Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Hair Raising Story- Part Deux

...what happened before

Wedding day arrives. It is humid. My hair is a disaster. The humidity gives it a frizz and an undesirable curl. My brother and BigGeek are out doing some last minute shopping when I frantically call them. “Get me some hairspray. Medium hold.” “Where will I find it?” asks the husband. “I don’t know? Maybe the chemist? Where are you?” “I am in front of Shoppers Stop right now. Will see if I can get it there.” Two hours later the duo return, unsuccessful in getting a can of hairspray. I have no choice but to gel it and blowdry it with “the contraption” and have it up in Velcro rollers for half a day. I drape my saree, put on my face and take down the rollers. Hair does not look bad. We hurry into the waiting cars and drive to the wedding – which is outdoors. Thirty minutes later, as humidity takes over, my hair curls up and frizzes.

The reception is two days later. My cousins have arrived and one of them has told me her friend/cousin runs a beauty parlor. I could go there. “Will she take two hours?” I ask. Ofcourse not. So on my way home running errands; BigGeek drops me to this salon. Hairdresser comes in smiling, introductions are made. I thank her for squeezing me in on such short notice. She points to a chair. I sit. I thought she would want to ask me about my hair and what I wanted. I tell her I want a blow dry that will hold in this humidity. I want volume. I want no curls. “No problem.” She smiles reassuringly. Then she takes out a blow-dryer and a paddle brush and begins to blow dry my rather dry hair. I am speechless. Well, my hair had been moistened by exactly three seconds of rain when I exited the car and entered the salon. I expected a shampoo, but if she did not want to do a shampoo, a thorough misting was in order. It was ridiculous to have my almost-dry hair being blow-dried. I try to make small talk. Pointed small talk. “You know, my hair routine everyday is this. Wash, apply holding gel, blow-dry, put up in Velcro rollers until I get dressed and I am good to go. My hair is so short. That’s all it needs.” She smiles and continues to blow-dry my dry hair while telling her assistant to get out the hot rollers for my hair. I eye the half-inch hot rollers with suspicion. “Are you sure the hot rollers will not give a curl? I don’t want a curl. Only volume.” “No, no. the hot rollers won’t give you a curl. Only volume.” I sigh. I wonder if she had actually used the hot rollers before. There is no way I am letting her put hot rollers in my hair.

10 minutes into blow-drying with a paddle brush, she suddenly stops and goes away and comes back with a small bottle. “This is a serum. It’s an anti-frizz.” I know what a serum is. I hate serums, I try to tell her. But before I can speak, it is plonked on my head. And again blowdried.

“What do you think?” She asks after another 10 minutes. “My hair is flat.” Thanks to the serum, I want to add. “No volume. It looks oiled.” “Okay, no problem. What I am going to do is tease your hair.” She says grabbing a teasing comb. Tease my hair??? WHY? Again before I can say anything, she has started to tease a section of my hair. “Please don’t tease my hair. It breaks easily.” She lets out a laugh. “Just comb it gently and it won’t break.” “No, really, I don’t want it teased.” “Ok, just a little bit. You want volume, na.” Sigh. 5 minutes later. “What do you think?” “It’s not straight. It curls. It’s an angled bob. It looks terrible when curled.” “Ok, I’ll straighten it.” Sorry-looking straightening iron is plugged in, two wisps of my hair straightened. All I want to do at this point is grab her hairdryer and iron and do my hair myself. Only if. At the end of 50 minutes, the ordeal ends and I thank her unwillingly and ask her how much I owe her. Two hundred, she replies. I sigh and pay, not knowing if that’s a lot of money these days in India.

My cousins give me a ride home when. I see BigGeek and whisper my exasperations to him. He says my hair looks fine. Lying obviously. I want to put it in my beloved Velcro rollers, but there is no time. I run out of the house and arrive at the reception. The photos haven’t arrived yet. I really want to see how my two hundred rupee “setting” looks. No wonder these “stylists” take two hours to “set” your hair. Have you ever tried blow-drying already dry hair? Ever?


Vinita said...

Oh boy!!! This is getting serious by the minute.. I have got that scary feeling in my tummy jsut like the one you get before exams.

I don't think i will be able to laugh any more and the word "salon"
is going to send chills down my spine.


B o o said...

I had a dry hair cut and dry blow dry(!) once. Do I win, then? ;)

Anonymous said...

ROFL..We need pictures of the Rs200 setting.

deepa said...

yeah, we need pictures Dottie to pronounce judgement on this hairy experience:-)But such fun it will be to laugh over this a few years later no while going thru the pictures?

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

Geez! Tell me this gets better for you!

Mimi said...

awww honey..I wish you didn't have to go thru this..
And no one can defeat Boo,na?
How did they manage that Boo?

rayshma said...

WHERE did u go, woman???
pune does have some nice salons! :D

i need to see photo now...! :D

Anonymous said...

wow what an experience...quick ques what anti-friz do you use?-Nithu

Girl Next Door (gnd) said...

(sorry, i know it wasn't funny)!

but if you hadn't told me about this, i wouldn't have guessed! You SURE looked amazing in the pics (I say this much to the envy of your fellow-bloggers :)

Anonymous said...

This was highly amusing (to all your readers atleast) :-))))

I will probably be going to Pune next month, after 1+ year in US.. and was thinking of getting good beauty treatments after ignoring myself for such a long time.. but now you scared me :-)

Mumbai is also no different.. even the so called high-fi parlours, even the branded ones like Lakme Salon, L'oreal salon etc where you pay more than the usual small parlours, cannot guarantee service. I have never been to any nice salon here in US so cannot comment on the state here though.

I was wondering how come women have not asked you abt hair care products yet.... I know "I" was itching to ask. Nithu has already asked abt anti-frizz..
Would you mind enlightening us souls who just browse the isles of walmart/walgreens and cannot decide what to buy and how to use them!
yes yes, there are various sites on internet which will detail all these things. But from your post, you come across as a person who knows what she is doing (even though not a beautician herself).. and that is most important, I think.

Thanks in advance abt the advice ;-) (samazadaar ko...)
Hope you do not mind!

A "Hair" raising story indeed.. majja aali :-)))


PG said...

goodness! that does not sound so good. But, I'm sure you looked good too.
Now, your inciedence reminds me that I also had similar problems of communication in New Delhi. That time it was me and my sister and both of us had also put simple requests and I was so frustrated that i warned them that they will not see a single penny if they think i'm an idiot! And my sister finally gave up, we were also getting ready for our sisters wedding. Boy, that was something!

Preethi said...

Can I see a picture?? Please!! :) Sorry!!! I once had a 500 Rs haircut.. years back.. which looked like my hair had not been touched.. and everyone of my relatives visited me to see my famous hair cut!!! does that count? Now do I get to see a picture?

Preethi said...

Did I mention that I was caught up with my post natal hormones and wanted a changed look when this happened? So I was howling and in a really bitchy mood when people asked to see my hair?!!! Now picture please!!

Mystic Margarita said...

A hair raising ordeal indeed, Dottie. Hope you had better experience in part trois? :)

noon said...

I just read these posts Dottie. I lovvved the first one esp. Made me want to go home. But my feeling of home is not there any more. No home base! Makes me want to cry for those days that will never be again. Makes me long for home...I mean in India...
And your hair dryer post was so interesting to read...You should post a pic of that contraption. And really, this sort of thing has happened to me too in India - you say something, they act like they totally know what they mean but do the opposite...what's with that? And act like you don't know what you are talking about in the first place! So frustrating.
Anwyays - makes for interesting stories for us!

Mama - Mia said...


i had such a laugh reading both the posts!! you saying, i wasnt supposed to?! :p

well, i am the kind who goes for pedicure because i cant apply nail polish on my own! your tote bag contents are latin and greek and bit of kannada too! ;)

brilliant posts!!



eve's lungs said...

Scary -huh ? I died laughing Dottie. But yes we need pixxes ,pliss - lots of em

Usha said...

Oh my god, this really turned out to be a nightmare. I have bad hair and I know how it ruins every photo op and every function but of course, I have stopped caring about it now. may be in the next birth, I will have hair like Dimple Kapadia.

DotThoughts said...

vinita - the crappy service they sell to people and people buy it. some marketing i say!

boo: you win. i want pics.

asaan: don't have em yet.

deepa: a week later, I am already laughing over it. thnakgod.

mammamia: sadly, no. it ends here.

mimi: boo is undefeatable!

raysh: bhandarkar road.

nithu: don't use one. makes my hair too slick. but on rare occassions, i have used drug store brands.

gnd: that hair was done by me :)

anon: get the ayurvedic massages.

pg: sucks.. and for a wedding too. hugs!

preethi: ROTFL. poor you. I feel your pain.

mystic: no part trois. thank god!!!

noon: you said it. about communication gaps. about india not being you home base, dude, you are making memories right here, right now. don't forget that!

abha: lol!

el: pics?? will mail you some when i get em!

usha: I am ROTFLing at the image of you eith dimple hair. I think you have beautiful dark curls. I would kill for such hair!

pumpkins mom said...

Oh I had one when I visited Chennai this year, haircut and dry blow dry which further dried up my already frizzy hair urgh!
A big wow to your daily hair routine! Mine is just combing and hiding my dry hair in a ponytail or plait. Could you enlighten me on how to deal with my extremely frizzy just below the shoulder length curly/wavy hair?
Thanks! :D

Squiggles Mom said...

I can so relate to this. For my sis's wedding, went to a local colony parlour because there isn't anything decent anywhere around, plu my MIL was hyperventilating at the thought of me paying anything more than Rs80 for a blow dry. An hour and twenty minutes later, I can out with a lot of volume and no style. And if I remember correctly, this was a semi-dry blow dry!
Your stories are always so much fun Dottie

aarabi said...

oh my gosh i know EXACTLY where you're coming from!! why why why do stylists get all superior and NOT listen to us when we tell them? we DO know our hair better cos we've known it all our lives!!!
iv had the worst hair cut in history before i moved from india and in this damned country haircutting costs me 21 euros!! freakin crazy and the hair dressers here are awful too - so i'm waiting till i take a trip to france or germany and get a haircut there - boy do i know where you're coming from :D cheers!