(before haircut)Y'all know how I have raved about Hair Rules - the products that I use live up to their promises (the no-suds cleanser is so moisturizing that I almost forgot to condition my hair on more than one occasion); Anthony Dickey, a co-founder of the brand, has styled the hell out of some hair - celebrities and non-celebrities alike - I've seen the gorgeous results with my own eyes; and the salon specializes in "textured" hair, and if nothing, I've got plenty of texture all up in here. It was a no-brainer that my cut should be done at their salon. Dickey himself sheared me up and the resulting style looked good, though not great (the haircut inspiration photo I shared with Dickey is the first photo at the top of this post). My inner voice kept an interventionist dialogue going with the rest of my disappointed, then angry and frustrated self. My stated request was to keep my length while being given the shape illustrated in the inspiration photo that I dutifully brought along. I'm still wondering where our lines of communication crossed.
I was on a personal hair growth mission - testing my limits and figuring out how long I could let it grow (this challenge has been akin to figuring out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop. Like the owl, it seems I will never know). I was coveting the luscious, glorious afro-extraordinaire of the model who appeared on my Body Shoppe discount card about six years ago. I could have been a contender!
I arrived at the salon a few minutes early for my 6:00pm appointment to find I was not on the schedule. RED ALERT. What is really going on? Now, journey with me; I don't want to be unfair. The appointment was made weeks beforehand and confirmed, but stuff happens, and I didn't want to judge harshly so I kept on keeping on. I get to the chair, and because curly styles are cut on straight hair, I am blown out. The benefits of this method are far from lost on me, especially after an experience with a Moroccan stylist who was truly gifted with shaping curly hair, but whose work looked like an Edward Scissorhands swagger-jack when blown out straight. I occasionally wear my hair straight, so it is important that a cut has some sense of symmetry.
(the diffusing process)Dickey begins to cut and my worry grows as he takes his third pass with the shears. "This man is a celebrity stylist with a great reputation," I said to myself, "and I let him know clearly that I wanted to keep my length. It will be fine." I should have been all over it once he hit on the second pass, but once he began the third it was already too late. On my way to the sink for cleansing, conditioning and curly whip application, I caught a glimpse of my hair from the side and felt all verklempt. Sweet Jesus, it was so much shorter than I asked for. At this point I could only hold out and see how it translated into the curly look.
(final haircut)After sitting under the dryer for about 15-20 minutes to let the curly whip dry a bit, I was diffused while lying down. The curl definition was serious business, people. I do not exaggerate when I say there was no frizz. He shook it out with his fingers to separate the curls and give it more volume and still no frizz. I kept pulling at the hair at my nape, asking if there was a way to elongate the curl back there (code for: What the eff??? Why is this so short?? Can I get some of it back? No? Wahhhhhhh!)
(three days after haircut)Needless to say, I left the salon with conflicted feelings. My hair was cute but not what I asked for or imagined. If you've ever had a cut gone wrong, then you know what I mean. In an attempt at self-soothing, I told myself that my hair would look as good as Marsha Ambrosius' once given three months or so to grow out. I was alarmed by the lack of body, but Dickey assured me that it would fill out and by day three it had. Day three was a very good day. Redemption!
(what I hope my haircut will resemble in 3 months!)In a nutshell: I highly recommend their products, but the jury is still out on styling. If you go, make sure you call ahead to re-confirm your appointment. Bring photos and not only stipulate the shape you would like, but also be explicit regarding length. My hair is MUCH shorter than I wanted it to be, though if the cut necessitated this length, I would have accepted that. Clear communication is necessary to avoid such situations. I thought that was understood, but clearly I was not. Dickey has a long and loyal roster of clients (I told you, I've seen some beautiful hair birthed by his hands) so I am at a loss as to what happened the night that I visited. I am chalking this near-debacle up to distraction and misunderstanding, and waiting three months for my happy ending. -Zee
Disclosure: Products in this post were provided for consideration by the company. For more information, please see my disclosure.