Saturday, July 6, 2013

Hairy happy ending

Hubby’s handiwork

The lady who had cut my hair for more than a decade evacuated ahead of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and didn’t return to our area. She had worked well with old lady hair, fine hair, hair that had some natural curl and hair with obstinate cowlicks. My hair fit all four categories.

For three years after Katrina, I tried different salons. Unless the cut was totally abominable, and some were, I visited each stylist at least twice before moving on. Booking extra time for them to “get acquainted” with my hair’s strange habits didn’t seem to help. They invariably gave me a cut straight out of one of those magazines with the latest trendy cuts.

And those trendy cuts were definitely not the answer for me, at least not on the hot and humid Gulf of Mexico coast where we live. Humidity made my “naturally wavy” synonymous with “frizzy.” The result was that the higher the humidity the more weird sprigs that would pop up all over my head.

Husband Walter was rightly out of patience with my whining. He regularly admonished me to tell them what I wanted. But doing that was the whole problem. Beauty shops have ever been a foreign environment for me.

And as I am not a native of beauty shops, my failure to master the language doomed me to failure at communicating effectively with the natives. I continued to leave salons muttering to myself, “It will grow out. It will grow out.”

When I retired in 2008, it occurred to me that I didn’t want to spend any more time pursuing a decent haircut. In fact, my preference was to spend not a single minute of my newfound retirement freedom in a salon. Goodbye hair color, goodbye to wasting time and money on cuts that didn’t work.

Bolstered by the conviction that I had nothing to lose, I started cutting my own hair, learning as I went. The process was always accompanied by “It will grow out. It will grow out.”

After the stroke in 2011, I was unable to figure out how to give myself a cut using right hand only. I asked friends and relatives if they knew of any stylists who had success with naturally wavy hair. I tried the only one mentioned.

Her first haircut I liked; Hubby didn’t. Neither of us liked the second cut. Plus, both stylists in the newly opened salon were smokers. 

They didn’t smoke inside, but since my first visit they had established a smoky outdoor gauntlet that clients had to navigate to reach the shop’s entry. Yech!

When I grew desperate for another trim, Hubby balked. I issued an ultimatum: He could come in with me, stay through the whole process and let the stylist know what he wanted. I already knew what he wanted--my 70’s hair inspired by Farah Fawcett’s long billowy locks. That ship had sailed, though.

My hair was thinning and after I turned 45, the few times that I attempted to grow it out resulted in the “dead-squirrel look.” If you have ever seen a road-kill squirrel flattened in the street, you know the look. Short hair became my permanent over-50 look.

Hubby’s other choice?  He could cut my hair himself. He chose the latter.

After every cut he gives me, he moans that it is the worst one yet. Our prompt duet is “It will grow out!” And it does. There have been a few weird gaps along the way, but he is the first “stylist” since Katrina to work with my hair’s quirks.

Ahhhhhhh! A stylist who gives me mostly decent cuts AND  prepares delicious meals that usually fit my post-stroke dietary restrictions. What a deal!


  1. You are so beautiful, and this style looks like it was made for you. It looks natural, and compliments your face perfectly. Also it is neither too casual, or too fancy, it is a do for every season and any event. And you will have no trouble getting an appointment! NOW, when can he come and cut mine, I can repay him with donuts!

  2. I have often wanted to ask who cuts your hair as I really like the style. Who knew you had an in house stylist. He does a great job.
    I too cut my own and often say the mantra,"Oh well, a bad hair cut only lasts two weeks."

  3. This post made me laugh. Yes, I know where you are coming from. Walter did a fantastic job this time around. You look lovely.

  4. Hey you found the right stylist, a multitalented guy.

  5. the hair cut looks professional to me, i dont see how it could be better and you are absolute beautiful

    i gave up salons and crying after i came home back in 1987, 2 years after we were married, i came home crying over my hair, hubby said i can cut it, he did and has since then.. and i have never not liked it.

  6. I read your post with recognition. My hair is curly, and if it is not cut right, it is a mess. There were many years in the past that I cut my own hair, but it becomes more difficult with age. I had the same disappointing trail of stylists for about 5 years. I had one for almost 2 years that did a decent job, but not stellar, and she quit suddenly with health problems. Then 2 years ago, I was delighted to find my current stylist through an acquaintance who has hair very similar to mine. Whew!

    I love your style. It is very natural and flattering! Hubby does a good job!

  7. LC, I just realized you referred to yourself as "a non-native," something I did not know! Please tell us more.

  8. Lynilu, I did a little belated editing to clear up the non-native reference. Not a native of beauty shops.I found your comment encouraging, that there are folks out there who get it about curly hair. I am so happy you found a stylist who understands. And here I thought from your photos that you were blessed with beautiful AND "normal" hair.

    Beautiful and a great stylist works well, too!

  9. I've said it once, and I'll say it again, "That man is a keeper!" I feel your pain. I could relate to every word you said about find stylists! That is the my life long story. I would never trust my husband to cut my hair. He thinks it looks fine no matter what. Besides that, I would really complain if he messed it up, and he know it. I think your cut looks great. You should give him a great big tip.

  10. Well, I think he did a superb job and you look beautiful. I can appreciate fine hair. Years ago I studied to become a beautician and practiced on lots of heads. Fine hair is the worst.

    I have an excellent guy. My once thicker and fine hair is thinning, but some how Nash always manages to make me look good. God Bless him. Dianne

  11. Walter never ceases to amaze me with his many hidden talents! (Ed's been known to trim my hair at times, too!)

    Thank goodness for our mates who are willing and able to do whatever needs doing :) We are blessed!

    PS Your hair looks very nice!

  12. As I have said many times, your Hubby is an absolute keeper.

    I know my hubby gets sick of hearing me moan about my cuts, perms and styles.
    I think I have finally found a delightful woman who actually listens to me...
    My hair is fine and thankfully we don't have much humidity.
    I do know about the dead squirrel look though..(:0)
    I think I am having some Hair Envy that you have a stylist that prepares delicious meals too.