May 13, 2009

Snip, snip, snip, went the hair

♪ Zing, zing, zing, went my heart-strings! ♪

{Charming Swiss hair salon shop sign, discovered via Dom Dada’s Flickr stream.}

Last Friday after popping by the bank, I headed across the street (albeit to a budget-friendly chain type of place) to get myself a ridiculously long overdue hair. I can’t even muster up the courage to admit how long it’s been since my last one, but definitely more than a year. I wasn’t procrastinating in the “just haven’t been bothered to get around to it sense”, but I will admit to delaying the inevitable due to a chronic tailbone problem I have that makes sitting extremely painful. Sadly that means that even the most simple of things like enjoying a meal at a restaurant or sitting in the hairdresser’s chair can be a huge challenge that I need to plan in advance for.

Yet my hair, straight as a rod, fine as a newborn baby’s and thin (aka, there isn’t a lot of it), simply does not have the natural density and volume to pull off bra strap or waist length styles, love the notion of Rapunzel/Jane Seymour like styles as I do.

By sheer luck I picked a good time of the day (noon) to hit the salon, as soon as I walked in I was whisked over to a stylist and my hair was being shampooed in no time. The stylist, who I’ll call “K” was a friendly middle aged woman who seemed to have an uncanny ability to know things about my hair.

“It’s been a long time since your last cut, hasn’t it?” she asked, her fingers flying through my sudsy hair. To which I couldn’t bring myself to cop to how long it really had been and gave the vague answer of “several months”.

Later on she said rather point blank, “You’re hair is thinning, isn’t it?” This is absolutely true; since I was 14 years old my hair has been falling out in disturbing quantities. I’ve sought medical advice, had tests run, tried increasing various vitamin intake levels, but nothing has helped and doctors just seem to shrug and say produce the favourite cop-out of medical practitioners everywhere, “it must be genetics”. Perhaps, but I wish there was so way to know for sure!

Granted working with and understanding the mechanics of hair is her job though, so she really wasn’t getting all Derren Brown about what lays atop my scalp ;) It was just nice to have someone who seemed to understand my hair for once, as I’ve had a really lousy string of hair dressers – and some awful cuts – over the years.

Once shampooed, we discussed how short I wanted to go and I explained that I wanted to still be able to pull it back (how many times have we all heard that now on reality make-over shows, it sounds almost cliché to say at this point) and that being able to curl it, especially in pin curls and hot rollers, was of the utmost importance to me. K proceeded to lop off a good four inches (perhaps more), which brought my hair up to my shoulder blades. She then worked in some layers (I’ve been getting layered cuts for years, but my layers had all but grown out and were in dire need of reviving), blew dry it and rubbed in a palm-ful of volumizing lotion.

The whole experience went much quicker than I’d been dreading it would and I was out of the salon in under half an hour, giddy with my new cut and wishing I’d taken the plunge – or should I say “cut” – ages ago.

{Delightful vintage illustration of a stylish lady getting her hair done. Image care of Kitschy Kitschy Coo’s awesome blog.}

Since then I’ve washed it three times (I generally wash my hair every other day, opting for a shower cap the other days), worn it down, partially pulled up, and in a sort of deconstructed victory roll style. On Monday I picked up some pin curl clips and a rat tail comb (both Goody brand at the drug store (I was also looking for perm papers, which are useful when doing pin curls to help tuck the ends of the hair sections into the curl with, but it seems that drug stores and even Trade Secrets, which I also checked, do not sell them these days, home perms having gone the way of the dinosaur), and I think these tools will make pin curls significantly easier to do then how I’ve been working them thus far, which was with a brush and bobby pins.

I’m not a pin curl expert though and have never attempted them on shorter hair, but I plan to do so soon. It might take a few attempts, but I don’t mind at all. I’m so pleased as punch with the length of my hair right now, that I find myself looking in the mirror more often and actually smiling!

Last Saturday I posted a helpful pin curl instructional video by Lisa Freemont Street, but thought that I’d share some more of my favourite pin curl how-to clips, produced by ladies far more talented than I am in this arena and from whom I’m hoping I will be able to become a pin curling extrodinare.

{From the uber talented Super Kawaii Mama comes an awesome, straight forward, very easy to follow video entitled “Perfect Pin curls”. If you haven’t done so already, I highly encourage you to follow her Youtube Channel, it’s bursting with helpful vintage styling related clips.}

{The lovely Amanda of MistiqueMake-up shows you how to do flat pin curls, which as she points out, can be a lot easier to sleep in overnight than “upright” or “standing” pin curls. After checking out that clip, be sure to see her video “Styling ideas for pin curled hair”.}

{I love this pin curls for beginners instructional video from Strawberry Koi and have watched several times before. Now it takes on a new meaning to me though, as her hair is very similar in length to my own now. I whole heartedly recommend all of Strawberry Koi's videos, and love her gentle voice and thorough manner of teaching things in a very easy to follow manner.}

In my nearly 25 years of life on this rock, I’ve never had a hair cut that I was more pleased with – and there’s no way I’ll ever go so long again without a trim. As this experience proved, sometimes enduring a bit pain in the name of style is worth a huge gain!

{Yikes, now that that looks rough! Photo of a woman getting a cold set perm from Donna Lethal’s Flickr stream.}

Do you love/hate your hair? Have any stories of trips to the beauty parlor that put a smile on your face?


  1. Hi Jessica:)

    Thank you so kindly for visiting my blog! I am delighted to have found a new bloggy friend!

    I adore this post:) I have always loved vintage hairstyles! I have been putting off my own trip to the salon..until now! You have completely inspired me to get out and just go for it! I have the same type of hair that you did...long, straight and thin. Your post really made me want to jump up and ran straight out to get a new do!

    Hope you don't mind me hanging around! Love your blog!


  2. wonderful that you had such a good experience yay! its a love hate relationship with hair (hair and jeans) for me! i've always gotten compliments on my hair mainly i think for the blackness of it and length (not all that long but ususlly longer than most)but i dont ever DO anything with it! i just comb it and it naturally parts in the middle and i just leave it! well i put barrettes on either side but yeah thats it! i love love pin curls! and ive done them in the past for fun and if i had shorter hair i think id do them tons more often. i should put more effort into my hair, definately dont take care of it as i should and its almost always an afterthough as far as getting dressed and looking presentable!!
    wow you got me gabbing! gotta run have a lovely day :)

  3. So pleased the haircut went well, it just cheers you up no end when your hair is lookin' good!xx

  4. I've been pin curling my hair like crazy the past few weeks since I saw that first video you posted. Goodbye hot curlers and sponge rollers!

  5. Great post! I'm glad you had such a wonderful experience at the salon. I really enjoyed reading about your visit there. Your haircut sounds fantastic. I loved the clips you posted. Take care. Have a great day.

  6. there are few things as refreshing as the feeling of walking out of the hair salon with a fresh haircut. you feel like a brand new woman! so glad you had a great experience!

  7. Hi lovely blog friends, thank you very much for your wonderful comments! I'm still floating on cloud nine over how much I love my hair cut. I know it sounds a little silly, but I'm not overexerting when I say that this is the best cut I've ever had and one of the few in my 24 years of life I've actually liked (so, so many hair horror stories ;) ).

    @ elana-lu, you have such incredibly nice hair! It always looks full of luster and is so pretty. I love barrettes and hair clips too, I could probably spend a whole pay cheque on them if I wanted to :D I have trouble finding jeans/pants that work too, being petite. Very recently though I found a lovely pair of jeans from a store here in Canada called Reitmans that fit wonderfully because they are cut specifically for petite figures.

    Thank you again, my dears, I love all of your comments :)

    Happy weekend wishes,
    ♥ Jessica