Yesterday was what I like to call a 'semi-special' day at work. It was gala night in the cosmetics department, meaning that the store stayed open late, our counters were decorated, food was served and we glammed it up in cocktail dresses for the evening.
I'd like to say that people poured in and spent a ton of cash, but unfortunately we didn't even match what we pulled in last year. So, I wouldn't call it a rip-roaring success.
For this special evening, the hair salon would be offering five minute touch ups. In order to showcase their work and entice customers to give it a go, they decided they do updos for everyone that worked in the cosmetics department. We had no idea this would be happening until the day of, when our manager started ordering us over to the hair salon.
The first girl came back with a matronly french twist backcombed into beehive size proportions. Not bad. Not great of course, but not bad. The second girl did not fare so well. She came back looking like a who from whoville in Dr. Seuss. Atop her head stood a tower of hair going up like a ski slope. She could have decorated it like a Christmas tree. Needless to say, she did not take my suggestion that she actually do so with the seriousness I'd hoped. (I can still picture what it would have looked like, all done up with twinkling lights...)
Naturally, when it came time for my own face off with the hair dresser, I was fairly certain I too would end up a walking debacle of towering hair design. But, putting on a brave face, I hopped resolutely into the chair. I knew, as with most cases in working retail, resistance was futile.
The man who did my hair was probably in his mid-late forties, was balding on top and wearing glasses. You would have thought he'd be sweet and gentle. After all, the only customers they ever have are fragile old ladies. But no, he wasn't. He didn't speak a word to me when I hopped up into the chair, not one word. He turned my chair and started raking through my hair with his fingers, pulling through whatever small tangles there were with cold efficiency. He jabbed at my head with his fingers whenever he wanted me to turn, look down or look up. I would have appreciated it if he'd simply asked me to move my head, but apparently this would waste precious seconds. He backcombed the bejeezus out of my hair, ruthless and vicious with his little metal comb as I cringed at the amount of damage he was doing to my already fragile hair. Not to mention it hurt like hell. He went at me with so much hairspray I was coughing for twenty minutes after. I had to make sure I stayed away from open flames, I was pretty sure I'd ignite like a pile of dry leaves. Every step of the way the can of hairspray was unloaded on my head as though it was the sealant that would keep the damn from breaking. My hair was as sticky and dry as brittle wood, and afterward I had to wash the back of my neck in order to move my head, he'd sprayed so much hairspray I was literally glued into position.
The end result? Nowhere near as bad as girl number two. Instead of a sculpted hair tower, I looked more as though I had a giant bow on the top of my head, akin to the kind of updo you see at graduations and weddings. I was definitely too done up for a gala evening at work, but so was everyone else so I'd take it. It almost looked as though the massive bouquet of curls was trying to eat the rest of my head.
Getting it out when I finally got home was a real pain in the butt, or more accurately - head. After rooting around my head for the millionth bobby pin, I was stuck trying to brush out the obsessively hair sprayed, backcombed mess. It felt as though I was trying to tear the hair from my head. And I did. My dress, the couch, all were covered in hair. It was like I had a golden retriever roll all over me. It took a half an hour to comb it all out, and even still, the next day it still reeks of hair spray.