I have what other people call "good hair". It's blonde, naturally highlighted, pin-straight, shiny and thick.
And I hate it.
All those cool styles, with the layers, and the 'bed head', and the curls, waves, texture...absolutely off-limits for me. My bed head looks like the hair Marcia Brady used to get after ironing her hair on the ironing board. It hangs straight, shiny, and in one big, blonde blob. No matter how much time or product I put in it, I am fighting a losing battle to make it "wind-tossed", "kicky" or "funky". I even resorted to cutting it in a drastically asymmetrical style in college in a desperate attempt to rebel, without resorting to changing the color (which every stylist I've ever been to has sworn they would not do, even if I paid them.) Life was great when one-length bobs were the rage--I was all about that--but, styles change, and off I go searching for some way to make my hair do what I want.
Thus, I spend much time and money finding the hair guy who can make my stubborn locks look somewhat stylish, with a minimum of effort from me. I usually look to my friends with good hair, and have had some great recommendations from this. I was lucky to find KC Schwanz at Baci in Madison through a reference, and I was faithful for years. When I arrived in Paris, and desperately needed a cut, Flare pointed me to Min at Studio 203.
My first coiffe was a success, so I returned this week for another. Yes, I went for 5 months without a cut--that shows me that it was a good one, because it grew out well. Dr. B went with me, as he was needing one, too, and he had taken the day off anyway to go pick up our carte de séjour. (More on that later.)
We went in, and went down the stairs to be shampooed. We were served coffee, and read magazines while waiting for Min to return from lunch (he was late.) Dr. B got his cut started with Vincent, the owner of the salon. When Min came in (after explaining why he was late, something about a demonstration in another part of the arrondissement), he quickly got to work.
First, like last time, he combed all of my hair straight up above my head into his hand, being careful to not miss a strand. I call this the 'Cindy-Lou Who look'. He combed it perfectly smooth, and WHACK!!! hacked off three inches, letting the layers drop around my shoulders.
He then began to cut. Snippety snip. Snippety snip. Hair was flying everywhere. The lady next to me was staring like she was afraid I would lose an ear. Snippety snippety snippety snip.
Then he had me stand up, and turn to my left. Since he actually only comes up to my cheekbones (I'm only 5'6"--he's pretty short), he was at the perfect height to make a few more snips around my face.
I sat again, and he went at it again. Snippety snippety snippety snippety snippety snip. Hmm... starting to look pretty good.
ROOOOM! He used the hair dryer to blow away the extra hair around my shoulders and on my lap.
Snippety snippety snippety snippety snippety snip. Wow. Even better. This has got to be just about perfect. Snippety snippety snippety snippety snippety snip.
SNIPPETY SNIPPETY SNIPPETY... (you get the idea)...snippety snippety snippety... (more extra hair blowing away) snippety snippety snip.
Then, he begins to blow it dry. He carefully uses the round brush to shape as he works.
Dry. OK! Looking good!
SNIPPETY SNIPPETY snippety snippety snip snip snip snip snip....
Holy crap, am I going to have any hair left?
Snippety snip snippety snippety snip. Snip. Snip.
Fluff. Fluff. Tug. Turn, tug, turn. Fluffety fluffety fluff. Fluff.
And finally, he finished.
Voilà!!! he says.
And I am left with hair that is textured, layered, swingy, full of motion, kind of sexy and completely...French.
Worth the price of the plane ticket.