Yesterday evening I went to a new hairdresser for the first time in 7 years. It was a very difficult decision, however, it was time for us to go our separate ways. I know that it sounds as if I am describing the end of a marriage not a hairdresser-client relationship but that is exactly how it felt as I sat in the new chair with strange hands working on my head. As I have not yet informed my former hairdresser of the switch, I feel like an adulterer.
When I came to Poland, I had a lot of things to take care of as in any move regardless if it is to a foreign country or not. I needed to find someplace to live, to open a bank account, get a doctor, get a dentist, find a hairdresser and so on. I decided to choose a hair salon in the Market Square. The Market Square was in my mind an exclusive place with a lot of foot traffic, and I was sure that was where the best of everything was located- the best salons, the best shops, the best restaurants, you name it. That idea of mine tends to ring true in big cities but believe me, it doesn’t always work in small towns. I got to know it first-hand after visiting a pub alone in a small town market square in Poland. I lived to tell the tale and I got treated to a lot drinks.
As I entered the salon, I felt that my instincts had been correct. The salon was a very elegant mix of antique furnishings with modern hairdressing equipment. The stylists were très chic. The receptionist was serving coffee in delicate porcelain cups. This is what I was looking for, not just a haircut but a visit to a real salon. I asked the receptionist if it was possible to have a haircut today. To my surprise, it was possible and she directed me to the stylist who would be in charge of my salon experience. My hairdresser was a petite blonde who looked like she could be the sister of Polish pop star Reni Jusis. For those of you familiar with Reni Jusis, I am talking about old-school Reni, think of the Zakręcona-era (one of my favorite songs ever!) with the super short bangs. http://www.renijusis.com/My abilities in the Polish language at the that time were pretty poor but I am 100% positive that I managed to say that I wanted my bangs cut but NOT like hers. It should be mentioned that I am a mishap magnet and that you should be careful because that affliction of mine is highly contagious. I left the salon quite a bit poorer and sporting my new super short bangs.
I, however, did not give up. I returned to the same salon a good 3 months later (that’s how long it took for my bangs to reach my eyebrows) and saw a young man dressed in black from head to toe, with black hair and icy blue eyes lounging cat-like on a hairdressing chair. I asked him if he was available, he replied that he was and from that moment on Daniel and I were a team through long hair and short, one-length cuts, layers, growing out bangs, covering up mini bald patches due to some serious side effects of medicine when I was ill, an unfortunate “Rachel” and an even worse modified-Farah. He was my guy.
At my first visit, I got to know that Daniel was just starting out in the hairdressing business and that he had yet to build up his clientele. Over the years, we chatted politely about this and that. His approach to our conversations changed from describing his vacation with “friends” to showing vacation pics with his partner. We talked about life, Polish and American culture, our relationships with our parents, our common acquaintances, illnesses, children, politics, just about everything and nothing all at once. Visits to the hairdresser which I used to dread almost as much as visits to the dentist had somehow become bearable even pleasurable. This change in my feelings did not go unnoticed by Misiu but as he assessed that Daniel was “shiny” as he called it (błyszczący), he wasn’t worried about how much I enjoyed our time together.
And then something happened and our time together while still pleasurable and still resulting in a super hairstyle started to become more and more of a hassle. Not only I had noticed this fantastic stylist but a lot of women of the City had noticed too. Getting a slot in his book required a 3-month forethought and cancellations were unheard of. A two-week vacation of Daniel’s could put half of the women of the City into hysteria. Luckily for me, I do not color my hair yet (Daniel pulls out my gray hair one by one) so I could always wait but the situation was getting more and more difficult. Now that I have two children, it is a bit of an ordeal to book a hair appointment 3 months in advance, drive to the center of the City, find a place to park, get a haircut, pay the City price, pay for parking and drive back. After weighing up the pros and cons and seeing a new salon opened in my neighborhood, I decided to take the plunge.
As I sat down at the new, fresh salon, I immediately confessed that this was my first visit to another stylist in 7 years, something like the adulteress spouse defending their cheating ways -“I usually don’t do this kind of thing”. My new hairdresser a young, brunette lady listened to me carefully, asked me a lot of questions and surprise, surprise gave me a decent haircut all for the price of 3 haircuts from the City salon. Her hands were not as sure and steady as my Daniel who always said he knows my hair so well that he could even cut it in the dark, but I am nonetheless satisfied. I’m definitely going back there but you can be sure that when someone asks me for the number of my hairdresser, it won’t be on hand. It’s a little selfish I know but I cannot wait 3 months for my next haircut.
No picture of my new do in this post because I could not achieve one in which I do not look like my father with a bob. Sorry.