My mom went to beautician school way back in the 60’s. She would cut my hair, put it up in a bouffaunt which I would prompty go brush out with my fingers and the worst was when she would wash it with vinegar while I screamed, “It smells like pickles!!!”
She wouldn’t let me grow my hair long until I was in junior high. Mom always thought I looked best with a short pixie cut and for that reason most people thought I was a boy. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that I wore Billy the Kid jeans and cowboy boots and my favorite toy was a shotgun accompanied by a holster with two six shooters. I wanted to be a cowboy, dang-it.
Mom also wouldn’t let me do any sort of chemical process to my hair. So, while my sister was highlighting and perming her hair I had to sit back and watch with envy as she transform her hair into something new and trendy. Then the summer before my sophomore year in high school I made an appointment in the trendiest local beauty salon and asked for a perm. It didn’t fry my hair or turn it green like Mom feared. But, it did make my hair even whiter and frizzy like a poodle. That’s when boys started calling me April the Albino, it was that white. So, I stayed away from perms for a few years.
Mom had kept all her supplies, including one of those huge dryers you sit under, we always had rollers, clips, drapes, razors and scissors. It wasn’t weird that I would cut my bangs and most of the time they looked okay. Then I started cutting other people’s hair. There were several boys that were friends of mine that would come out, sit on a stool out in our sunroom and I would cut their hair in weird patterns. My friend, Brian, wanted a zigzag cut into the back of his hair, so I did a zigzag and then older folks kept asking him if he was the youngster that had been in the car accident earlier in the year and had to have brain surgery. I never said I was good at cutting hair, it was just something I did, and for some reason a few people trusted me enough to work on their heads and then walk around in public.
Now, I have my own hair salon. It’s in a nice breezy place. I don’t have many customers and the few I do have, never leave with a smile on their face.
They come in my swanky salon, sit in my chair and give me cautious looks.
Sometimes they comment that at least the view is good. I never know if that’s a compliment or not. Then I throw a torn plastic drape over them.
They bolster their courage and put on a brave display.
I like to help them relax by asking a lot of questions.
How was your Christmas?
Did you get some fun new toys?
Did you get any candy in your stocking?
How’s your folks?
I heard your mom is a really nice lady. Tell her I said, “Hi” and come back again real soon.