April 11, 2009

That's the Beauty of It

I signed in at the desk. The girl behind the counter smiled, saying, "I remember you!" Another girl came towards me, hand extended. "Hi, I'm Cassie." She led me to her work station and draped an enormous sheet of black around me. This is how I sat for the next two and a half hours, mindlessly flipping though a magazine (poor Lindsay Lohan), checking my Facebook on my phone, and looking into the endless reflections in the mirror to spy on everyone else's customers. Ah, the price we ladies pay!

While I was sitting in the barber chair, I realized I was not in Kansas anymore. I go to Regency, which is one of the beauty schools here, but manages to pull off a little swankness nonetheless. Mostly, I go there because I can walk out with a color and cut for around $30, which is absolutely unheard of anywhere else. Also, I go because the crowd is particularly entertaining.

Today's atmosphere was set by a Taylor Swift cd, then "Uptown Girl" and "Rockafeller Skank", followed by The Killers and Coldplay, with no rhyme or reason other than someone deciding they wanted to hear a song. (There was even a remix of "Party Like a Rockstar" by a student there.) A couple girls sang along in high pitched voices, the others laughing at them. Cassie sectioned off my hair and stood back to think. The instructor came by and felt the ends, fluffing my roots. This is one thing that is slightly unusual here-random people stopping to feel my hair, look at the cut, and make comments like, "Oh, cool, you're doing a double blonde?"

My hair was slicked with color, chopped at with scissors, and blow-dried. In between all this was the shampoo, my favorite part. I would almost pay for just this part, because the scalp massage that comes during the rinses is nothing less than a slice of heaven. I feel like a celebrity for about 3 minutes, and it's so relaxing that I always have to will myself to keep my eyes open when I get back into the chair for the haircut. 

This picture is what it looks like-lots of wood and black. Looking in the mirrors, I could see the guy behind me with light blue nail polish, spiked hair, and a much better figure than myself. There were the triplet-like girls with the same bleached hair and short, razored cuts. Cassie, who had a teased, 60s look with red and blonde pieces, had never cut my hair before. This is awesome because they ask every time if I want someone specific. I always tell them I liked who did it last time-and I get a new person every time. The reasons for this are: A, I've met at least three people there named Cassie or something similar, and B-asking me to describe the person who took care of me last time is a joke. "Was she blonde or brunette?" they have asked before. No matter which answer I say, it is sure to be wrong, because the hair stylists there (and probably everywhere) change their color and style every other week. 

So, Cassie #3 finished grabbing bits of hair and splicing sections, and spun me around. She stuck a mirror in my hand and asked me what I thought. I eyed my new layers. It's the best hair cut I've ever had! Nothing exciting, and same length and color, but I left there pretty impressed with myself. I slid on my big sunglasses and drove out to the busy street, blasting music and feeling fly. And then I came to a complete halt as Champaign-Urbana also did with the 10,000 marathon runners. 

It took me 45 minutes to get home. Never mind feeling like a celebrity anymore. But I still like the haircut.

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