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I used to hate hair stylists.
Where most people saw this:
I saw this:
It all started with one horrifying and fateful day at the salon that scarred me forever. I went in for a cut hoping for an updated look, healthy ends and maybe some layering. My hair was super long and fried from salt, sun and chlorine, so it seemed logical that I’d get a cut. What ensued was something that no one could have prepared for.
I started out like this:
And ended up like this:
Ok so I potentially exaggerated.
But the moral of the story is that I was so completely devastated that — after crying so much that I permanently damaged my tear ducts and scared the living hell out of my parents — I stopped getting haircuts altogether. I couldn’t trust hairstylists, my self esteem had been destroyed and I was out of options. I literally have had nightmares ever since about my hair being cut. People try to make jokes about it but IT’S NOT FUNNY. So my hair has grown… and grown…. and grown some more.
Fast forward five years.
After those five years of sun damage, embarrassing split ends and more nagging from my mother than was psychologically tolerable without a therapist, I decided it was time to get a woman haircut. The definitive moment was when I buckled my hair into my seat belt. Not a good look. I think that was God’s way of saying, “Enough’s enough, get your shit together.”
So I made an appointment at a local salon (after extensive Yelp research, of course) and started creating inspiration boards for my new stylist to show how I wanted my hair to be designed. I wasn’t messing around this time. When the day came, I thought I was having apoplexy, so to calm myself I put on some ethereally ambiguous Ellie Goulding (I know, I know. All Ellie Goulding is ethereally ambiguous. Whatever) and did some deep breathing exercises in my car outside the salon.
I got myself together, walked into the salon and saw stylists at work:
I quickly closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths, re-opened:
Maybe I can do this.
When I met Bridgett, my new
best friend stylist, I knew we were on the same page. It was part therapy session part salon day. And also kinda like a first date. I told her about my past and my baggage with other stylists, showed her my board and told her what I was looking for and what my expectations were and that if she hurt me I would kill her blah blah blah. Super normal and up front. And then we did it.
When it was all over, I think I may have teared up, I was so relieved. Seven inches lost and I didn’t hate my appearance/life, didn’t feel an encroaching psychotic break, and didn’t want to throw my hair stylist out the nearest window. My hair was beautiful and I felt like a new woman ready to take on the world. It was potentially one of the most liberating moments of my entire life.
If you’re in LA and looking for a stylist that will make you look beautiful and not want to kill yourself, you need to see Bridgett Ballou – Loft Salon – Manhattan Beach. You can thank me later. Until then, I’ll be tossing my hair around like an over-caffeinated sorority girl. Wait…