I haven't cut my hair in three years.
This is not exactly true. I trimmed it, twice, using hair scissors I bought at Walgreens; but I haven't been in any kind of hair salon since I started graduate school.
By the end of three years my hair was really long.
Sure, it was pretty, but it had started to become a hassle. It was impossible to dry, so I felt like I was spending half of every day going around with wet hair in a messy bun. When it was out of the bun, it kept catching on things, like the back of the office-supply chair I sit in while I temp.
Since I'm going in for a job interview on Monday, I thought it was about time to get a few inches chopped off.
Before I went, I did my research -- and there was plenty of information to be found. In the end, though, for every "I went to XYZ Salon and got the best haircut ever," there was one that read "Well, I went to XYZ Salon and asked for a Posh Bob and got a Katie Holmes Bob instead, and went home and cried."
In the end I wasn't able to make any kind of real comparisons between potential salon quality, and so ended up choosing my first-haircut-in-three-years salon based on how far I would have to walk to get there.
VSL Hair Design.
The next step was finding "the picture," since the salon reviews left the uncomfortable impression that unless you bring along a picture of your desired haircut, you're liable to end up with a Nicole Richie Bob, which is even worse than a Katie Holmes one.
Okay, fine. A picture of a woman with fine, straight hair, medium length, something that would look good on a square face... got it.
(The funny thing is that Cameron is, like, one of my least favorite characters on House. But Jennifer Morrison has baby-fine, super-straight hair. So there you go.)
The VSL experience was pretty awesome. Even though it's a "value" chain (okay, that was the other reason I picked it), it was a far step beyond the MasterCuts and SuperCuts I used to frequent. I got a consultation, during which my stylist took one look at my picture ("House is such a great show!") and then began to explain the components of the haircut and ask me if I was okay with all of them. He was appreciative that I had done my homework and not picked a style that wouldn't work with my hair, and told me the look was totally achievable.
When he started cutting, I mentioned that he was giving me my first haircut in three years. My stylist looked appalled. He spent a moment carefully studying my hair, and then said "Well, it's incredible that it isn't damaged, but it looks like it's in really good shape."
(I didn't respond to this, but I'm curious: wouldn't messing around with hair cause more damage than leaving it alone? I never flatironed or curled my hair, or razored it or anything like that. I just washed, brushed, and braided. So... um... yeah, it isn't damaged.)
In the end it's a little shorter than Dr. Cameron's, and my cowlick prevented the bangs from falling against my forehead like the picture. But... it still looks fantastic.
Or, as my stylist said,
"Honey, now you have a style!"