Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A high from haircut

After a new haircut.
JUST love the excitement of getting your hair cut, because you never know what you are going to get.

This is especially so for me who like to try out different hairdressers. Perhaps it is not so much as wanting to "try them out" but more like whoever is around -- whenever and wherever the urge to get on a "haircut high" occurs.

But of course, I am a little more discerning than that. Whoever's around also needs to have a trendy looking salon -- with some respectably trendy-looking clients inside. I do judge hairdressing salons by their covers, I am afraid.

Until this day, I can remember a great cut I've got at Marine Parade. That was some 15 years ago. The salon was at the corner of a row of shophouses facing the main road. It isn't there now of course. I wish it was.

I have been trying so hard to grow out my hair to one length and this impossibility had finally become a reality. But I passed by this salon and suddenly decided to have my hair "trimmed".

"Just a slight trim," I told the hairdresser who was a trendy looking young man with a black apron. "Hmm," he said as he lifted my hair tufts by tufts to check and finally said "OK". He started snipping and I was very sure it was definitely not just a "trim". I don't really have a great amount of thick hair. So I was a little scared when I saw a lot of hair falling onto my lap with each snip.

But what to do, the snipping had begun. So I just sat through it with my hands bunched into tight fists underneath the barber's sheet (or whatever you call it).

After the hairdryer drone has subsided, voila! My hair had a lot of volume which I had never seen unless some mad hairdresser decided to backcomb my hair. Definitely layered, but layered with such skill that it gave volume instead of being flat and lifeless.

It was my greatest mistake that I never kept in touch with this hairdresser...

Another unforgettable haircut took place even much longer ago. I think it was in Orchard Point or somewhere. I went in on impulse and he persuaded me to cut one side above the ear, and the other side long. There was a strong definition at the back and below that, long wispy ends. He asked me whether I want to chop off the wispy ends, but I told him to leave them on. But I chopped them off myself when I reached home. But the rest of the hairstyle was a great favourite of mine -- all time favourite!

In between, there have been lots of disastrous hairdos. The worst being a mushroom on top of my head because of bad layering.

What I have learnt so far is that I am going to tell hairdressers to stop giving me those "finishing touches". The first "raw" cut they do is always the best. But they, being  professional, always start snipping here and there after that first cut -- and then suddenly your hair doesn't look that great anymore.

And never tell them know you want to grow out your hair into this or that style, because they will give you something that is supposed to "take you there" but doesn't look good in between. So you'd end up going to another hairdresser to give you something that looks good NOW.

And, never tell them before they have finished their job "Wah, looks great!" because this will make them feel so elated that they will start to snip, snip, snip with gusto. The result is certainly going to be something to set your initial smile back by about a few cm.

And, even if it is just a fringe, please make sure you tell the hairdresser that you want an overall cut -- to take off more length at the fringe, and a minute millimeter elsewhere. Otherwise he or she will just cut the fringe -- which somehow won't gel very nicely with the rest of your hair.

And, never tell them that one side is thicker than the other side (or longer, or more layered or more anything) because your hairdresser will sure to over compensate and the "good" side will become unbalanced instead.

And, never complain why there is suddenly a mushroom growing on top of your head as the hairdresser will try his or her best to address the issue. In the end, everything will be levelled so much (to get rid of the mushroom) that it will take months to grow back your hair.

There, you have all the advice necessary to get a real good "haircut high" from your hairdresser.

After note:
Ken Wong, Director, Kenari (Wheelock Place) -- he has superceded my favourite Avy of The Scene! He knew my my problem immediately -- that I have wavy hair near my left ear so that I look like wearing a one-sided head phone! He is so very good for limp fine hair and short blunt cut. Yay!

Avy from The Scene at Raffles City, gives good cuts most of the time. Especially, short, blunt cuts. No styling needed to look good.

Jimmy Lim from The Quest (also at Raffles City) is careful to follow instructions -- sometimes to the T (which may not always be a good thing). Safe enough, but not much excitement.

Zelda from The Salon (Wheelock Place) gives very layered cuts which need to be blown and styled to look good. More suitable for tai-tais who have time to do this. 

Tony & Guy at Holland V so far, have given me great cuts that do not need to grow out before they look good. Hanks did my hair, but his layering is so-so.

Can also consult my taichi instructor who has his cut regularly at "a shop" at Toa Payoh. He always has the coolest of cuts -- short straight fringe in front and little short layers all round -- very nicely done -- and all for $2.50.

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