It took roughly 3 months, but I finally made a hair appointment to add some aubergine tones (that's a thing) to my hair. I know what you're thinking: "But Pharon, is that enough time to think through such a DRASTIC decision?!" and I know you're being sarcastic, but trust me: It still felt like I made the decision on a whim. Especially because my normal hair girl was unavailable so I had to go with a sub. So yeah, I'm scared.
But guys? Salons are not my friends. They aren't. Some of my worst decisions have been made in a salon.
I suppose it started, as all bad appearance-based decisions do, in high school. I was a fresh-faced Sophomore attending my first formal dance. My parents had allowed me to go get the much-coveted "up do" at a fancy Edina salon. I told the 80-year-old stylist I wanted to look "classy. Mature, even." I walked out of there with this:
That right there is a giant French twist with some suuuuper classy face-framing spiral curls. I looked like an adolescent Giada Di Laurentiis. I'm surprised I didn't fall over more, considering the massive size of my head and my pre-beer 90-pound body. I don't know math, but I know that physics and gravity were working against me.
After that came several other no nos: the misguided blonde phase, the time I cried and kicked a pedicurist who had the gall to touch my feet, the regrettable hair-stripping incident when I sat under a hot dryer with green goo slipping down my face as it got rid of my gothic-black dye.
OH! And there was the time when, as a full-fledged adult, I went to a spa for a body polish. That's where they lay you down in a dimly-light room while a lady in a white coat turns on calming music, slips some lavender oil between her hands and then roughly sloughs off all the dead skin from your body. I was such a nerd that I got in the salon's shower with my underwear on because I was paranoid someone would walk in on me rinsing the top 3 layers of my skin off and be like "HAVE SOME DECENCY, WOMAN!"
I'm just not cool when it comes to pampering. I am too antsy; too talkative; too nervous; too self-conscious. I don't say, "No, Ethel, that French twist is insane," or "So how do I shower?" I'm like a middle-aged fedora-wearing gamer. No social skills or awareness.
Also? Can we talk about salon politics?! I never feel worse than when I make an appointment with someone other than my main stylist; it's like being caught at a speed-dating event by the person you're married to. Then, like, you SEE your stylist and she smiles at you and is super cool, but deep down, you're thinking, "I'm a traitor and the next time I see her, she has every right to 'accidentally' chop off all my hair." That on top of the pressure of doing tipping math in my head is enough to keep me away from the salon for 9-12 months.
Oh, and is there ANYTHING worse than chatting during a hair-drying phase? You have to literally YELL over the sound (lest you be rude and just stay silent) and then they turn the dryer off and it becomes crystal clear that you have been screaming about your weird rash thing for 10 minutes.
So anyway, here I am, heading into the firing squad with a dream of aubergine hair and no actual knowledge about how to tell a perfect stranger what I want. You can't just be like "here's a picture" because then they'll be like, "Okay, well this is Selena Gomez. And you...do not have Selena Gomez's hair. Or complexion. Or any other feature even SORT of resembling Selena Gomez. Also, you're old."
Then there's the risk that your version of aubergine is someone else's version of cherry, or that "subtle-yet-noticeable" to you is not the same as it is to someone who isn't paying $200 for hair paint. Really it's all just a big coin flip at this point, and that makes me scared. Which is weird because I can't even DO my hair...or my makeup...or put an outfit together, so you'd think I just don't really care. But I DO care. And it's not like I'm going to speak up...I'll walk out of there gushing about my Bozo hair done up in a French twist like a Kardashian gushing about lip injections.
I guess we'll see what happens. Chances are, the change will only be noticeable to me; on the other hand, I could also wind up looking like someone who works at Hot Topic. Oh well, at least I'll know what to do with my underwear this time.