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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Haircut Whiplash

Once upon a time, I was lured into being a hair model in NYC with the offer of a free haircut.
I sashayed into the salon with high hopes, and slumped out maimed and horrified, with a graduated bob.
It was so “graduated” that the stylist had shaved my hair up the back of my neck like a boy, and it barely hit my chin in the front.
I felt unsexy and unfeminine, and vowed that no matter how broke I was I would never be a haircut model again.
I was determined to have long flowing blonde hair, no matter how long it would take to grow.

Well, it’s taken over a year and a half, and my hair is still not as long as I want it to be.
It has grown in so slowly, that I have been avoiding getting it cut like the dentist.
A few weeks ago, I realized that my last trim had been right before Christmas, so I started searching for a place to get my split ends taken off.
Though the $12 barber shop cuts were tempting, I finally stumbled upon a higher end place in Union Square that had a sign for a $25 Spring haircut special outside.
It looked really cute, and was and Aveda approved, so I decided to be brave and give it a chance.

When I walked in, I was greeted by a friendly receptionist who sent to the back of the salon.
I was met with a very, very gay, bald muscle man who had both arms covered with tattoos, and a big scar across his cheek.
“Hi I’m Pinza” he said. He looked like a scary prison escape from that TV show Oz.
I thought about running in the other direction, and saying “thanks anyway!”, but didn’t want to get stabbed with scissors.
“What is it you vant for a haircut?” He asked me through a thick accent which I couldn’t quite place.
I told him I just needed a trim to get rid of split ends, nothing fancy.
With that he sat me at the shampoo bowl, and snapped my head back to wash my hair.
I finally recovered from the whiplash during the rinse, and figured out that Pinza wasn’t going to be giving me a relaxing scalp massage.

Once in the haircut chair, he roughly combed my hair, and then pulled my shoulders straight, shoving my head forward.
Pinza held up his sharp, shiny scissors and said “Ztay still, Zif you move your head I kill you”, letting out a crazy extended laugh.
I winced as he took the first slice of my hair off, opening one eyeball to see how much he had cut.
Thank goodness he was sticking to the plan, and it was less than an inch. I relaxed a bit, and noticed that all of his tattoos were of women’s faces and names.

At that moment with the snipping of hair in the background, I slipped into daydream.
I imagined Pinza working at a small salon in Bay Ridge Brooklyn. He had been cutting hair for years, making crap tips, and dealing with annoying old ladies. One afternoon he hit his breaking point when a boisterous Jewish lady told him that he had cut her hair in to many layers.
He hacked her head straight off with his scissors, adding it to his practice mannequin head collection in the back.
After closing up shop, he rushed over to the tattoo salon to have her name and face added the growing collection on his arms. He got caught, and was sentenced to life in prison.
Once escaping, he changed his name and found this cute little Union Square salon to start his new life.

“ZTAY STILL” Pinza barked at me, startling me out of my fantasy.
He then shoved my head sharply left and right to check his work.
Trying to make conversation, I asked “So how long have you worked here? Do you like it?”
“Vhy you ask?” He hissed back at me, “you zink I cut hair bad?”
He was starting to cut more layers into the right side of my hair than the left, and getting a little frantic about it, so I decided to keep my mouth shut.

My blowdry was so rough, that I was hoping the salon would offer physical therapy as an add on to my cut.
Once Pinza finished fluffing my hair, he pursed his lips and said “zhere you go”.
I had never been so relieved to get out of a salon chair in my life.

Once at the reception desk I was asked for a total of $47 for my haircut.
Holy crap! I pointed out the $25 Spring special sign outside, and she told me since I had a style, shampoo, and blow-dry it was more expensive.
Not only had I just been physically abused during my haircut, I was now getting the full on Pinza jail experience and getting ass raped.

After angrily paying, I was really curious to get a good look at this overpriced “trim” I had just gotten.
I found the nearest store clothing store with mirrors, looked in and did a double take.

To my shock it was the best haircut I have ever had.
I was so relieved, but felt even more relieved that my name wasn’t going to be the next tattoo on Pinza’s arm.