The last week and a half has been the longest amount of time I’ve ever taken away from the salon. In about an hour I’ll once again be knee deep in hair appointments, fully invested in catching up with each client. Currently I feel like I’ve got one foot in the real world and another in la-la-land. (Have you ever been to la-la-land? It’s great this time of year.)
It’s critical that I focus, and fast. I’ll give you an example of the sort of thing that can happen when I’m distracted:
When I was an apprentice, I spent a lot of hours using our nail technician as a guinea pig. She enjoyed having hair services and I enjoyed having nail services. I chuckle to think that she and I would exchange the exact same $5.00 bill after every service, just to acknowledge our thanks. Neither one of us got rich off of each other; but I feel that I benefited the most in technical understanding and moments of hilarity.
Take a highlighting service, for example. Nowadays most stylists use foils to highlight the hair. But for a long time highlighting caps were the means to a sun-kissed end (I believe this method possibly originated as an ancient form of torture). If you’ve ever had a “cap highlight” you know that a tight, plastic bonnet is secured to your head. Once snug, what looks like a teeny crochet hook punctures the bonnet to grab a few strands of hair at the scalp and pull them through to the other side. (If you want to know what you’ll look like in 50 years when all your hair falls out, the end result of all this hair-hooking is a good preview.) All the hair on the outside of the bonnet gets slathered in bleach while all the hair underneath the bonnet remains untouched. Old terminology refers to this effect as “frosting.” (I affectionately refer to it as the “struck by lightening” effect.)
Well, our nail technician wanted to be frosted, so I grabbed a plastic bonnet and proceeded to secure it to her head. There is a finesse – an art, if you will – to doing this. In order to get all the hair moving in the best, slicked back direction you begin at the forehead, even though you’re holding the backside of the bonnet, and slide the bonnet back to the nape of the head (much like you’d probably put on a swim cap).
Unfortunately my eyes were fixed on the back of her head as I tugged and pulled and tugged some more to get this plastic bonnet as snug as possible. The nail technician cried, “no… no.. No.. No.. NO!” When I looked up, I realized that I had accidentally hooked her nose into the bonnet. The more that I tugged down the back, the higher her nose lifted. Not only did it look like I had plastic wrapped half of her face, unfortunately this also ended up resembling Miss Piggy. Tears of laughter streamed down my face as I started over, this time being sure to avoid her nose.
Here’s hoping for a focused day!