had been an extra-extra-long lunch.