Monday, May 13, 2013

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow....

My hair on Monday Morning

"How can I control my life
if I can't control my hair?"
~ Unknown

I hate my hair.  It's baby fine.  It's poker straight.  I have a lot of it, and, most of the time, it does what it wants no matter what I do to it. Add to it the fact that finding a good hair stylist has always given me problems and, well, I just hate my hair.

I don't want to get into a big conversation about my hair. Suffice to say that traveling with hair like this is difficult.  Luckily, coloring fine hair adds a little body to it for a few weeks, so I had my hair cut and colored the week before we left the States.  I told Jaymie, the gal who does my hair now, that I was a little concerned about having a two-month period before I could get my hair done again. She was going to give me some lightener to use myself, but since we were doing carry-on only, I couldn't bring it.  (GOOD EXCUSE!!)

I've had trouble with my hair this entire trip.  In the first place, it was too short and not cut exactly the way I wanted it done.  Of course, I've yet to be able to find someone who actually listens to what I say and cuts it the way I want it. Second, I've had to wear hats a lot to protect myself from either the cold or the rain, and every woman knows what those two things will do to female hair. Finally, my hair realy started to grow out in Spoleto, and not only were the darker roots starting to show, but I could not get the mop to hold a style at all.  

"This is driving me crazy," I whined to Mike more than once in Spoleto. "It's impossible to do anything with my hair in normal circumstances."  

"What the heck are you doing there?" he asked me.

"What does it look like I'm doing?  I'm using my iPad to do my hair." (I think he rolled his eyes.)

Trying to use the curling iron in Spoleto

Did you just ask yourself if you read that correctly?  You did.  Because of the situation with the electrical outlets and the adapters that we had in the Spoleto apartment (Another story, believe me.) I could plug my curling iron in only one outlet in that flat, and there was no mirror near it. After first trying to run from the mirror to the curling iron and back, I thought I would try to use the camera on the iPad. The only problem there was that I have a screen protector on it which blurs the camera lens a bit, and what I saw was a blurry me.  (Photo above)  (Should I mention that I also burned my forehead with the stupid curling iron since I really had problems using it in the iPad?  Sigh.)

By the time we got to Sulmona on Saturday, I was pretty disgusted. My hair was hanging, and i hardly recognized myself.  The inch-long roots bothered me a lot, and I started looking at hair color in the pharmacies here. I was a bit afraid to try the color thing because the only time I used highlighter, I could actually read the English directions on the box, and I turned my son's hair bright orange. (He loved it.  I wasn't so sure.).  I also seriously considered taking scissors to my hair, but my friend Michelle told me to stop and think. 

"What the heck is that?" Mike asked me Monday morning.  I was watching a YouTube video on how to cut hair.  Actually, I watched quite a few videos on how to cut one's own hair because I was still thinking about it.

"I'm watching how to cut hair."  The more I watched, though, the less enthusiastic I was.  Michelle's words kept coming back to me, and I finally decided I wasn't brave enough to cut or color. 

We walked to Nuovo Borgo, a tiny mall in Sulmona that contains a nice grocery and a few other shops.  As we were leaving, I saw one of the stores was the Hair Garage.

"Do you want to see how much they'd charge to do your hair?" Mike asked me.  With a little trepidation, I walked in and stood at the counter.

Now.  If one is going to go into a hair salon in a foreign country, it might be a good idea to know a few words relating to hair and styling.  The extent of my hair-related vocabulary was one-word — hair.  Of course, I knew the words for long, short, color, and cut, but I had no idea if they were used in relation to hair or not.  Not good.

"Buongiorno, signora. Gobbledy-gook.  Gobbledy-gook," the lady said to me.

"Buongiorno.  My hair bad.  Color."  I bent over and showed her the roots.  "Cut."  I mimicked scissors with my fingers.

She nodded at me.  "Gobbledy-gook.  Gobbledy-gook.  Gobbledy-gook."  Holy crap.  I had no idea what she said.

"Sorry.  I speak little Italian.  More slow," I replied.

"I can do color and cut," I guess she repeated.  "39 euro.  I can do it now"  After I picked myself up off of the floor at the cost (which most of you know is CHEAP), I walked into the salon.

"Please excuse me," I said to her after I sat down, "I'm learning Italian."  Anna (I had asked her name at some point.) and her colleague laughed, told me I was doing fine, and brought two books of hair strands over to me. Together we looked and found the right color for my hair, and she disappeared for a few minutes to prepare the solution.

Back with me, she smeared something all around my hairline (I think it was probably Vaseline.) and started applying the color.  I tried small talk, but it was a little difficult.  She finished, handed me an Italian magazine, and went to do another client's hair.  I read the magazine — or at least as much of it as I could understand — and watched her cut the other woman's hair.  I really liked the style because it was one I'd been asking for for  years, a style that not one stylist would do for me.

Fast forward through the wash to the time to cut my hair.  Uh oh.

"Gobbledy-gook.  Gobbledy-gook."  I knew she was asking how I wanted it cut.

"I like hair of that woman." I pointed to the seat where her other client had been sitting.

"You want your hair like that?" she asked me.

"Yes, please.  But no so short," I told her. "More long."

"No short.  More long," she repeated and then laughed.  I nodded.

She took her scissors and made one cut.  Three inches of my hair fell to the floor.  Soon she was clipping hair all over the place.

"What the hell was I thinking" I thought.  "I'm going to end up bald."  When she took out a razor and started swiping it across my hair, I closed my eyes.  Then she took out yet another razor and went over my hair yet again.  "Holy Mary, Mother of God, please let me keep some of my hair."  I closed my eyes again.

My hair Monday afternoon
(I don't think this looks like me at all.)

She finished, and as you can see, I ended up still having hair.  As a matter of fact, I really like both the color and the cut.

"Anna," I said to her, "I tell girl in Las Vegas cut hair like this. She not cut it like this. You don't speak English, and my Italian not real big, but you cut right. I like very much."  Anna beamed.

"Gobbledy-gook.  Gobbledy-gook."  

Mike insisted on taking photos of my hair.

"Who is that?  I don't think that looks like me," I complained after I saw the above photo.

"Either you're in shock or you were forcing the smile," he said.  "It always looks fake when you force a smile."

"I think it was both," I said to him. "I was shocked since I'm not used to the style, and I was trying to smile and not look shocked."

My hair from the side

"How much was that again?" Mike asked me as we walked home from the mall.

"39 euro before the tip," I told him.  "Pretty darn good, I think."

"That's less than half of what you pay at home, isn't it?" he wanted to know.  "That's quite a deal."

"I guess I'll just have to come back here every six weeks or so to get Anna to do my hair," I said to him.

He rolled his eyes.

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