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Tangled

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Before I get to today’s more light-hearted post, I would just like to say thank you to everyone who read and/or commented on my last post. I was worried about people’s reactions, but everyone was thoughtful and kind. I was really touched by how people took the time and read and comment, even if they didn’t entirely agree. I know it’s a tricky subject. So thanks. Thanks for being great people.

Back to more frivolous, Fridayish thoughts…

I am terrible at maths. TERRIBLE. Numbers make no sense to me. I have an extremely short memory when it comes to maths. If you teach me a formula I will learn it. If you ask me to do it again the next morning though, I will be absolutely incapable of even remembering where to start. It’s like my brain builds bridges to the answers, crosses over, and then immediately sets them on fire.

I constantly write down numbers back to front. If someone calls out their phone number for me to take down, I sigh internally. It’s bad, is what I’m saying. Numbers hate me. I avoid all forms of mathematics if I can possibly help it. The rest of the time I count on my fingers.

This is all a roundabout way of saying that when I say that discomfort > benefits = avoidance forever, even that completely fabricated formula is probably wrong. Yet it’s how I deal with things on a day-to-day basis. So, for example, I haven’t been to the hairdresser since last June.

LAST JUNE.

I got a trim. It was not traumatic in any way. The hairdresser didn’t stab me with scissors or give me a bowl cut that turned me into a monk from the middle ages. She was a chatty, lovely, gorgeous blonde who did exactly what I asked her to. “You should visit the hairdresser every eight weeks,” she said.

Eight months later, I am still dragging my feet.

I really, really hate going to the hairdresser.

I am not actually particularly attached to my hair. I mean, I would miss it if I woke up one day to find it packing a bag and heading for warmer climes… Although I couldn’t blame it (“I’m sorry, I just can’t do this anymore. You never even wear a hat. You don’t consider my wellbeing at all and it’s just not a healthy relationship for me. Bye Felicia“). I’m not someone who really does anything with my hair. It just sort of… chills out. I’m a bit weird about textures and always want things to be pleasantly tactile, so I never put product in my hair because I like my hair to feel soft and silky. I basically want my hair to be run-your-fingers-through-it soft at all times. You know, for any surprise moments when someone might run their fingers through my hair.

…Happens all the time.

Even if that weren’t the case though, I don’t know how to use any products on my hair that aren’t a GHD. I don’t dye my hair. I don’t know how to put my hair in a messy bun. I can’t use mousse properly. I don’t even really know what dry shampoo is or how it works its magic. To be clear, I would like to know how to do these things, I just never learned, and now I feel like it’s a bit late in the game for me to start braiding my hair and using texturising spray.

So it just sits. Which is fine.

Except that it really does need a trim every now and then, and now that we’re over 600 words into this blog post, and some people will have hopefully dropped away in boredom, I can finally, hidden-halfway-down-my-post, explain why I hate going to the hairdresser so much:

It makes my anxiety flare up something fierce.

I know. I even feel shame typing that. Everyone has anxiety these days. It must be social media or society today or maybe there’s something in the water. I could pretend that I don’t feel anxious about interacting with strangers, but then I would be lying and I’m not very good at that.

Some people hate going to the dentist. I actually really enjoy going to the dentist! All I have to do is show up, lie back, and relax for however long it takes to do whatever it is he does with all those spiky instruments. Then he has one-way conversation with me about the importance of flossing, during which I always open my eyes wide to show I’m taking his dental opinion seriously. He makes me spit in a cup, and then he lets me leave. It’s not so bad. I quite like it. I spend the rest of the day running my tongue over my teeth. So smooooooooooth….

But the hairdresser.

The hairdresser is a different kettle of fish. At the hairdresser, I’m expected to make small talk (something I am already terrible at) with someone who I’m reasonably sure could not care less about the holidays I have coming up, or how my week has been. I mean, they probably just want to do their job and cut my hair without hearing information that will be discarded as soon as I’ve left the salon. Still, it’s expected of them to make small talk and ask about my life, and it’s expected of me to tell them about it and ask questions in return, and so we get stuck in an awkward cycle of expectations and reluctant small talk, and basically the entire thing makes my anxiety flare up like crazy to the point where I actually feel bad picking up a magazine and flicking through it. Instead, I hide my hands in the folds of my plastic bib and twist my fingers so hard they feel like they might break, and silently wonder how much longer I’m going to have to talk about my plans for the weekend.

It’s horrible.

[Sidenote: This is one reason* why I have never been to a nail salon. That scene in Legally Blonde where she goes and unburdens herself to her nail technician freaks me out. Like, do you have to make conversation for the entire nail … experience? You’re hardly going to sit in silence avoiding eye contact while someone literally holds your hand. Then again what if there are awkward silences? What if you run out of things to talk about? How long does it go on for? Just thinking about it is making me bounce my leg anxiously.]

It’s now March, and my hair is almost at my waist. It needs a chop. What I really need is for someone to drag me bodily to a hairdresser. Realistically, after typing this, I will avoid thinking about it for another, ooh, three months? Sounds doable.

So that’s my frivolous Friday thought; my first world problem of not having the cojones to go to the hairdresser. Wednesday: long blog post about awful truths. Friday: long blog post about getting your hair done. This blog is a rollercoaster of emotion.

If anybody has any tried-and-true methods for making yourself do things you don’t want to do as a grown adult… please leave it in the comments. Or carry me to the hairdresser, tie me up in one of those black plastic ponchos and dump me in a chair.

Either or.

I’ll see you on Monday! Have a great weekend.

*My other reason is that the sound and feel of nail files completely freaks me out. Just typing that out made me curl my fingernails protectively into my hand.

 

0 thoughts on “Tangled

  1. I am the EXACT same when it comes to hairdressers. The last time I went was September (only because my mum was paying, hello) and I ended up having a full-on depressive/anxiety ridden episode right in the middle of the brightly-lit, busy hair salon. It was quite horrid.
    I also hate the small-talk, the “going on any holidays this year?” line, etc.
    I hate pretending to love my new hair cut at the end when all I want to do is run away back home!
    AH.

    1. Maybe we need to create a support group and visit a silent salon where you’re expected NOT to talk? Hahaha I’m so glad I’m not the only one!

      1. God yes! That is a brilliant idea! I hate the hairdresser and the small talk but love the dentist, too. I have weird blood pressure issues. When I sit up and still for any length of time my blood pressure drops which leads to a feeling of discomfort and then anxiety. (Standing up is worse!) So, at the dentist where you sit for only a minute and then go into the lying position, the blood pressure doesn’t drop. No discomfort or anxiety. Having said all that, it is the inane blathering of the “hair-technician” (as they seem to like to be called these days) that is the real killer for me.

        PS I love the fact that your hair has her own name. Felicia! Divine!

    1. Amen sistah. I used to cut my hair myself to avoid the hair salon but stopped when I noticed that it was CROOKED in a picture. I remember seriously scrutinizing the picture- Was my head tilted? Was I standing sideways on a hill? NOPE.

      1. Hahahaha oh God I feel like I’m a month away from this realisation! Luckily I don’t allow myself to be in enough photos for this to be a common possibility! Shit. Maybe I should be worried! I better take a picture over the weekend and see how it’s growing!

  2. Hairdressers are like mechanics. Once you find one you like, you can never let go. Fortunately for me, I have lots in common with the person who cuts my hair. See what I did there? Not sure if a male goes to the hairdresser. Wait! I think that I just said something inappropriate. I shall go forward referring to all who toil in ones hair as follicle eliminators. Now that I have strayed from the topic, I shall return it back to you. The post that is, not the follicles.

  3. Nice piece. Last time I went to get a haircut I’m pretty sure the barber didn’t even finish it πŸ˜‚ Regarding getting stuff done as an adult though I’m still clueless, just doing it eventually has to do I guess.

    1. I am imagining you walking out with half a head shaved and the other half all floppy and tousled. Don’t tell me if it didn’t happen like that. It’s a great mental image!

  4. Your posts are like kinder eggs, a surprise in everyone.

    Sadly I am of the age where I don’t go to hairdressers, or as us guys say, the barbers anymore. My hair, whilst never even in my prime reaching my waist. if current and I guess always shall be from now on as far from my waist as is hairmainly possible without being actually bald.

    So I am lacking in hints and tips to help, or you could just never go and grow your hair forever.

    1. Haha maybe I should take a leaf out of your book and shave it short as possible? I somehow feel though that it might not suit me the way it suits you!

      1. I think not either, it doesnt suit me its just the only possible option.

        You obviolsy have the be led there on a ruse… or, aha, I have it. when you go in, speak with a very croaky voice and say you have a bad throat infection then you don’t have to speak.

        It just means you have to always go to a different hairdresser.

        1. That is GENIUS! Or I could pack cotton wool in my cheeks and pretend I’ve just had a root canal! It could be a whole performance!

          Wait… am I getting carried away?

    1. I have tried to watch people but they always seem to know what they’re doing, whereas I feel like I have five thumbs the minute I pick up a pair of scissors…..!

        1. Yes I would! What could go wrong?

          *flash forward to two months from now when I have the same haircut as Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men because I kept cutting to try and get it “even”…*

  5. I fall in love with you a little more after every post of yours I read. Is that weird? Haha. This post was great! First things, I loved your last post, so beautifully written! NEXT I am the SAME way about my hair. I have only had my hair cut a handful of times in my life. I have never died it. && I do not like putting any type of product in it. EXCEPT sea salt spray. My hair is very curly and sea salt spray is the ONLY thing that “tames” it and doesn’t make it feel like it has an ounce of product in it. Also, I am clueless when it comes to hair. It’s either up or down, nothing in between. Unless I can talk a friend into braiding it for me. Haha. I thought I was alone in this, one of a kind, now I know there are others out there like me. Oh, and I HATE the dentist. I have a tiny mouth and have had horrible experiences growing up. πŸ™

    p.s. I don’t know about where you live. But the nail techs where I live usually don’t speak English, so you spend the entire time listening them talk to each other and hope they aren’t talking about you! πŸ˜‰

    1. Hahaha! I love your comments! I live in Dublin, Ireland and I don’t know about the nail technicians here… I *think* they’re Irish but I’m not sure. I might have to try this sea salt spray! I also have a tiny mouth – I had to get four molars removed but luckily my dentist is pretty awesome and I didn’t feel anything at all!

      I might have to get someone to braid my hair for me!

      1. Thanks πŸ™‚ Gosh, I want to go there!! I don’t know what your hair type is like, but the sea salt spray makes my curls kind of “lay down” and wavy, mermaidish, if that’s a thing. I literally just spray it on my hair right after I show and go on my way. Well our dentist here SUCK! Or at least the ones I’ve been to do! I have to get my mouth pride open and it just hurts πŸ™ Lucky you!!

  6. Quinn, with every post I read we get more and more alike, haha! I never went to a hairdresser for nearly 3 years it got to the stage my Mum put money in my birthday card last year and wrote ‘Use this to pamper yourself at the hair salon’ (subtly hinting that I was hot mess, thanks Mum) Pamper doesn’t work in the same sentence as small talk, awkward silences and me saying stupid stuff because I’m secretly dying for it to be over. Last July (with my birthday cash) I got it coloured to encourage me to keep going back to maintain it, its gradually got much easier, I still don’t look forward to it but its much better.
    My boss’ most used phrase to me ‘You’ve transposed these figures’ (its like number dyslexia) well that and ‘Late, again!’…

    1. My mom just comes right out and says “You look a mess. Get your hair cut.” ….But she hasn’t offered to pay yet so I guess I’ll wait until she does! Maybe that’s what I need to do? Get some colour in there?

      1. OR you could save yourself a small fortune and just let it be….when its long enough no one even notices that you’ve been trimming the ends yourself…well except our Mums ha

  7. “discomfort > benefits = avoidance forever.” I am intimately familiar with this equation. I apply it to the doctor, my boss or mom calling, my bank account statements… What? Why yes, the view from underneath the sand is actually quite nice. I think I’ll keep my head buried here for a bit longer, thank you.

  8. So it probably wouldn’t be encouraging to you Quinn if I mentioned that one hairdresser-in-training I went to a while back (to save money) lopped-off a portion of the top of my ear with her scissors… would it? Or that this hairdresser was a PhD student in mathematical theory and Quantum Physics? πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

  9. I haven’t gone since May or June! Maybe even April. Maybe we could go together, but I live on the other side of the world!

    I love the feeling of short hair (usually I cut it a little above the shoulders), but hate the process of getting there. My catalyst is usually my longer hair driving me mad, especially in the summer!

  10. I hate the hairdresser not particularly because I have nothing to say but because I find it weird to unburden my soul to a stranger! Why do people do this it’s weird.

    I’ve taken to getting my sister to trim my hair when it absolutely has to be done. For two reasons a) she’s surprisingly good and b) if it did go wrong I’d have a hold over her forever. This is what siblings are for!

  11. I used to feel that way when getting my hair done. But, then I learned to embrace the awkwardness. I’m not a chatty person, so I just don’t feel like talking. It helps when you continue to see the same hairdresser, because they get to know your personality. I mostly get anxious that they’re gonna do something to my hair that I hate.

    I got my nails done for the first time a month ago, and there was a lot of silence, plus I was the only one there. It was a bit weird. haha

    Also, I too am not skilled in doing my hair it’s either straight or in a pony tail. I try following Youtube videos – I’m in awe of people doing their hair perfectly without even looking in a mirror. Messy buns are the hardest thing to do!

  12. I’m sure you know that I’m a hairdresser. If not, Hello, I’m Alanna and I cut hair for a living. 😊

    This post was hilarious. Not to mention in the comments, most everyone has YouTubed how to cut your own hair. Which makes me cringe but hey, I can’t stop you. More power to ya!

    I, like many of you suffer from anxiety. And sometimes it’s hell going to work. I’m anxious about what we’re going to talk about because I to REALLLLY hate small talk!! Or if they’re going to like what I do. I’ve had my fair share of guests that just plain don’t like it. But the way I see it is, I’m simply not the right hairstylist for you.

    I really hate when this happens. It makes me feel horrible because you never know what they’re going to tell their friends. But it’s just a part of the industry.

    My main goal is to make my guest feel as relaxed and pampered as possible. It’s the repeat guests that makes me love what I do. I love the relationship we build. And they’re all a different kind of breed.

    I come from a town with less then 3,000 people. Everyone knows everyone. It always comes with gossip. And I hate gossip. I actually do care about what you’ve been up to and what you’re doing for the holidays or over the summer. Everyone has a different story, different lifestyle and to me it’s so interesting. I’m a very compassionate person. Which sometimes is a weakness. I love to make people feel beautiful. It’s such a boost of confidence!

    I also love people confiding in me with their problems. Some more then others. There is a line that can be crossed. 9 times out of 10 my guests are not only coming to get a service done, but they’re coming to unwind and vent. I don’t judge. Sometimes people have no one to turn to and I’m a great listener.

    This post was awesome and I loved every last word. And honestly, it made me feel bad that most everyone who commented feels that way. But I totally get where you’re coming from. I hope that one day you all can find a hairstylist you can bond with!! 😊

    I feel like I could’ve made a blog post with this massive comment. πŸ˜‚

  13. I find the hairdressers scary as well! My hair is a crazy mass of frizzy curls that no one knows what to do with (even me really!) bar GHDs, I only ever go to the hairdressers for a colour and it takes hours to do my hair and I find small talk makes me nervous! I do however like the dentist!

  14. Haha I loved this! I can somewhat relate, about a month ago I gave myself a pixie cut because I just do not trust hairdressers. My whole life they have never done what I wanted and it was time I took matters into my own hands. I also like the dentist, my dentist is a delightful lady who is always so happy at the state of my teeth (I like to floss, could be an ocd of mine). Another great post Quinn ❀

  15. My hairdresser doesn’t speak English as her first language which means no small talk. I love it! Another way to go about it is to bring a friend (preferably one that likes to talk). This way, you can use them to talk with or just have them proceed with small talk with your hairdresser as you get your hair done. When I can, I use my mom in this way. She’s quite the talker and the hairdresser seems to enjoy the conversations with her, so it’s a win-win. πŸ™‚

  16. I enjoy your blog. Its 3:30 am and I can’t sleep. So I just spent the last hour and a half reading your blog posts and trying to swallow my laughter, cause I am that girl with the awkwardly loud laugh and I didn’t wana wake the house hold…. So thank you for that.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    About the hair dresser. I empathise with you… It usually takes me a month of considering and a week of pep talking myself into getting a trimm…

    Also

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