Who in the world is cutting my hair?

Fascinating, I know, but I've got to bang this out to gather my thoughts.
Let's go back to March 17th, 2011, when my Hair Genius stripped the dye out of my hair and made me grey-blonde.
I liked the Hair Genius, a short, round, 40-something guy who worked in a city-wide hair salon chain. His fee was low and he was nice enough but he sort of had a very salon chain aesthetic. He was a whiz with color, which I no longer needed, but my hair always looked a little too...a little too old for me, a little too poufy, a little too 1960's housewife.

I decided I wanted to go to the pinnacle of haircutting. The masters of the short cut. Sassoon.
My stylist there (chosen from the ranks based on her exact level of mastery - I think she was a 3.5 Senior Stylist) was assigned to me. She cut my hair like no one else had ever cut it, albeit at triple the price of the Hair Genius. Sassoon's salon is austere, clean, spare. The salon chain had driving dance music and the employees wore monthly themed apparel. My Senior Stylist was methodical and thorough. She cut my hair twice. In the first ten minutes of the first great cut I knew every detail of her life and, sure, I'm chatty, but it was a bit much. She gave me a complimentary bang-trim a month later and for the second cut I critiqued the first cut. It's neither edgy nor wispy, I told her. I needed more. Edge and attitude or wisp and feminine, either would be fine. She got tetchy with me, cut it exactly the same way and sent me on my way.

From Sassoon I decided to try a salon that had been mentioned on several style sites and in the Times. I hauled downtown to no man's land to a tiny, twee, boutique where the Pandora music was barely recognizable. I felt like a dinosaur. A tall, impossibly skinny hipster did her best to be kind to me but she had nothing. Her fee was somewhere between Sassoon and Chain. Not worth the long subway ride or the discomfort factor.

I had seen a great cut on a fellow commuter. Spiky and fun, the cut I admired was on a blond, in her 30's. Not 80's spiky, just messy enough. One day, purely coincidentally, she sat near me on the train. I asked who did it and she told me she used a guy in Tuvalu. I knew of the Guy, knew the shop, knew he was an operator, but figured it was a great cut and how much could he be? He's here in town!? I made an appointment. I showed him her hair (she let me take a photo). He insulted my haircut. He was a major operator, swaggering around the store, gold chains, open shirt. Bad. BAD. Great haircut, sadly. Very expensive for town - same fee as the hipster. I wasn't happy about that but figured the convenience of having him so close...well, that was until I met a woman I know who works downstairs from me. She lives in Tuvalu too (I know, right?!) and she told me what I already, sort of, knew about him. He's a terrible person who has burned bridges with almost every business and organization in our town. He was anything but nice to me.
I won't return.

Who next?
The cafe owner downstairs goes to a Japanese salon also downstairs from our office. Their prices are good and I've had Japanese haircuts before - dry cuts with lots of piece work. Her hair is short and grey too, but has lots of texture and wave so we cannot compare. But she always looks good.
I'm going to try them in mid-June.
Isn't it a saga?
At least I didn't have to add pictures. It's Saturday morning and I'm not energized enough to add pictures to a post yet.


Paola said…
See? We only have crappy salons with people who can barely put a salad bowl on your head and cut your hair in excess. Why do you think I have NO cut.

Problem solved.
jo said…
If only you could show them your entire Pinterest account and say; HERE! This is what I want.
I've been trying and trying to get stylists to realise I want a much more edgy haircut than they are willing to give. Where exactly is the disconnect happening? Their image of me or my inability to express my needs? I hope you find the cut of your dreams.
nadawee said…
I just had to comment on your hair drama! I have naturally very curly and thick hair that's just past my shoulders, that I wear straight majority of the time. I'm also half white and half African American. Because of that, people just assume I have kinky hair that is unmanageable- not the case at all. I've gone to so many different salons for cuts. I've been charge double for service due to the amount of hair I have. I've had sylists 'give up' and pass me along to someone else. I've had 'cuts' where the stylist had been to scared to actually cut anything off. I've more than my fair share of bad air cuts.

After cutting my own hair for the last 2 years or so, I think I've FINALLY found someone who understands my hair. She has a similar ethnic background as myself and tho her hair isn't exactly the same texture as mine she seems to get it! I actually need to schedule a new cut here soon.

(this is actually my first time commenting but i've been reading for quite sometime)
L.P. said…
I love hair cut sagas. We all have them. My hair is curly, so I can't have the piece-y, edgy Japanese cuts I'd get in a heartbeat if I could. Sigh. I hope this one works out for you! In any case, please keep us apprised...
Anonymous said…
i am convinced that i must have some sort of speech impediment 'cause i say an'elf cut' and keep getting an 'oaf cut'

Lover Lady said…
Welcome to my world. I have impossibly thick, naturally curly hair. I was with a guy for 6 years; he retired. That was about 10 years ago. Since then, I think I have been to 6 (maybe more I am blocking for memory!) people. I stay with one about a year (which is about 4 haircuts for me) and move on. My current guy I have been going to almost 2 years. He is good, but the last two times, it has been lacking. Don't know what my next move is either. *sigh*
KPB said…
my old hairdresser was this hot young guy who would tell me about going to the race track, in his full leathers, and racing his uber cool racing motorbike around the track on his days off. He was a good cutter but quite frankly I would have kept going just for the tingly pants. Also, his colourist was a very young thing who'd just discovered he was gay and well, that was quite hilarious to watch.
BUT - he started to get a)lazy and b) pre-occupied (his GF worked for a major shampoo company and he kept getting flown to NYC and London to do hair at Fashion week) and I started to look like a suburban mum (the horror).

So then I went to the mum of one of the boys who went to primary school with Oscar. He always had THE most incredibly styled perfect hair - for a primary aged boy! Which she obviously cut but which he took care of (remarkable). She has a full sleeve of tatts, will only get them done at a particular place in the US (she's from California) and well, I adore her. She does edgy on me and we chat freely about the boys and our lives. The salon is also very reasonable. It is a win win win. BUT she has now moved on to a new career. THE OUTRAGE. She has suggested one of the other cutters there - my next cut will be unavoidable in about another month. We shall see.
Joan said…
I feel for you. It took me three years to find my lovely Léo, and for seven years all was well. I moved six hours away from her just over a month ago, and once again the horror begins...
Anonymous said…
Oh what a journey to find the right haircut! Good luck. I'm feeling SO lucky to have K cutting my hair that I may just send her flowers after reading your post!
robiewankenobie said…
back in the day i got a substantial discount from one of my coffee shop regulars. i left the shop, and lost that particular perk.

then? only emergency haircuts. they are so expensive! so i'd go to the point that i was likely to cut my own...and get a cut. this was not a good plan.

not long ago, i saved so much on glasses with my coffee shop discount that i splurged on a fancy dancy haircut. it was fancy and dancy and love love love. two cuts, same hairdresser, and then she left the salon.

i called a local salon where my friend works to get hours. she assumed i wanted her to cut my hair. oh, awkwardness has ensued. right now this very minute? oh, laws. a disaster.

whatever shall i do?!
RW said…
I loved this saga.
I am feeling very fortunate in that I have found someone who I trust completely. She is earning a reputation though and I fear she might move on to bigger and better things sooner rather than later.
I got 11 inches cut off 2 weeks ago and I want to sob every time I look in the mirror. The stylist had no clue how to do a short layered that wasn't blunt cut. I have a disaster on my head that I'll probably grow out again.