For the next few months, it seemed like we had something on every weekend and so I had no chance to enjoy a quiet weekend at home with my beautifully set hairdo. Eventually I was in real need of a cut and rang Sharon for a Friday appointment. She could only fit me on Thursday and asked if it was for a cut and set, I said “just a cut please”. I then thought about a conditioner treatment as that would mean some dryer time. Sharon said yes to that and I was booked.
Arriving at 4pm, Sharon was on the phone and she pointed at the gowns and then the basin so I slipped on my usual and moved to the basin. Back in the chair after the wash, Sharon asked if I wanted the same cut as before. Of course I said yes, knowing that the nice layered look would make future sets look so nice. Once finished she massaged the conditioner through my hair and I felt an excited tingle when she covered me with the plastic perming cap and pulled the dryer down.
Soon after that her next client came in, took a peach-coloured gown and sat next to me. I could vaguely hear Sharon discussing styles with this woman in her early 40’s before they moved to the basin. My dryer pinged off as they returned to the chair and Sharon lifted it up and away. I felt slightly self-conscious in full view of this woman while wearing a plastic processing cap.
The phone rang and Sharon walked over to answer it. The other client looked across at me and asked “Are you having a perm?” No, just a conditioner treatment, I replied a little nervously.
Sharon returned and said let’s get you rinsed and I moved to the basin where she removed the cap. To my surprise after washing my hair she wrapped it in a towel and I moved back to the chair.
Feeling braver I said “I don’t mind if you pop me back under the dryer”. Sharon smiled and said “that will be very helpful, thank you”. She unwrapped the towel and combed my hair into place. Reaching for the roller trolley she retrieved a beige hairnet and tied lightly over my hair.
From under the dryer, I watched as she cut her other client then later started to blow dry it. When my dryer pinged off Sharon lifted my dryer away and removed my hairnet. My hair was rather flat but she quickly brushed it and the volume and small flicks of curl returned. The other woman said “that’s a nice style”
Sharon then asked “Hairspray?” I blushed a little but said yes knowing that everyone on the bus would smell the scent. At the counter, Sharon asked if I had given up on sets or the idea of a perm as it had been a while. I said we had been busy most weekends but I was hoping to book in again soon.
At home Jen liked my haircut and I told her I had a conditioner treatment as well. She seemed slightly disappointed that I didn’t get a set. “I thought it would be a good chance to show your parents your curls at Sunday lunch. My mum really liked your hairstyle after the set so I think your parents will too”. I said “I prefer not to”. I wasn’t ready to show them this somewhat odd side of me. My Dad was a lifelong short back and sides type but generally accepting of other people’s views. My Mum was often judgemental of others and I felt she would disapprove. Even if I want to show them my curls it would also mean going to work on Friday, a big X through that suggestion.
I did get a compliment from a female co-worker on Friday. I hoped no one could smell the hairspray by then.
Saturday after breakfast Jenny asked, would you let me shape your eyebrows a little? I’ll just pull out a few of the rogue ones, nothing to dramatic, I promise. After about 10 minutes of pain Jen said, look in the mirror, what do you think? Up close it was a bit red but stepping back the slightly thinner and defined brows made my face look subtly better. Thank you I said with a smirk, though I’m not sure the pain was worth it. “I think it looks nice sweetie” was her response.
At Sunday lunch I wondered if my mother would notice my slightly profiled eyebrows. I was sure she would have made a negative comment. Nothing was said and I felt more relaxed.