Hair is arguably the most important aspect of our appearance, which is how I justify spending a non-Supercuts amount of money cutting it. We wear it day after day--right there on our heads--so if you net it out, the daily rate is probably equivalent to the price of your Starbucks.
But while I'm willing to pay for top stylists, I'm not willing to hand over control. I've micromanaged so many haircuts that I recently paid for two haircuts at two different salons in the same weekend because I wasn't happy with the first one. I've brought photos (which is generally an advisable practice), asked for a-layer-here-but-not-here, pointed to cowlicks, done the ponytail check in the middle of the session...basically I've done everything short of grabbing the scissors out of the stylist's hands and just doing it myself.
Here's the other thing: I'm not a hairstylist. I'm an editor at the Huffington Post. Pretty much none of my friends are hairstylists. They are teachers, writers, entrepreneurs, political consultants, photographers, architects and lawyers. My friends and I acknowledge that we are a lot of things, but "hairstylist" is not one of them.
So where, then, do we get the nerve to tell our hairstylist what to do?
Would we tell a mechanic how to fix our car?
If we're telling hairstylists how to cut our hair, then what are we paying for? The non-rhetorical answer is that we are paying for stylist's expertise, and in exchange for their expertise we should give them our trust.
I came to stylist Timon Cana of Beverly Hills' Giuseppe Franco Salon the only way I've ever come to a new hairdresser: through a referral. (Hat tip here goes to HuffPost Arts editor Kimberly Brooks and her own stunning Timon Cana coif.)
I decided that if I was going to see a fancy Beverly Hills hairdresser, I was going to just let go and let God. Timon didn't gain that 90210 address for not knowing what she was doing.
When I sat down before Timon, we talked about how controlling clients can be. She pointed out that one of the more confusing practices is when a customer brings a picture of a celebrity and is disappointed when they don't walk out looking like them. As she points out, you can't just superimpose your face on to that celebrity's body. We have different head shapes, hair textures, the absence of a 24/7 hair-and-makeup team, a publicist, stylist, driver, pool boy and so, so many other things.
So there I was, without any photos, just asking Timon to do whatever she wanted with my hair, which had been so damaged by a recent experiment in blondness. It was also feeling really dull, heavy and layer-less.
Timon chopped away putting layers where she thought they should go, and, by my request, returned my hair to brown (I said I was letting going of the cut, not the color).
Here's what happened:
The difference is subtle, but I'm not exaggerating when I say this what the best haircut of my life. Timon worked with my face shape, not with my demands.
So what's my point? I think we all need to stop being control freaks about our hair, and get into the zen of a letting a hairdresser do what she's been highly trained to do. Find someone who is really good, sit back, accept that complimentary glass of spa water, and just relax. Remember: if you don't like it, hair always grows back.