While in Durban over the festive season, I decided to go for my annual grooming session so I booked an appointment with my mother’s hair stylist. This raised many concerns for me:
- She is a white lady and I am always concerned that white people (bless them) will NOT be able to handle this mane of mine. It takes a certain kind of elbow grease to blow dry this kind of hair and the white stylists I go to are always so gentle and afraid to burn the scalp. This is probably because their usual clientele don’t require them to exorcise (no that wasn’t a spelling error) their heads of hair. I need my hair yanked and pulled from the roots to get the desired effect. Which is why I’ll probably be bald by the time I am 40. No doubt.
- I hadn’t trimmed my hair for over six months so I knew the damage was bad, but I didn’t want to take too much off my length, and most stylists are quite scissor happy.
- I was in Durban. One should not even contemplate going to a stylist and paying good money for a hairdo when one is in Durban. The humidity is no joke, it sends your hair straight back to it’s roots – and my roots are big and bushy.
Anyway, I figured that it was my last day in Durbs and I could resuscitate a blow dry gone bad from humidity when I got back to Jozi. Also, I knew that the cost of a wash, cut and blow in Durban was probably half the price of the same in Jozi. So off I went. Let me explain that I arrived with my hair in a wild knotty afro, it was full of sea salt, sweat and a product build up from two weeks of swimming, tanning and basically sweating in the Durban heat. I had worn my hair in a topknot for my entire time in Durban, to the point where my husband asked me if I was going to do something about “that” (pointing to the lopsided bun on the top of my head) any time soon. The morning of my “do” I first had the urge to wash it and at least make it look half presentable – kind of like the women who quickly tidy their houses before the domestic help arrives so that they are not judged by the state of their living area. Then I thought, no man, chances are I won’t ever see this lady again, and I will probably give her something to talk to her regulars about for DAYS.
When I saw Lina I was like wehhhhhhh, this small lady is NOT going to be able to work with this ‘fro. She is half my size, small and petite and looked like she was lacking in the elbow grease department. I apologized profusely to the lady who washed my hair, explaining that my hair NEVER looked this bad (lies) and that it was only so knotty and dirty because I was on holiday (lies) and that I usually looked after my hair really well (lies). She was like ja ja ja… in that knowing voice.
I go to the chair after a beautiful wash and massage and Lina comes over to have a chat. I pull out my iPad and go through a visual presentation of the kind of cut I wanted. Lina was probably rolling her eyes behind my head. After my presentation she started to play with my hair. We got chatting about the usual stuff hair stylists discuss with their clients.. are you married, how many kids, where do you live. Then she asked me where I worked. When I replied that I worked for a certain beauty company which owns a number of world famous professional hair brands, she piped up: “Well you are certainly a bad ambassador for the company, your hair is in a terrible condition!” WAaaaaaah! She showed me with her fingers that she would need to cut off at least 8 cm worth of hair – that’s how far up the hair shaft my split ends went. I told her to keep calm, take it easy and put the scissors down. We came to a compromise and she started cutting.
So. Time for the blow dry. I had two ladies blow drying my hair simultaneously. This was a first for me. So Lina and her assistant blow dry at the same time. She starts in the front, and the other lady (I forget her name now) started at the back. They blow dried my hair in under 10 minutes FLAT. Remembering that I have a lot of hair and it is still quite long – passed my shoulders, this was awesome to watch. But better than that, they blow dried my hair like real pros. It was soft and glossy and the cut was PERFECT. I could have walked out happily at that point. Then she asked if I’d mind if she put the flat iron through my hair because she wanted to make some curls just to show me the full effect of the cut. I was too impressed at this point to disagree. She worked the flat iron through my hair and the result was awesome. I was very happy.
Now for the best part. The total for a wash, cut, blow AND flat iron, for long hair was TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY RONDS. R220! The blow driers were whirring and the music in the salon was loud and people were talking, so I thought I hadn’t heard correctly, I said “excuse me?” And yup, she confirmed the price. SCORE!
Now for the second best part. My mother and I decided to do some shopping so off we went Gateway. I was shaking my mane to the point of inducing whiplash, prancing around the mall like a Lipizzaner, proud as punch of my new hairdo. We had plans that evening to go down to the beach to celebrate a friend’s birthday. As the minutes went on, I felt the size of my hair start to increase. Almost like how scones rise in the oven. By the time we arrived at the beachfront restaurant my beautiful hairdo had turned into something from the 80s. It was like a horror movie. That beach air, the humidity and the fact that I had insisted that Lina WAS NOT TO PUT ANY PRODUCT on my hair, meant that I was looking like a Lipizzaner gone bad. Thank goodness my friend had a hair band in her bag and before we had even take our seats, my hair was back up in its topknot.
What I learned from this experience:
- In the words of Michael Jackson “it don’t matter if you’re black or white” – Lina proved to me not to judge a book by its colour cover and that elbow grease comes in all sizes.
- Visit Lina every time I go to Durbs – at that price and with her ability I have no excuse. Truly.
- Don’t EVER. EVER. Mess with the Durban humidity. It will beat you.
(So I’m back, I was busy with a 6 month writing project which kept me pretty busy and away from my little blog. One of the things Julia mentioned here was her fear of how writing for a living could take you away from writing for yourself, and I truly feel like that’s what happened. TOTALLY. Anyway, side project is done, so expect to see me a bit more over here. Also, I am so behind on my reading – haven’t read any blogs in AGES (oh please don’t look at me like that, reading blogs is considered READING, ok?) so forgive me for the lack of comments. BUT I’m BACK! xx)