Bad Hair Day

After having lain immobile like an anaesthetized patient in the dentist’s chair for an hour this morning (the start of our plan to replace about eight amalgam fillings with gold) and after having collected my new passport from an outpost of Canada Post, I made up my mind to do something about this hair of mine.

For the past year or more I have pursued the questionable distinction of sporting long hair.  It is a tiresome project and one which is only accomplished by the effluxion of time. Regularly I have been thwarted in my ambition by the interference and insolence of hair dressers who either haven’t the skill required or the ability to follow directions; or, what is more likely, they have the arrogance to impose their supposed artistic skills upon me as an unwitting and incapable subject. Time and again I have been compelled to alter my direction or rethink its presentation, sometimes for no other reason than that the stylist mistakenly forgot what we were about. Today I decided to take things into my own hands and instruct the technician what to do.

Luckily for me I was able to appease my impulsiveness by making an appointment on very short notice (a mere three hours).  Aside from palliating my appetite for urgency, given that I had to travel to Manotick to rally with the hairdresser, the time delay turned out to be perfect.  I had time to gas up the car and to put it through the wash, a hardened daily ritual it kills me to forgo. The detour to the grocery store did however have to wait until afterwards. The very agreeable weather today corresponded conveniently with open windows for the drive to Manotick so I had that added pleasure.

Hair is such a deceit and contrivance.  Its variation is pure clay in the hands of the salon. Even if one pretends not to be vain about one’s hair or appearance, it is manifestly apparent that any dalliance regarding the shape and length of one’s hair is nothing short of indulgence and vulgarity, albeit a short-lived indiscretion. It has been jokingly suggested that the only difference between a good haircut and a bad one is two days and I am inclined to agree. Meanwhile those 48-hours afford ample occasion for vainglory.  The conceit is of course fuelled by the cosmetic industry and the fashion magazines which portray people in varying states of windswept delight while sporting the latest conditioner, cut or “product”. The fact that they’re all sylphlike and gorgeous is entirely irrelevant to the marketer’s deeper message regarding capacity. I have no doubt that each of us who chooses to have any truck whatsoever with any of the advertisements foolishly embraces its toxic persuasion. I know the peril in doing so because I have often privately remarked that even Hollywood “stars” when captured in anything but a staged performance distressingly lack the allure and polish of the magazine productions. It therefore follows a fortiori that I must be doomed in my enterprise! Yet such is the swaggering disregard of the campaign that inconsequential details such as facts are all but ignored!

Following a robust encounter with my hair architect today, a confederacy which abounded in joviality and liveliness, he surprisingly instructed his receptionist that there was no charge for services rendered, this in spite of my genuine protestation to the contrary, rebuffed as it was by his equal determination.  I let it go with thanks and dutifully booked my subsequent visit. Upon ensuing consideration of this magnanimity it occurs to me that he may have felt responsible for my abrupt visit today as I had lately dithered about my escalating concerns regarding in particular the length of my hair at the back, a mounting objection he chose to diminish at the time.  It was however this which was the object of today’s attack.  As I indicated when we first met this afternoon, I didn’t want to gut the whole venture; rather make modest modification with a view to preserving some at least of the produce of my labour.

I don’t think there has ever been an occasion on which I left a salon without a spring in my step. The experience is rather like taking a shower, an innocent but relieving undertaking. There can be no other outcome. Nor do I doubt that the buoyancy of the moment will gradually expire within the next couple of days.  Nonetheless I am satisfied that some trimming around the edges has been worthwhile and that it should alleviate the pressure of concern. The weight of even the smallest amount of hair is exponential when removed, not to mention the concurrent sentiment of becoming streamlined. I did of course ask that the stylist also trim my eyebrows, the height of purification as far as I’m concerned!

I am thankful that I have preserved a fair amount of my locks after this ceremony, not only because I still enjoy having hair that I can move about but also because I have a sizeable collection of mud and petroleum products that amuse me to use. It astounds me that men are so enchanted by oiliness and slickness. It’s not a fashion confined to the early part of the last century. No doubt the trend is more popular among those with jet black mops than those like I with fine, silvery hair.  Yet its tactile appeal is there in any event and it makes a case for  smoothness and glossiness however shallow or dandy-looking.