Brave New World

Friday, November 30, 2012

I did something really brave people.

For the first time ever, I got my hair cut and colored in New York City.  Now, I know what you're thinking.  New York City is pretty much the fashion and beauty capitol of the world.  You just pull a Devil Wears Prada makeover transformation and call it good, right?  Why would it be stressful or require bravery to get your hair cut in Manhattan?

Here is why.  Because this city is ridiculously expensive.

I am a very frequent customer of pretty much the most expensive salon in Oklahoma City.  I can sit down in Becky's chair, say "I'm sort of thinking something darker-ish with some layers and I'm not sure what else" and the woman works magic.  And that costs me about $120, which I consider to be totally worth it.  Of course, I tip her well and buy a couple of products, so it's actually around $175.  But you have to tip the hair stylist...don't want them to mess up your hair in the future, right?

But New York is a whole different story.  Please refer to my recent post about my new favorite place DryBar for an example.  To get your hair cut here, much less do any sort of color or highlights, is to shell out a not-so-small fortune.  I'm talking an amount that most Okies pay for rent.  I personally know a very normal non-reality star or housewives type woman who once paid $800 for a cut and highlights in New York City.  I am not kidding.  I don't think my first car cost $800.  Actually, I don't even really know who paid for my first car, but that's a different story.  Maybe The Chief knows?

Every time I go back to Oklahoma, the first thing I do is call Becky at my favorite salon and I'm good as new.  This fall, I've now been in Oklahoma three times, two of which were unexpected last-minute visits.  Great, I thought, I can get my hair cut.  And every time I've had to cancel my appointment because of the nature of those unexpected visits.  This most recent time, my ICU-trapped father told me that my hair looked green.  And I wanted to scream that it was his fault for my cancelled hair appointments, but that might be a tad insensitive when the man's on a ventilator.   And even longer I would go with faded stringy hair.

So six months since my hair had some TLC, feeling not-so-cute after a stressful month of a guy, a hurricane, and a bunch of airplanes and hospitals, I took matters into my own hands and went to a highly recommended (ok, one person told me to go there) Aveda hair training institute in SoHo.  And I was so freaking nervous.  I was about to let a student hair person touch my hair.  I had to sign a hold harmless agreement, just in case the student screwed it up.  Freaking out.  Is it too late to back out?  Enter super sweet 18-year-old stylist student who had been in the city for five months.  18 years old.  Five months in hair school.  Crap dang.

But it turned out ok.  I had to be a lot more specific than I normally would, spending significant time negotiating the right color and style.  Her teacher checked the color mixture before it got smeared all over my hairs, the cut, and the final product.  It only took three hours.  And I was good and didn't even buy any new products.  So $80, I had at least decent hair again for a total New York bargain.  $80 for a cut and color from a student with five months experience.

But I still miss Becky.

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