When I was in my early 20s I was living in a small lumber/pulp mill town in northwest Canada. I’d never been a fan of grooming (which was low on my priority list) and especially hated having my hair cut (it went back to very bad experiences with old men sticking sharp instruments around my face, resulting in me being dragged kicking & screaming to the barbers more often than not). Some of the ladies I was working with were telling me, ‘you REALLY need a haircut’, and they were right; the back of my hair was halfway down my neck & was sticking out from the sides as it curled up from the length, and my bangs hung down my forehead into my eyes. One woman in particular sent me to her girlfriend – a woman who owned her own salon and specialized in men’s haircuts & styles. I finally made an appointment with her for the following weekend.
Finally the day & time came and I walked into her salon. She greeted me cheerfully and invited me to come back to the sink to wash my hair. As the water started flowing over my hair I felt my head tingle and then she began massaging the shampoo into my hair & scalp, followed by conditioner. It had been over a month, probably closer to 2, since my last haircut and I had forgotten how nice a salon shampoo could feel. She rinsed my hair out, patted my head to get the excess water off and invited me to come back to her chair.
As soon as I was seated in her chair she turned me around so that I faced the mirror. She picked up a black cape with a single white stripe on it, shook it out at the collar & put it around my neck. Then she grabbed a piece of tissue & wrapped it tightly around my neck, and pulled the neck-pieces of the cape back & fastened it snugly around the neck tissue.
‘Now….what are we doing today?’, she asked me, as she picked up a comb & began running it through my long tresses. ‘You definitely need a haircut’, she told me. ‘Well…’ I said, ‘I don’t know, it does need to look professional though, and I thought just above the ears and collar.’
‘I have an idea’ she suggested. ‘This will still look professional, I wouldn’t leave you with anything different. How about we try a blunt (wedge) cut in the back, and I’ll cut your sides above your ears and take your bangs out of your face. I’ll take just a little off your top so you have some length to style with – how does that sound?’
I had never heard of a blunt or wedge cut much less had one, but I thought, ‘why not’ and said ‘Sure, just as long as it looks professional but cool as well.’
‘Sure, let’s do that,’ she said to me, and began pulling my hair through her comb & starting the cut. I could feel her scissors against my face as she snipped away chunks of hair from the side of my face with them. Ssssssccchhhnnnnnkkk went her scissors as she cut the length away from my sides. I watched in the mirror smiling at the new look as she snipped away at my long hair. My strawberry-blonde hair was falling everywhere – on the cape, the floor, even into my face. I could feel her nails against my neck as she cut away part of the length and a shiver went down my spine.
Then she combed my bangs down, right in front of my eyes. I could hardly see myself in the mirror. ‘You shouldn’t let it get this long,’ she told me. ‘It’s not good for your hair either, you have a lot of split ends.’ She took her scissor and made a series of snips across my bangs and I could watch the chunks of hair fall to the cape & slide down.
She picked up a razor & took it to the sides of my head, blending in the lines. Then I could hear it at the back of my head, almost at the base. She blow-dried my hair and gently brushed it out and then held up a mirror to the back of my head.
I was…amazed. It looked SO much better! In place of the mop that had been there when I came into the salon was a wedge-cut with a slightly thicker layer on top. It was easily off my collar and the sides were much shorter and the thickness was greatly reduced. My bangs no longer hung into my face and I felt like a weight had been lifted off.
‘What do you think?’ she asked me. ‘You like it?’
I said, ‘Like it? I LOVE it’, I said to her. ‘What a difference.’
She dusted off my neck & pulled the cape apart, then pulled it off me & draped the cape over the arm of her chair. I paid her for her services & tipped her generously. Needless to say, I was going back to her in the next 6 weeks!