Today felt a lot like Christmas. Except Santa came bearing scissors and hair color.
Yes, today I got to see Kristen, at Color Me Krazy. Today I got a haircut.
More precisely, I guess, I got my hair de-COVID’ed.
The angst began building since shortly after lockdown (um, pun intended, if just realized). I began worrying about it in a post way back then.
First it was the trashy reddish cast — an alarmingly Trump-esque mix of brown, orange and gray. Then came the split ends. And the Betty Rubble-like flips at the bangs and bottom.
Every morning brought a new look, a new permutation of the evolving variables. Some days it didn’t look bad. Other days were just plain frightening.
My hair was the harbinger of things to come, and it wasn’t pretty.
I was turning feral. Devolving into some wild creature, with not just this mane of matted orange hair, but ragged clawlike nails, jagged teeth, wrinkled and buttonless clothing, no social skills and eventually thoughts expressed only through barks and yips.
The good news was there was plenty of company in this misery. In fact, your mind may have gone down a similar path.
Just about any interaction with another woman included a cry for help re: hair or nails. So, I knew that when – if ever – we got out of quarantine, stylists and other personal grooming professionals would be inundated.
So I knew getting an appointment would be like getting tickets for Foo Fighters or the Pope and put in my request – my plea – in for a spot with Kristen as soon as I saw a glimmer of Phase-whatever on the horizon.
When Kristen finally called three weeks ago, when I saw the number on my caller ID, I began to hear the first strains of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like —“ well,, you know. Could I come on the 23rd? Yes I said immediately. I could come any day, any time, even if I had tickets for the Pope.
Today was the day. But as we all know now, even when businesses can open, it’s hardly business as usual. I’d been wondering what to expect. You may be, too. It’s unusual. An adventure. My experience went like this:
First, the standard-by-now sign outside the establishment, saying to stay away until we were beckoned in.
Once past the door, Kristen turned to face me (well, face-mask me). Her eyes were smiling but she was wielding this thing – it looked like some sort of spray can – aiming the spray part right at me. My heart jumped a little as she closed in, heading straight for my own masked face, explaining that she was taking my temperature.
The thing never actually touched my forehead – I figured it was because I’d begun radiating heat in fear. No, it was just a fancier version of the thermometer every salon is required to use if they wanted to reopen.
The COVID-proofing continued.
First there was the questionnaire, asking if I had any of the by-now all-too-familiar litany of symptoms indicative of COVID. It also listed the many practices Kristen et al had implemented to keep everyone safe — including the big bottle of sanitizer available for hands after they touched the writing implement.
The main room of the salon itself had the social-distancing blue-tape X’s on the floor, and work stations have been pared down to two. Only one customer per stylist at a time.
The salon products were all corralled into one section, protected from germy hands by a sandwich sign advising clients to ask a stylist for help.
While I sat letting the hair color do its de-Trumpification, Kristen got me coffee. I drank it in furtive sips through a barely-lifted face mask when nobody was within six feet. I read the signs around her mirror.
She washed the dye out of my hair.
She said the color looked good. I don’t know how she can tell – well, that’s why she’s the poohbah. To me, it just looks wet-color.
Meanwhile, back at the chair…
“You did need a haircut,” Kristen said nodding at the jagged ends between her fingers. Snip!Snip!Snip! they fell like heads on guillotine day.
“It feels like Christmas,” I observed.
“Yeah, I had someone else say that to me,” Kristen said, smiling – at least I’m pretty sure she was — beneath the mask.
“OK, Miss Jill, you’re done.” The scissoring stopped.
I looked at my wet hair. ”I am?”
I knew she couldn’t blow dry it. There was a rule. So I got out of the chair and paid her and left so the next person could come in and have her audience with Santa.
I felt a bit of the denouement that comes right after the big event. Maybe a little remorseful about my ruthlessness. It was, after all, still my hair, doing the best it could. Actually not looking so bad, at times, during isolation. I mean, it could have all just fallen out, right?
And really, it had taught me a few things
- to remember there was a time before stylists existed
- that human beings can get used to just about anything
- and what was so bad about going feral, anyway?
I also reminded myself there were always new surprises and watershed events ahead — especially these days.
For one thing, the upcoming hair saga sequel, “The Blow-Dry,” when I got home.
And then, God, I can’t believe I’m even writing this: my dentist appointment – a mere month and a half away.
Looking forward to the dentist?
Ah, well, such is life in the land of COVID…
#COVID19 #humanconnection #stayingpositive #haircut #lifestyle #beauty #staysafe
I have two passions: animals and words. And I have managed to spend most of my life combining those two lvoes, using words to create awareness, to touch hearts, to help alleviate suffering, and to just make the world a kinder kind of place fdor all living things. I spent more than 30 years as a jo0urnalist at The Bergen Record newspaper, and have t a lifetime een using the power of words to XXX