Here is a little cautionary tale, friends, at which you will want to curl up and dye.
PING goes Facebook and there it is, an appeal from a friend asking for people who want to get paid to have their hair cut, for a hair show.
Great! Says I – notoriously lazy about having my locks shorn, usually opting to wait til I go home to England where I get my mum to just chop off the dead ends. My hair, in short, is looooong.
But it needs a trim and I fancy a bit of a style and maybe some fun colour, so along I go to the casting and to my delight I am selected. The stylist, a suitably fabulous Italian man in studded loafers, named Silvio (obviously), points at a hairdo in a magazine – this is what he will do with my hair. ‘It is ok?’ It looks fine – mostly some cool blonde highlights and a lot of curling and volumising, but, with all that, it’s still below shoulder length. ‘OK, so it’ll still be long, right?’ I ask. ‘Sure, suuurree,’ he says confidently, if a little dismissively. This very exchange is repeated after they apply the colour and I sit in the cutting chair: ‘Because, my hair is the source of all my powers you know,’ I half joke, ‘I like, reeaalllly like my long hair. So, not short, right?’ I add, as he brandishes the scissors.
‘No no, not short,’ he sings just moments before he merrily chops METRES off my beloved locks. I let out a scream as I see the chunks fall on the floor.
‘No no!’ He cheerily assures me, ‘Is layers! Bottom layer, he is still long. Same long as before! No problemo!’
Bottom layer, he is NOT same long as before. As for top layer, he is the same length as my fucking fringe. So now I have molto problemo in the form of a stupid haircut, which may, to Silvio, be the height of style, but looks to me like what is essentially a boofy mullet.
The next installment in my journey of humiliation was the prep for the hair show itself. Silvio, like any hairdresser worth his salt, absent mindedly runs his hands through my newly hacked tresses while chatting away to the colourist about another model entirely. I am, it is clear, simply the pesky human attached to the real star: ‘The woman under this hair, why is she crying?’
He applies BOTTLES of product to it and teases it inexorably upwards, curling and scrunching and pinning. Next up: make up. The bejewelled gentleman tasked with attending to my face has a particular disdain for my eyebrows. He seems unconvinced by their shape, blithely scraping at them with a razor. Now he has evidently decided they are rendered too flimsy – damn these feeble things, he thinks. I know, a lovely bricky brown, ooh yes, nice and thick. And now, for the eyelids. They shall be pink, of course!
The over-all effect was that of a terrible 80s drag queen with patchy facial eczema.
Perhaps, under the lights, it looked effective, I do not know. What I do know is that I am now faced with the daily reality of wrangling what amounts to a bowl-cut atop heavily textured layers, in Bangkok’s notorious humidity. This morning I washed it to see what I was actually working with and applied a metric shit ton of serum to it before venturing outdoors. This morning, I expect Silvio merely flipped his Skrillex mop top to the other side of his stubbly undercut and went for a cigarette and a stroll, ruffling the heads of passersby. Skipping probably.
The moral of this fable of follicles is simple: NEVER trust a hairdresser. Especially not a fantastically gung ho Italian one who is paying you to whatever the shit he likes with your locks.