Snip of opportunity

Kristine Gill

So I’m getting my hair cut tonight, and I am so nervous/excited. I’m not chopping off ten inches or dying it blond, I’m just going for a trim. But any time you let someone near you with a pair of scissors, you’re taking a risk. What if your hairdresser cuts too much off? Too little? What if it ends up uneven? Pretty much the only thing to do in a bad haircut scenario is wait it out. Let your hair grow and hope you can one day muster enough confidence to return to any salon anywhere with any hairdresser ever again. Getting your hair done is always a potentially disastrous occasion.

And we’ve all had that haircut. The one where you’re sitting in the chair watching “Tina” or “Sasha” snip away at your locks while chitchatting with the hairdresser next to her. And you’re sitting in the chair looking at yourself in the mirror, trying to think of a casual way to tell Tina that you’re worried she’s concentrating too much on the conversation she’s having about the sale at J.C. Penney and proper etiquette for wedding gift purchases and not enough on how she’s wielding those shears. But you keep quiet – well, if you’re me you do – and try to convince yourself that Tina knows what she’s doing, because after all, Tina had to get her license somewhere.

But as your haircut comes to a close and Tina fluffs your dry hair, you realize you were right all along. Tina sucks. She did a bad job, she wasn’t paying attention, she didn’t listen to you, she didn’t care enough to assess your comfort level periodically throughout the haircut and now you look like an idiot. To top it all off, you have to pay Tina, and if you’re a sucker, you have to tip her, too.

You leave the salon that day feeling horrible. You head straight home so no one sees you looking that way, and you open a tub of ice cream and eat your haircut sorrows. If you’re brave, you wake up the next morning and carry out your daily routine. You hold your breath the entire time you style your hair, hoping against hope that something Tina did might translate into stylish genius at your fingertips. But it doesn’t. You know all you can do is wait and until then, suffer miserably.

Friends try to comfort you: “It’ll grow back.” Family tries to distract you: “Have you considered wearing hats?” And the voice in the back of your head says: “You’re being ridiculous.”

You can’t help but envy every person you see who effortlessly flaunts a good hairstyle. Do they realize what they have? Are they taking it for granted? Probably.

I’ve had a few bad haircuts myself. I’ve been through a few hairdressers the past few years. I left some. Had long relationships with others. There were a few I went to once and only once, a few that were recommended by friends and a few of them even left me. Yep. They picked up and went to another salon without so much as a card promising discounts at their new location should I opt to follow them.

So tonight, I’m getting my hair cut for the first time in about seven or eight weeks. It’s been so long, I’ve lost track. But it’s about time I went. And since my last hairdresser left me, I’m going to a new one. I’m scared and nervous, but mostly excited because with every haircut risk you take, you face the opportunity for eternal hair happiness. I might just find the hairdresser of my dreams tonight and enter into a meaningful relationship. Sure, there will be the occasional bad snip during our time together. There might even be a hiatus during which I return home to live for the summer, but mostly, there will be good things to come because with any good haircut, goodness emanates to the rest of your life.

I still have big expectations for this cut despite a past filled with horrible and mediocre cuts. But I’m not going to let those past failures taint my hope for this cut. I’m going to be blindly optimistic and dangerously hopeful. It will be the one I sport when I earn my near-perfect grade on tomorrow’s Spanish test, the one I wear out on Halloween weekend, the one I wear the next time a boy decides to notice me.

I’m getting my hair cut tonight, and I’m hoping things fall into place after that.

Kristine Gill is a junior newspaper journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].