Saturday, 17 October 2009

Hairstylist's Hell

by Miss Amy Modahl

I once dabbled in hairstyling. I had a pair of fine scissors and was sure I could cut bangs perfectly to curl under with a hot iron and roll up loosely, light as air, just grazing the eyebrows. I worked diligently on my own bangs. I learned where to cut to make that perfect length. You see, I was a small-town girl. I knew punk from the music and tv, but I loved rock-n-roll. I loved big hair and Bad Company concert t-shirts, Van Halen, Aerosmith.
Name this 1980s hair band.

I would never have touched my natural brown with bottle colour. There would never be shaving one side, shaving both sides, a flat, plastered down bob. I wanted full. The fuller the better.
A big-haired rocker chick gives us the goods.

I was just 13, but I had the hair of a 16-year-old. My sister, being four years older, was of course, much cooler and had much cooler friends, so when they visited one day and admired my hair, I felt older, more important, dare I say beautiful. I was on top of the world. I took iron to lock and rolled under, rolled back, the heat close to my scalp, a spray of Aquanet, flip forward, spray, flip to the side, spray, spray, spray, bigger, bigger, lighter, fluffier. And when one friend asked if I would cut her bangs just like mine, I was more than happy to oblige. Sure Kim, no problem. The thing was, she had a big date that night, a big date right after a big performance center court half time with pom poms and little skirt. Sure, I said-- I'll get my scissors.

Kim was gorgeous. She had olive skin that tanned perfectly, tanned now from a booth and bottle. Her hair was light brown with natural curl and natural body, so full I couldn't hope to reach its heights; yet here she was admiring my do and requesting a bang trim. Of course, I said. Sure, Kim! and we went into the bathroom. She pulled her bangs down straight and said she really needed them shorter. So crunch crunch crunch, I chopped straight across, right at the spot where I would cut mine, just below the eyebrows, just so the bangs could pop up with that perfect curl. And after the snip, after it was too late to turn back, after, but just before the big game and the big date, after, but just before all eyes would be on her, before his special eyes would be on her at Ted's Pizza, her bangs went boing, flying so high up into the air that they exposed her whole forehead.

Mouth agape. This wasn't at all what I had expected. I grabbed like a drowning swimmer at a life raft, pulled the bangs back down, tried to dowse them with water, but no cure would work. There was no fix to tame the wirey curl in her hair, that spring so unlike mine. That hair I had admired turned against me. I had to face the facts. It was the time of reckoning. Now and forever, I had ruined her perfect look for her big night. Sorry Kim.

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