*Googles how to cut and highlight own hair*
Don’t get us wrong- we love the excitement of having freshly cut and coloured hair. There’s no better feeling then swanning out of the salon with shiny, silky, swishy locks. When a haircut’s done right, you spend all afternoon checking it out in every car window you pass and find yourself desperately trying to make plans for the evening so you can show it off and revel in your new found vanity. You feel like Gracie Hart stepping out for the first time in Miss Congeniality, or for the 90s lovers amongst us- Vivienne from Pretty Woman when she wears THE dress. Basically, you feel like you can conquer the world and make rich men fall at your feet. There’s nothing quite like the power of a good haircut, Coco Chanel herself once said “a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life”. You feel empowered, confident and slightly high from all the hairspray- life is good.
That is of course, until your roots start to show. Your once bouncy hair starts to feel lifeless and limp and that shiny, silky glow it had weeks ago is now replaced by split ends and overgrown bangs. This is when (if you’re amongst the lucky, socially awkward people of society) the dread starts to kick in. You need to get your hair done. Sh*t.
You know that it’s worth it for the final result, but the hairdressers is an intense, scary place for the socially awkward. So, if you’re one of us you can hopefully relate and laugh along to our first world problems. If you’re not, then you can read anyway and appreciate what we’re going through whilst you’re sat all smug and breezy in the chair next to us.
1) The initial phone call
Ah, the telephone- that familiar foe of the socially awkward. Some hairdressers have now began to take appointments online, which of course is music to our ears. However, most still sadly require a phone call, which always results in about 30 minutes build up and then lots of stumbling over your own words.
2) You memorise exactly what you’ll tell the hairdresser before you go in to minimise the chance of a bad cut.
But when the time comes to actually tell them what you want, you end up nervously mumbling some nonsense instead.
3) The fear of being too quiet
You’ve just about got through all the typical questions (are you going anywhere special tonight? Do you have any vacations booked? Can you believe the weather out there? blah blah blah) when suddenly neither of you are speaking. You tell yourself that it should be done any minute now, but look at your phone and realise you’ve only been there for 7 minutes. You look around and see all the model customers chatting away and laughing with the staff like they’re long lost friends and suddenly you feel paranoid that you’re being a mute. You’re not normally this painfully shy person, but for some reason when in this chair you start to embody Allison from The Breakfast Club.
3) The Coffee/Tea Fiasco
You need a coffee to perk you up and a 16 year old intern brings it over to you. It’s about 8x stronger than you normally drink it and you know it doesn’t have the sweetener in it that you asked for. However, you don’t politely ask for more milk like you would in any other situation. Instead you say thank you about fifteen times and force it down for absolutely no logical reason whatsoever.
4) The Inevitable Water Question
“Is the water temperature OK for you?”. You smile and say “yes it’s perfect thank you”. In reality, it feels like they’re pouring lava on to your scalp. You don’t want to change your mind and say it’s too hot in the fear of looking like a demanding diva so instead just embrace the fact that you’re probably going to be bald in a few hours time. Hey, if it can work for Sinead O’Connor…
5) You feel the need to lie about your hair care routine
For some weird, unknown reason when asked about how you look after your hair you start to reel off products that you’d never in a million years use. Suddenly you use heat protector, frizz serum, coconut oils and do a deep conditioning treatment on your hair every few days. Maybe we do it due to the embarrassment of admitting that, in reality, we live off dry shampoo- or maybe it’s just so we have something else to talk about.
6) The Reassuring Smile
You don’t want to seem rude and moody by being overly quiet so you just keep smiling at your hairdresser in the mirror ever so often to reassure them that you’re loving their work. However, after the fifth time of doing this you realise that you probably look like a serial killer and are just creeping them out.
7) The Quick Page Turn
You’ve been left alone for a while with a load of aluminium foil on your head whilst the colour develops. You’re looking ridiculous but finally feeling relaxed in your own company and begin to casually flip through a magazine. You turn the page to a racy sex article just as the hairdresser comes back to check your hair. You frantically turn the page and die inside at the thought that the hairdresser now thinks you’re a pervert as well as a freakishly quiet serial killer. Great.
8) Trying your hardest to hide your boredom
As thrilling as it is to scroll through the same Facebook/Instagram/Twitter feed ten times in a row and stare at yourself in the mirror, after a while you start to feel bored and it’s blatantly obvious to the hairdresser that you just want to escape. This makes the situation even more intense.
9) The supposedly ‘relaxing’ head massage
This level of intimacy just makes you tense up even more. You sit there and wonder why you’ve paid money out of your own hard earned wages for this torture. Just please make it stop.
10) The final result
The most awkward, tense moment of them all. The fear when the hairdresser shows you your hair in the mirror and you have to either tell them that you love it (in the most unconvincing, insincere way ever- even if you do actually love it) or tell them it’s lovely (even though you want to die).
So, there we have it- we hope that you feel safer in the knowledge that you’re not alone in these testing times. Feel free to share this with your other socially awkward friends and let us know if there’s any other hairdresser moments which make you wish for the ground to swallow you up. Misery loves company after all…