Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Road Trip, Part 9: Hair Horrors

Passing out from exhaustion in our hotel beds at The Historic Tutwiler hotel in downtown Birmingham allowed our overwhelmed minds and bodies a night to recover. The next morning my dad and I enjoyed the continental breakfast and headed on our way to Atlanta. It was Thursday, April 28th and I had an 11:30 AM hair appointment to get my hair together for the wedding.

The plan was to leave early enough to make it to Atlanta about an hour or so before my appointment just in case we ran into traffic or got lost. As we travelled down the highway, my godsister (the soon-to-be bride) texts to make sure we were ok. She inquired about our whereabouts and what time my hair appointment was. After receiving my reply she texts, “Speed!” Her response puzzled me. I thought we were making good time and would make it to Atlanta well ahead of my appointment time. “Birmingham is in a different time zone, dummy!” she said.

I sank into the passenger seat and made the, “you’ve got to be shitting me” face. I refused to be worried about and hoped we’d get there just in time, which we did.

The idea to get my hair done in Atlanta was not my own. I have an amazing stylist here in DC and planned to have her hook me up for the wedding. My godsister preferred I get my hair done in Atlanta in hopes of my hair being “fresh” for the big day. The only issue is, I don’t wear my hair straight and she couldn’t suggest any natural stylists in the city. I am VERY particular about who puts their hands in my hair, so, I was extremely wary of going to an unknown stylist. After turning to twitter for help and still not being able to get any suggestions, I did my best to pick from a handful of stylists I found via google.

I walked into the shop exactly at 11:30. The shop was in a nice neighborhood somewhere near downtown Atlanta but there was no sign on the outside of the building. I walked up a flight of stairs and there were two doors. One was clearly marked as a dance studio and the other had no markings at all. I opened this mystery door to find a pretty nice, and clearly new, hair salon. I walked to the reception desk to find a balding man with what looked to be dry s-curl looking down at a laptop. He did not look up at me or even acknowledge my presence.

“Hi. I’m Sarah. I have an 11:30 appointment with [stylist’s name redacted].”

“Ok, have a seat.”

I chuckled to myself as I stood there. Rude, pretentious people crack me up. I have to laugh to keep myself from cracking their skulls.

I sat down in the waiting area and was soon met by a friendly young man who kind of reminded me of Disney’s Pocahontas with a lip piercing. We chatted about the products I use in my hair and the type of style I had in mind. I thought, “Ok. This might just work out.” I soon found that Pocahontas wasn’t my stylist, he was just going to wash my hair. “Oh lord, Mr. Pretentious with the S-Curl is going to be doing my hair,” I thought.

Pocahontas walked me to the shampoo bowl where we were met by Mr. Pretentious’ rude ass. “What’s she getting today?” he asked Pocahontas as if I couldn’t speak for myself.  Mr. Pretentious stuck his hands into my hair and felt around, while Pocahontas told him what I wanted.

After Pocahontas washed my hair I asked Mr. Pretentious for his opinion on my style. “I want twists in the front and something curly in the back that I can pin up for the wedding. What do you suggest? A twist out or something else?”

He turned in his chair and suggests a coil out. I’d never had coils in my hair but thought they may turn out nice. I was mostly trusting that Mr. Pretentious had a look in mind, thus his suggestion, so I rolled with it.

Pocahontas started to flat twist my hair in the front. My stylist in DC does small, intricate flat twists. These were huge in contrast. He asked me how far back I wanted the twists to go before the coils started. I showed him with my hand and he made a face. “If you have them go back to here,” he said pointing near my ear, “then the coils could start from there.” He was the professional, so I trusted his judgement. One he got halfway done with the twists, I thought, “Maybe this will turn out cuter when it’s all done.”  

After Pocahontas got done with the twists, I was still skeptical. Once Mr. Pretentious finally came over to do the coils, I asked him if he thought the style of the flat twists would look right with the coils or if they went too far back. “I think he did them a too big,” he said. Um... sir? You sat there and let your assistant do something to my head that you didn’t think you could work with and didn’t say a word? He then assured me it would come together once the coils were done and they had a chance to expand in the humidity. Again, I trusted him.

Mr. Pretentious globbed handfuls of Miss Jessie’s products into my hair. “Most people don’t use enough product,” he said in what I can only assume was his response to the look of horror on my face. He asked me about what types of products I used in my hair. I told him I used all natural products, to which he replied, “With all the technology we have now, people don’t need to use that stuff anymore.” At that point, I knew I had made a drastic mistake.

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