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The Quest To Quell My Mullet

September 13, 2010

I do most of my writing at the hairdresser. I have a ridiculous amount of hair (think Witch Hazel of Bugs Bunny fame crossed with a country singer from the 70’s) and it was gray before I hit thirty. At forty, a swathe of sidewalk-gray roots is visible every 3 weeks. My point being, I spend a lot of time – not to mention money – at my salon.

The upshot of this is that the hairdresser’s chair affords me the opportunity to write, uninterrupted, for over an hour (as long as I can resist the siren song of Vanity Fair Star Magazine…don’t judge…).

It took me a long time to find a salon where I’m happy to spend almost 30-hours (and hundreds of dollars) every year. In Calgary, I went to a place for years where I thought I was happy. Then I moved to Toronto and realized that colouring hair by washing it, blowdrying it, colouring it, washing it and blowdrying it again (spending close to 3-hours per visit) was not, in fact, common practice. And don’t get me started on the perms they were recommending well into the 90’s (and please…enough with your judging already).

My Toronto experiences weren’t much better – I was off to a rocky start with the dude who wanted me to stand up while he cut my hair (I do not go to the hairdresser expecting isometric exercises), then things got worse (especially from my husband’s perspective) when the next one decided that razor cutting my hair into a pixie cut would be the most flattering style for me (it wasn’t…I’m not, nor will I ever be, pixie-esque).

When we hightailed it to the ‘burbs after I got pregnant, I finally found a new home for my colossal head of hair. It’s a cool little place where perms have been outlawed and they even talked me out of my ill-advised fascination with going blonde. Being in such a public yet confined space, I’m surrounded by fascinating characters and conversations – many have made their way into my writing.

I know coffee shops are a haven for countless writers, one friend writes her best work in the tub and many find inspiration at pubs or lounges (note to self: must try that). But for me, the hairdresser’s will always be my favourite writing haven. Now if I could only convince them to start serving liqour…

Left untreated, my hair is a cross between this...

And this.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2010 10:17 am

    Liquor and hair salons? I think you’ve hit the next big thing!

    • September 15, 2010 10:15 am

      Let’s get that business plan going…hic!…right after I finish this cocktail…

  2. September 13, 2010 2:35 pm

    Wow.. I think my DH would pass out if I indulged that much. I haven’t had my hair cut in over a year (hey, no judging, right?)…

    I was trying to wait until it was long enough to donate but I don’t think I can wait that long. My birthday is in a few weeks and I want it to look good dammit.

    Before children, my writing place was relaxing in lounge chair on my deck (during winter time, summer is too hot). I miss that.

    Nicely written!

    • September 15, 2010 10:14 am

      Ohh – I’d love your writing place pre-kids! Where do you write now? I’m currently on my son’s bed with my daughter climbing all over me wanting to read a Franklin book for the 786,234,299th time…

      • September 15, 2010 4:39 pm

        The majority of my writing now it is reclining on my couch in the main family room (basically, my summer writing place). It has the benefit of being close to the TV, close to the fridge, and close to the bathroom (this was very important when pregnant).

        I would love to be able to get out on the deck this winter and write again while the kids play. Currently, my laptop is just too fascinating for my 1 year old (she is a HUGE fan of the F1 or power button keys) so I can’t really can’t have it where she can reach it. She’ll also drool all over it and if this stops working, I’m in trouble…

        I’ve used the iPod app once for WordPress but I suck terribly at tapping it with my huge clumsy fingers. The biggest issue is the auto correct feature that loves to alter my typos into words that completely change the meaning..

        My son also loves having the same books read over and over and over again. I just hide the books that make me want to put my head through a wall and keep out the ones that are less likely to do that with repetition. 🙂 At least until DH gets home to read them.

      • September 16, 2010 11:55 am

        I hear you re auto correct…and I’m typing this on an iPhone which takes forever!!! You are pregnant with a one yr old and find time to write!?!? You get your own award!

  3. marinasleeps permalink
    September 14, 2010 12:07 am

    I must say I am scared of hair dressers. I always manage to get a pushy hair dresser and they refuse to listen to me and cut my hair however they like that. My tramatic event when I was in 7th grade. This hair dresser gave me … a girl with long brown hair … a boy hair cut. Boy short! How do you do that to a person?
    I however write at work. I love work cause all my best ideas come from there. It’s weird I feel guilty writing at home because I think I should be cleaning or playing with the kids. But I don’t feel guilty at work blogging when I should be writing. Hmmm, strange.

    • September 15, 2010 10:13 am

      Hilarious – you shouldn’t feel guilty doing what you love at work! Even if it isn’t, you know, what you’re supposed to be doing at work…

      I keep repeating your grade 7 hair drama…and I’m 40!!!

  4. September 14, 2010 12:33 pm

    I went gray really young, too. I finally quit coloring it in 2007. Yeah, that was a fun year of growing out the gray. I still have nightmares.

    However, I find the idea of writing in the salon to be fascinating. For one thing, you’re surrounded by all kinds of people and that’s great for the imagination. And for another, I’d prefer the aroma of the colorants and such to the cat pee that I can smell coming from the litter box.

    • September 15, 2010 10:10 am

      So funny – my husband wants me to go grey…thinks it’ll look sophisticated…I suspect I’d look like his mother. Funny enough, there are certain scents in the salon that have a hint of cat pee in them…and I’m PAYING for it!!!


  5. September 16, 2010 11:33 am

    Duuuude…I have so been thinking (obsessing) about this very topic, for several minutes now. My hair story is quite complicated itself, and now that I’m newly preggo, my hair is in some sort of growing-out, roots ablazing, silver streaked limbo. Can’t figure out if I need to cut it, or let the crappiness of it distract from the multiple chins I’m growing.

    I broke up with my original salon, and now I can’t go back. So far, I’ve been going to a much crappier place and doing my own at-home color 0 GASP!. I need to figure this out stat.

    Last pregnancy, I had long, thick, flowing hair. Sniff sniff.

    I never thought of writing at the salon, but that is genius!

    • September 16, 2010 11:52 am

      Ugh! Don’t get me started on the preggo hair! First time I didn’t shed a strand and it was massive so I cut it all off and looked like a fat qtip. Second time the color wouldn’t take so I looked like pepe le pew for months!!! I also did the root touch ups at home for so long that my hair went neopolitan! I say leave your lid because knocked up hair is a dangerous beast…


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