...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?
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
...what happened before