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Fri, Oct. 18

Surprise ends career as hairstyle model

Currently, I am growing my hair out of its old cut and I'm not sure why. I liked my old hair style, but something in me yearns for that haircut that will not only make me look 20 years younger, but also 20 pounds lighter. So I am constantly checking out hair magazines, looking at cuts and styles, when I remember my own experience as a hair model, when I was 20 years younger and much, much lighter.

It was right after high school and my boyfriend and I had just broken up. I was sad, so my friend suggested that I go with her to get her hair cut. Upon entering the salon, my friend's hairstylist was blown away by my beautiful hair and magnificent bone structure. (When you're much lighter, you have bone structure.) She said they needed hair models for an upcoming show and I would be prefect. I would get a free haircut by a professional, and then, get to model it in the hair show. I visualized myself at the show. I knew that I would be like no other hair model gone before me. All that was keeping me from realizing my full beauty potential, and getting back together with my boyfriend, was the right hair cut. So I did him a favor and signed up.

At the hair show, I eagerly set out to find the person responsible for my metamorphosis. A man approached me and I instinctively knew that this man was my creator. He fingered my hair.

" I will transform you," he said. " All you have to do is trust me."

And like a lamb to the slaughter, I agreed.

As I watched my personal Michelangelo interacting with the other stylists, I sensed something different about him. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. He seemed a little…angry. Oh well, I reasoned, aren't all artists temperamental?

Armed with a crimping iron, blow dryer and Aqua Net Extra Firm Hold hairspray, my little Vidal Sassoon was about to transform me. He smiled at me and something clicked. I suddenly experienced a fight or flight response, all of my senses on full alert, but it was too late. I was strapped in my little executioner's cape, a beauty prisoner about to pay the price for my vanity.

I took some deep breaths and told myself that I was just being paranoid. I started to relax, until a small crowd began to gather around me. I thought they might be admiring my new look, that is, until they started pointing. I began to panic.

I asked, " Can I take a look?"

"No, No, I want you to be surprised," he said.

I didn't want a surprise. I wanted my mother.

After what seemed like an eternity, he handed me the mirror. I did not look pretty. My hair on one side was spread out like a 15-inch fan, ready to receive broadcast signals from any nearby satellite. The other side came straight out to a point, like a traffic cone growing out of the side of my head. My bangs were standing straight up and the only make-up that I had on was white pancake powder all over my face. I looked like one of those really sad clowns you see on a black velvet painting. I looked like a geisha girl who tried to get her toast out with a fork. There were a million things that I looked like, not any one of them being pretty.

I couldn't understand why I was being punished this way. I looked around; I didn't see anyone who looked like me. No pasty-faced brillo- head girls, just me. Why me? What karmic debt must I repay? Was I a clown killer in a past life, now forever doomed to look like one? When my hairstylist looked at me, did he see Bozo the Clown, aching to be released?

I knew I couldn't go out onto the runway. Stripped of all dignity and pride, I ran past the hair security guards and to the safety of my car. But I had a problem. I couldn't get my Carmen Miranda helmet hair in. It was too big. I had to beat and fold it down, every hair follicle screaming in pain. I frantically started my car, tears streaming down my great bone structured cheeks. In that moment, I understood the price we woman pay for beauty. It's never cheap and it's never free.

Now that I think about it, I think I'll let my hair grow for awhile.

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