{02/05/2012}   Hairdresser chit chat

I do not like going to the hairdresser. I do not like making small talk to hairdressers. I just want my hair cut and to get out of there. I don’t even book appointments because it is something to dread not look forward to. The other day, after dropping in to three salons who were unable to give me a cut there and then, the fourth had a stylist available within five minutes. Result.
He was the first male hairdresser who had cut my hair in years. He was also the chattiest hairdresser I have possibly ever had. All this said, he was a nice bloke. He initiated the conversation at the hair wash phase. I couldn’t hear very well, what with the disco music being pumped out and water in my ears, so I uttered a few grunts to indicate I was engaged in the conversation. But it seems that I had encouraged him to believe I was into slasher films. I am not. I never have been, I never will be and the mere talk of the gruesome infiltrates my night brain and nightmares ensue. Just not a subject I ever want to discuss.
It transpires that his girlfriend loves them and he endures them. He asked me if I’d seen a whole array of films and TV programmes, all of which I told him “No, I really don’t like that kind of thing”. So instead of changing the subject or genre, he then filled me in on the plots, etc. Seriously disturbing stuff. I felt out of my depth and even more uncomfortable in a hair salon than usual.
Hair salons, in my experience, are largely staffed with people far younger and trendier than me. I don’t think I’ve ever walked into a hair salon looking either trendy or young; I am usually barely concealing a look of dread that gives me frown lines. Yet, is it just me or does everyone get asked about clubs, boozy nights out and slasher films? I once had my hair done in Manchester. My stylist asked me where I clubbed in Manchester. Me? Really? Fortunately, as I didn’t live in Manchester, that was my excuse. So she told me where she thought I’d like to go in Manchester. I had meant to go there, just to identify what it was she thought of me but I didn’t have a chance to go.
An elderly woman next to me the other day was waiting for her dye to take. She was telling her lively young stylist about her days in the dance halls of yesteryear. Good for her, she kept up with the conversation better than me. I have nothing against hairdressers, I can see that they don’t want to spend the day in silence, but I believe there is a skill to judging what your client would prefer. By explaining what I’d like doing to my hair and then sitting mutely, I always think it’s blatantly obvious I want silence. All this talk of clubbing and slashers makes me feel older than is necessary and, no, I don’t want a bloody Victoria Beckham do and, yes, I know I have grey hairs but I’m not falling for that “three hours in the salon as a hostage, released only on payment of an eye-watering ransom” hair dye thing ever again, that was one of the most tortuous three hours of my life! It will be at least a month of bad hair days before I will next set foot in a hair salon.


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