Savvy womens Magazine

Autumn Hair

By Wendy Reichental

When a friend suggested I try this new upscale salon/spa, I decided “why not?” and left it up to “Destiny.” That would be “Destiny,” a recommended hairstylist who, lucky for me, had an opening. At the swanky and glistening reception area, I'm sitting anxiously flipping through several hair magazines while secretly observing other women. So far so good, none of them are leaving in tears. Tightly clad hairdressers come by to retrieve their clients. The typical double kiss on cheek is exchanged. This affectionate custom began I believe when one woman in a state of utter hair despair saw the results of her new "do" and was so immediately gratified and elated that she inadvertently grabbed and kissed her startled hairdresser. Now the rest of us must display the same level of indebted appreciation.

A girl with a pierced upper lip approaches and beckons me to follow her. She introduces me to Destiny. Destiny wastes no time with pleasantries and starts running her fingers through my hair. As she does this, she blurts out her findings like a CSI agent hovering over a dead body; only this is my damaged and lacking any body hair! She continues, “hair very fine,” “cowlick,” “bangs too short,” and “mousy color.” After examining my hair, she feels rather strongly that lots of rich highlights and layers are needed to create volume and add light to the frame of my face. Next a hair colorist, whose own hair color resembles pink bubble gum, approaches and, in unison, Destiny and Pink are now oozing with confidence that by the time they are finished with me, I will be transformed and unrecognizable!

Two different colors for my highlights are being mixed in a bowl. A mild panic grips me as I notice these colors appear to be a neon raspberry and a bright orange crush. She smells my fear and reassures me that everything will be fine and to try and relax! Easy to say, when you aren’t the one morphing into “Chuckles the Clown!” She applies these colors liberally to sections of my hair and then uses these special pre-cut pieces of Aluminum Foil paper to fold over the strategically selected strands. She sets the timer and then leaves me to marinate. After I’ve beeped, I’m escorted to the sink for the washing process. I can't wait to sneak a peek in the mirror, but I decide against this and opt instead to keep my eyes firmly shut and then be completely surprised. Back at the chair, I feel Destiny combing out my hair and before long the snip snipping sounds of her scissors. It feels soothing, and I am almost lulled to sleep by this motion. Until, she abruptly pauses and remarks that she can't remember if she already did my left side!

Eyes wide open now, I'm relieved to discover that only my slumber was cut short and much to my relief, my shoulder length hair looks even. I even think I see some auburn highlights especially when I tilt my head directly under the light. Destiny is pleased with the outcome and starts showing me the many versatile ways my style can be worn; for instance, my bangs can be side-swept, or straight down, or completely off my forehead and parted zigzag. For dramatic effect she blasts my new do with her “ultimate freeze" hairspray. She reaches for a hand held mirror to give me, and twirls my chair around, a mandatory maneuver. I catch my reflection; my hair is blow dried straight; my wavy hair gone; it looks perfect, not a hair out of place, just me I suppose.

At the counter I’m given the bill and realize that the L'Oreal commercial did not warn me just how much I was worth! After I paid out the last of my bills in tip money to everyone there who was even remotely connected to my head, I headed out. Outside as I walked several blocks to my car, the skies suddenly opened up and sure enough a steady stream of rain and wind has given way. I am finally home and drying off, sipping my chamomile tea, doing my best to avoid any mirrors. But too late I catch a distorted view off my toaster; my hair has receded back to its original frizzy and matted state. I can’t help but wonder, maybe I need to make peace with the realization that unlike the weather, perhaps not all is meant to change!

About the Author:
Wendy Reichental is a graduate of McGill University with a B.A. and a Diploma in Human Relations and Family Life. After graduating, she decided to stay put and work at the University in the hopes it would keep her spirit young and always enlightened. She resides in Montreal and is married to a patient and kind man who doesn't mind sometimes being the comical inspiration for her stories. She writes a monthly column called Wendy's Foibles at