So. Despite the bloodbath (I mean, the home hair colouring) my mane was still a mess. I simply have TOO MUCH hair (on my head, I hasten to add). It's getting heavy, weighing me down. I swear to God it's adding a couple of pounds to the scales. When I do Zumba and tie it up in a high ponytail it sort of does its own dance, to a different beat, which feels very weird – a bit like playing different rhythms with each hand on the piano. Anyhow.
'I really need a haircut,' I told the SP. He looked benignly at me and gently licked my hand in sympathy.
'I REALLY NEED A HAIRCUT!' I shouted (in my head, of course) at the universe in general. And lo!
‘Any bloggers around Taunton want a haircut and colour?’said Twitter. Right there and then. Bloody hell.
So I said, Yes please. And they said Next Thursday okay for you? And I said, Sure. And they said Great. And I said Look, I should warn you that when I review things I’m honest, sometimes brutally so. And they sort of gulped (well, maybe I imagined that but I could sort of hear it in the pause between emails) and then they said, No Problem. In an Oh shit what have we let ourselves in for? sort of way. And I said Great. So there we were. Thank you, Universe. Thank you, Twitter. Thank you, Sarah Hodge hairdressers.
And there I was. A week later - yesterday, in fact - in Taunton. And first I met another Tweeter (sorry, can’t do Tweep), Nicki (@waysidehealer) at Brazz for a quick cuppa. And she was as lovely as I expected. And we swapped teabags (as you do) – my Yogi tea for her Pukka – and talked social media and healing and the universe and so on.
|Lucy, Charlotte, Karly, Maria|
And then on to Sarah Hodge. Big friendly smiles as I walked in (always a good sign). No, scrap that. HUGE friendly smiles. Okay, you can argue that they knew I was coming and that I would be writing about them, but I promise you, after years in this business, you can tell when it’s put on and when it’s the real thing.
Karly took charge.
‘So, what do you want?’ she said, lifting up bits, peering, trying not to snort out loud. Now that's a big question, I thought.
'With regards to your hair,' she clarified. Another mind reader, huh?
‘Heck, I don’t know,’ I said. ‘What do you think? You’re the expert. Do whatever you think.’
Oh no. She wasn’t letting me get away with that.
‘Okay…’ she said slowly, patiently. ‘What don’t you like?’
‘Bobs,’ I said firmly. ‘I really hate bobs. I mean…’ Backtracking quickly as I glanced around and spotting a couple. ‘They’re great on other people but not on me. Oh, and not brown. Or black. I tried black hair once and I looked like a dead person. Other than that...anything. Apart from badger stripes.’
She nodded understandingly and kept asking questions. I have never thought about my hair so much. And finally she reckoned she'd cut a bit, heave off some of the sheer volume of the stuff, and that she might run through some high and lowlight thingies through it.
‘But that won’t be very dramatic,’ I said. ‘I mean, for the blog. You’ll want a total transformation. Before and after shots. You know, long red hair to bright blonde, er, bob or something.’
She gave me that puzzled look. People never understand that, as a journalist, it's in your genes to do whatever it takes for a good story and if that means putting your health, sanity, reputation, life...looks even…on the line... you’ll do it.
Anyhow. She had that comforting confidence that all good hairdressers have and I was fed up of fighting in general so I put up my hands and said, ‘Do with me as you will.’
And very delightful it was too.
First up, it was warm. WARM. I got back feeling in my fingers for the first time in months. Then lovely Charlotte gave me a head and neck massage before she washed my hair. And they fussed around me and generally made me feel deeply pampered and welcome. And interesting conversation too. Okay, so not ghosts and space cleansings this time, but Karly and I chatted about press and privacy, about state versus private education, about business and marketing, and about who had had the dodgiest hair extensions back in the 80s.
And, while I had rather hoped for a wild dramatic change, I had to confess she was probably right. It looked...rather nice. And it felt – delicious – sort of soft and shiny rather than a wild ball of tumbleweed. And they pressed ‘product’ on me and I promised I’d use them (with fingers crossed behind my back). And I walked out feeling all sort of smiley. Because, frankly, it wasn't just a good haircut and colour, they made me feel great. And, honestly, that’s a huge part of the hair salon thingy, isn’t it?
What? Oh, you wanna see? Okay dokey… My webcam has broken so you’ll have to make do with the crappy phone pic, I’m afraid.
And I drove back over the Brendons, to catch a bit of snow and ice action. As the sun was starting to set. Plain beautiful. Just like my day.
Sarah Hodge has salons sprinkled around the South-West – Taunton, Tiverton, Chard, Honiton, Barnstaple, Wellington, Bridgwater. See their website www.sarahhodge.co.uk
They’ve also got a new drop-in salon in Taunton called (doh!) The Salon.
Oh, and things I learned:
* If you’ve got wild hair (or have children with long tangly tresses) you might want to check out the Tangle Teezer – looks like something you get out of a cheap cracker but works seriously well (and gives you a scalp massage at the same time). www.tangleteezer.com
* If you've got wild hair (part two) you need to sort of twist bits of it into sausages before you dry it - this is called 'twisting' apparently and 'stops fluff' (another technical term).
* A thingy called a 'wand' (by Babyliss) is THE 'phenomena' - you wind your hair round it and it goes sort of ringlety (but not in a bad Victorian way). Will I get one? Nah.
* Find a salon with adjustable basins (no neck crick) and - ideally - massage chairs. Oh heaven!
* If hot chocolate tastes like warm milk, it means the machine has run out of chocolate.
And this morning I said to Adrian. 'Hair. How come it needs cutting?'
And he shook his head and carried on leafing through his cookery book.
'I mean, take dogs. Their hair doesn't grow. In fact, animals never need their hair cutting. Apart from sheep. I suppose it's once you start cutting it, then you have to keep on?'
'I haven't a clue.'
'But it's interesting, isn't it? Don't you wonder why?'
'Never give it a moment's thought.'
I sighed. He rolled his eyes. 'You can't get cross because I'm not interested. It's biology. I'm interested in other things.'
'You don't believe in ghosts.'
'So what? I can still find them interesting. Fictionally. I don't believe in fiction but I still read it.' He paused.
'Anyway, pubic hair doesn't grow.'
I decided to leave the conversation right there.
And if anyone knows. Why hair grows... Tiddly pom...please tell me. And sorry about all the ands - it was an and sort of day.