Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Popular Culture Can Save Your Hair

No, seriously. Forget the fancy conditioners, gloss treatements, expensive highlights, extensions. What I just learned this week: having wide and deep knowledge about popular culture can ensure a good hair day, 9 times out of ten.

Here's the backstory. Since I moved to Urbania, I've been seeing the same hairstylist (and sort of paying through the nose for it). She's really a lovely woman--about my mother's age, but with a nice punk streak in her (or at least in her hair, which often has a shock of pink in it somewhere). So, I've been seeing her for years, and with good reason. She can cut layers like no one I've ever dealt with, and it's always a good haircut. Of late, however, it's always a good haircut that is nothing like the haircut I actually wanted. I know that this is par for the course with stylists, what one customer means by "one inch off the bottom" is very different from another. Just in case language was the problem, however, I've endeavored to bring pictures with me the last few times. And you know what that means--hours of sitting at the Barnes and Noble cafe with a stack of Celebrity Hairstyles and Hair Today... Meanwhile, being totally embarrassed about it, and thus having to use a strategically-placed copy of Harper's or a saucy American Bungalow to cover up the depth of my own vanity. So, all of this time and effort spent finding a damn picture, only to have the haircut itself look NOTHING like it. And I do mean nothing, as in "color is close to the model's..." and I didn't go in to get color done. ARGH!

So, despite my adversion to change and new people, I had to do it--I went to a new hairstylist yesterday. A charming lad, and I will say "lad" because he's 24, for crying out loud. A child, really, but very charming. And in the depths of my mortification (because what the hell do you say to someone you don't know, who's got your aesthetic future in his hands?), CL starts talking about, of all things, Bergdorf Blondes.

Yes! This is it! The answer to my prayers! Please, let me wax rhapsodic about Plum Sykes and her asinine columns in Vogue! From there, we tooled on to discussions of Nip/Tuck, Rilke poetry (?!), and the piece de resistance, This:

Even if it turned out to be some mullet/fauxhawk, I'd be tempted to come back. Instead, of course, it's shiny and delicious--CL calls it the "moden Farrah." I attribute it all, of course, to my own ability to discuss the cultural artifacts listed above with great detail and verve. Let this be a lesson to us all.


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