Scenes From the Salon
I've been getting my hair cut at a high end salon lately. The price for a basic haircut is between $28 - $48, depending on the experience of the hairdresser. I don't pay that, because my hairdresser is an apprentice. My haircut is free; my dye jobs cost about $8. While I'm sitting in the chair, I get a chance to look around and soak in how the "other half" live. It's amazing.
I watch as they come in the door- exhausted from the long walk in from the parking lot, bitching about their day and clutching a picture of the latest celebrity-- hoping to get a haircut just like the celeb. It doesn't matter to them that they have short hair on a big body- they want to look just like Britney Spears when they leave. I guess that's the reason these women are served wine during their visits. Maybe after a couple of glasses of wine, two-ton-Tilly will think that she looks like a teenage popstar.
In the high-priced salons, the hairdressers are dressed in black from head to toe. Lots of them wear black framed glasses which just add to their air of arrogence. They have names like Monique, but they pronounce them as Mon-ee-cue. The male hairdressers always use their full name-- no nicknames are allowed in the male hairdresser world; it's always Kenneth, William or Frederick, never Kenny, Billy or Fred. Of course, if it is a name like Kenny I'm sure they would pronounce it "Kee-ahh-ne", or something like that.
The apprentice I see is currently named Matt. He doesn't even wear black. I'm sure when his apprenticeship is complete, he'll invest in the wardrobe and rename himself as Matthew and come up with a pronunciation that I can't even imagine.
I guess they have to do what they can to make their lives appear glamorous. These people deal with complaining rich bitches all day long- it must get old. Last week I watched a lady that insisted on talking on her cell phone during her entire visit. There's a sign in the window that says: "This is a cell phone free zone", but she didn't care, or she decided that it didn't apply to her. If the hairdresser worked on the right side of her head, she'd talk on the phone using her left ear. When they moved to her left side, she switched the phone to her right ear. I watched her do the same hand-switching technique as she got a manicure afterwards, too. I guess if you're paying $48 for a haircut, you feel as if you can call the shots.
Matt's apprenticeship will run out in a few months. At that point, he'll be an official hairdresser and will start charging $28 for a basic haircut. He'll get some dark rimmed glasses, a new wardrobe and a new name. Hopefully, I'll be able to get a new apprentice when he graduates into a career.