That's the way I roll

by Simone on December 29, 2011

No matter how chic, how cool, how hip a person is (or is trying to be) when it comes to the bowling alley, it’s an even playing field. Pretty much everyone can relax and let it all hang out at the alleys. I’ve seen Vegans inhaling real (can a hot dog be called real?) hot dogs. The teetotaler slugging down cerveza, the pious slinging curse words, the self conscious folk busting moves and the shy caught hooting, hollering, leaping and head-butting. It must be those shoes. Everyone looks alike in them. Every outfit is overpowered by the bowling shoe. The lanes are one place you’ll almost never see a skirt or dress, even on a drag queen. What would be the point? The latest Gucci sheath with a pair of bowling shoes? It’s just not gonna happen.

I know it will come as no surprise that the hairstyle continues to reign supreme. Everyone knows that even the bowling shoe cannot take a good ‘do’ down. Bowlers may have given up on their bowling ensemble but look around and you’ll see hair pride abounds.

It’s almost impossible to judge the book by it’s cover at the bowling alley. My Orenda bowling teammates and I have been 100% wrong when trying to do so.

We are smart, accomplished entrepreneurial types: a dentist, two hair stylists, A human resource expert, an airport employee and a salon manager. We were sporting our Team Orenda bowling shirts.

To us it looked like the team on alley # 2 were checkers at Walmart, but once chatted up, we found out they are proctologists.
We declared it a no squatting zone and toasted them with “bottoms up!” each time they threw a gutter ball.
Alley #3 appeared to be undertakers, but when questioned, admitted they are lawyers. We liked them better as undertakers.
The couple on alley #1 who were using handles of tweetie and muffin were celebrating their silver anniversary. There were a bunch of Betties on Alley # 6 we pegged as fashionistas, and indeed, they were certified Bra-fitters and of course, great good fun.

Let me point out that my beloved Grandma was an ace bowler, She always had the ball, the bag, the pressed shirt and a freshly whipped up coiffure that just shouted “STRIKE!”. So I know from experience that we try to compensate for a bad toss by having a fab ‘do’. It doesn’t really help when the numbers are posted on the screen for everyone to view however, but it does go a long way with team spirit.

I know this must come as a shock, but hair seems to have almost nothing to do with skill or aim.
Often hair matches the person, their style of dress, car seats, cocktail napkin or their dog. But at the lanes there seems no correlation.

Who knew?

I carefully studied the technique after giving the hairstyle (or lack of) a once over. Curly hair didn’t seem to assist in the strike. Long hair didn’t lead to gutter balls. A bald pate didn’t equal the humongus heavy ball.
The shoes are cool in a geeky way, the bowling shirts are sublime, but the hair, that’s where it all seems to go wrong. This is one place where the hairstyle proved to be unreliable.

side note- A woman i know enjoys her Sunday mornings at a local bread bakery where the queue is always out the door. She takes her hobby of ‘Beauty Patrol Captian” seriously and sits inside whie rating the clientele’s hair to outfit ratios. She usually submits her report the following week. I fully expect to see her holding up numbers like at the Olympics: 9.7.9 – it might hurt business, but then again, that bread is soooooo good, most folk would risk a bad rating to score a few choice loaves.

Imagine; if the hair was head turning (like grandma’s) and the outfit was striking, just how far a person could go in life? A good ‘do’ can make almost anything come together. You can be one with the ball, one with the pin, one with the team and one with your maker for pete’s sake!

Because when the last ball rolls, it all comes back to the follicle.

Do you have a story about doing hair or having your hair done? 
If so, i want to hear from you for my Book Project. Please leave your comment and we’ll ‘Tawk”.
If you have a friend who could use a lift today, I hope you’ll pass this on.






Read comments here or add yours

The Law vs Follicle

by Simone on December 25, 2011

I used to think I was intelligent, well educated, and full of common sense. I thought I could turn a faucet on, use a hose, fold things with my hands, and multi task. I’ve been through law school and the police academy. I’ve played competitive sports my entire life. I fancied myself as quite agile and coordinated.
So when my Simone challenged me to color her hair, I immediately  said “yes, game on!”. No biggie, I’ve had my own hair colored for years, I’ve seen it done. No big deal I thought.

While my own highlights were cooking, I watched intently as she gave me a mini-lesson, which consisted of oral instruction as well as a demonstration.  Mind you, my sensei demonstrated the entire process looking in a mirror, backwards while sitting in a chair in heels and holding a wine glass between her knees.
It was impressive to say the least.

She made it look simple. It would be much easier for me since I wasn’t looking in a mirror to do it, nor was I wearing 3” heels (I was in combat boots).  I was assigned my weaponry: a little pointy comb, some cut up aluminum foil, a whole bunch of bobbie pins, a little bucket of paint and a paintbrush.

There I was standing in the almighty power spot, “behind “the chair”, in front of a mirror with all this equipment to manage and no duty belt to attach it to.  But honestly, how hard could it be, I just had to get the paint out of the bucket and stroke it onto the hair and wad up the tin foil . An ape could do this.

feeling like a pro, NOT!


I was supposed to take the little pointy comb and make a “zig zag” along the scalp with one hand and then grab the hair with the other hand and hold it.  Then take the pointy little comb and go through the zig zag I just created, grab that hair with another hand, grab a piece of foil from the stack with another hand, place it under the hair I’m holding with the second hand and hold it down while I grab the paint brush with yet another hand and paint on the color.

First of all, how the hell do you do this with just two hands?  I was twisting, turning, squatting, lunging and pivoting. My arms and eyes were crossing, my tongue was twisted, and my teeth were bared. When I saw my reflection in the mirror I knew why I couldn’t move. I was no contortionist, but I had tied myself in a knot.  Simone didn’t make all these weird moves to get the foil in her hair. After applying the color and wadding/folding the foil I was feeling pretty proud.
It had only taken me 35 minutes to do all that, which I thought was a pretty fine time. Then I was informed there was a time limit to this game..  Jesus, this was my first foil and I still had the entire head to go and I had to unwind myself. The paint apparently had to be washed off in a certain amount of time so as not to damage the hair or turn a crazy color. Have you ever had your hair high lighted and it came out orange? It’s hideous, but now I’m secretly thinking that “orange might not be so bad, it’s kinda nice with her skin tone”.

The pressure was on and I had to get the entire head of hair hair zig zagged, separated, bobbie pinned, foiled, painted and folded ASAP.

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It felt the same sense of  urgency I experience when rushing to an injury accident, an assault with a deadly weapon, or a kidnapping. I had to move. This was a Code 3 run, lights, sirens and all, the whole shebang.

By the time the last foil was in, I had thrown my back out and had a raging head ache. I had blisters all over my hands, because I missed a few spots and colored my skin instead of the hair. When it was time to wash the color out I was feeling elated. I could definitely handle this. So my client makes her way to the sink, leans back and I remove the foils. Easy enough, I’m feeling confident, I am the bomb dizzle. I turn the water sprayer nozzle on and begin to rinse the hair but due to slippery shampooy fingers I lost my grip on the hose, it was flailing back and forth drowning both of us. I had no trigger control – I was in unfamiliar territory, a fish out of water. They didn’t teach the basics of hair rinsing in law school or the police academy and they certainly don’t prepare us for it before a bike race. I learned quickly to grip the hose with two hands like my life depended on it, cuz it kicks like a shotgun. But, I still needed one or two more hands to do the shampooing. I had to use a half nelson to pin the wiley hose while Simone screamed out orders to cease and desist.

By this time I had hair color all over my shirt and pants, my hair and face were wet, but sadly, so was my client.  Well, at least the color didn’t look orange, but then again, it was still wet.  I thinkin’ I probably won’t be getting a referral or a tip.  There will be no appeal, it’s res judicata. This beauty business is WAY harder than it looks. Smoke and mirrors be damned.

Whether you are a cop, attorney, athlete or hair stylist, everyone walks taller when their hair looks good.  I’m amazed that people exit a salon in one piece and looking hot to boot.

I hope Simone feels this way when she looks in the mirror, after I take my leave.
It’s true what she says, “It all gets back to the follicle”. Yours sincerely, Betty.

Do you have a story about doing hair or having your hair done? 
If so, i want to hear from you for my Book Project. Please leave your comment and we’ll ‘Tawk”.

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Resurrection of the Follicle

by Simone on December 22, 2011

I still talk about my grandmother a lot.
Without her I don’t know that I would have survived my childhood. She was the one who introduced me to love, good deeds, poodles, silver dollars, home made pastas and the Beauty Parlour culture. I would set myself up at the bar with the wigs clamped to them, style them and pretend I was Gene Rayburn. My grandmother was kind, generous, very wise and had a contagious laugh. She was a natural teacher. She taught me of the golden rule. She was big into making sure we felt good about ourselves and our behaviour by the time we went to bed. If we came up short, we were to make amends as quickly as possible. She wanted to make sure we all got an “A” when waiting at the pearly gates.

Salvation Mountain

Many kids adore their grandparents. I hung on every word and action. The older folks had curious and wonderful outlooks on life. That’s what was so cool about hanging with them. I learned all about the baby Jesus in the manger and how his parents had so little money that Jesus’s parents couldn’t afford to patronize the Beauty Parlour. I know feet were washed, was the hair?

wow man

Anyhow,in the 70’s my grandmother was greatly disturbed and fascinated by Hippies. She loved macrame, was tres’ artistic in her own right, and had a house full of rosin grapes in every colour. Flower power was right up her alley, but incense and Patchouli wasn’t. She said Italians didn’t wear Patchouli. But here was a lot of hair, and much of it was on men wearing “Jesus sandals”. She would squinch up her face and say “he looks like Jesus”. She sure knew an awful lot of intimate details about him,. I was pretty sure she must have done his hair at one point, clients do tend to tell all when under our spell. She knew his birthday was not December 25, she knew that he primarily wore sandals, she knew that like her, he was a magician in the kitchen and could work wonders with fish and bread, She knew that he was a lover, not a fighter, that he died on a cross, wore a lot of white dresses, but she wasn’t exactly sure what the nexus was between J.C. and the Easter Bunny. Like most grown-ups, she just rolled with it and stayed on point dying hardboiled eggs and making ravioli for the big family festivities.

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I find that many women have very distinct memories of their grandmother. Sadly many of them are not fond. Many Grandma’s were feared. Grandmotherly wisdom was a hot topic last week in the salon. Grandma Katie only spoke Croation. She taught her granddaughters how to steal candy. She was also very interested in farts (which she called “the gomala”) and Poop.

God's creation awaits Grandma Katie

Grandma Katie would excitedly burst into the W.C. to stir the contents of the toilet with a wooden spoon making sure the creation was just right.


G.P.’s grandma was German, removed and not much fun, but she felt sure that eating a banana was the answer to almost anything.

Another betty G.F, said her grandma spoke a foreign language and seemed to hate her grandchildren, but she taught them how take pride in making a warm, lovely, delicious bed and home, even on a meager wage. She also would exclaim “Oh my goodness, sakes alive!” in English (go figure!)  We discussed this saying at length in the Salon and it took hours to find a person who could intelligently explain what a SAKE actually was. The first brave client who took a stab at it was confident a SAKE was a fish. What a typical man answer. Anyhow, G.F. now says “oh my goodness sakes alive” to her grandbabies and they say it too!

Lisa Dell’s grandma, G.G.Grandma did not seem to hate her grandkids, but she was certainly not much of a smiler or a hugger or anything warm. She was big into civil rights, she belived that people needed to slow down, not move so much and enjoy what’s in front of their face. (translate to be present). She says there is no need to say “I’m sorry” when burping or farting at table. She says at her age (90) she’s said it enough!

It’s sad when there are missed opportunities, missed communications, missed moments that could equal love or laughter. Mouths remain closed, grudges are held, and everyone misses he boat.

….. And speaking of boats, my other grandmother gave me a thin hardback book on steam boats when I turned 9, which she said “would make sense when I got older”. It still hasn’t. Steam boats may be the only thing that does not come back to the follicle.

If you have a memory of your grandmother you would like to share, I would love to hear it. 😛

Do you have a story about doing hair or having your hair done? 
If so, i want to hear from you for my Book Project. Please leave your comment and we’ll ‘Tawk”.
If you have a friend who could use a lift today, I hope you’ll pass this on.






1 Comment, Read comments here or add yours

Good Hair

by Simone on December 15, 2011

Good hair can only go so far.

After a rollicking week in the salon I needed to limber up, still my monkey mind and remember to surround all annoying people in a pink aura. So I grabbed my sticky mat, a gun and a bottle of holy water and did a walking meditation all the way to the gym.

While sitting in lotus position waiting for the yoga class to commence, I watched a woman on a recumbent bike inhale a dozen or so cookies followed by a bag of potato chips, all washed down with a pint of heavy cream. Groty I thought. But

The new food pryamid

ahh grasshappa, we mock what we do not know.
With a new outlook I thought  ‘How clever’, eating while exercising. …. of course!
The fat never has a chance to stick! I approached her on my knees to pay homage.
She said she was on a diet that encourages fat loading before dieting. okay, whatev, sort of homeopathic I figured.

Remember when we were told eggs were good and then they were dangerous and then somehow became good again? Carrots were good then bad. Tomatos were good, then deadly. Macaroni became pasta and then cost 24.00 a plate. Same with wine and then marijuana, spankings 🙂 and most recently gluten, what’s it going to next, blood letting?

Anyhow, The cookie diet and exercise regime made my gym experience far more entertaining than it would have been if I’d only been focusing on my breathing and ‘letting the earth support me’ and such.  I like the sound of that diet, but if I did it I wouldn’t ruin it by going to the gym. I’ve put on a pound or two along the way. I’ve found weight others have lost. I can still fit into my christening gown, but it binds in the waist and arms. It’s all relative, is it not? One man’s ceiling and all that rot. gawd, remember when it was chic to be Bulemic? Who’s got the time now? these days, there’s a line for the loo and anyhow, you need all fingers to text about it and get the experience onto your facebook to keep your friends in the loop.

So, the point of all this is that the fat loading lady had GORGEOUS hair. Fat does make hair happy. she was a testimony for fat loading.

Are you picking up what i’m laying down?  Fat or not, hair makes you hot.

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But it’s whats inside that really makes beauty. I’ve met many great looking women, and then they make the mistake of opening their mouths. It’s attitude and mind set that bring beauty home. I’ve seen women who are in no certain terms reubenesque who have that panache, confidence and open heart that makes them positively magnetic. It’s the attitude that makes the package. A good “do” alone can’t make a frumpasaourus into a princess. It’s the way you work your special spice.

that's what i'm tawkin' about

Wear it, own it, empbrace it, LOVE IT. You’ll know you are working it right if you have devotees following behind you on their knees. They are not clutching warrants for moving Beauty violations, but instead are hoping that if they can get close enough, they’ll get some of what you got, sister. and of course, once you are in ear-shot,  their first question will be “just where do you get your hair done?”.
Even on the street, the word is ………. ‘the follicle’.

Do you have a story about doing hair or having your hair done? 
If so, i want to hear from you for my Book Project. Please leave your comment and we’ll ‘Tawk”.
If you have a friend who could use a lift today, I hope you’ll pass this on.





Read comments here or add yours

Spray and Pray

by Simone on December 13, 2011

For years I’ve seen women come into the salon full of hope. It doesn’t matter which coast they live on or if they are relaxed or stressed. It’s across the board, not mattering if the woman is a super model or a works on the toll way. It’s pretty much the same thing if they live in the city or the countryside. It doesn’t matter if they live in a castle in Europe or a mud hut in Africa. All women want to look beautiful, even the ones who won’t admit it.

another day in the trenches

Most women have an unrealistic fantasy  of what their hair will do for them. So much rides on the haircut, even more on the colour. Most women have this idea that there is a perfect look for them. “Poppycock” I say. Hair and therefore the hair style is a fashion statement, it changes with the fashion, it changes with the inner growth of the woman. Though the Farrah Fawcet look was red hot in the 70’s, a woman wearing that look would be pulled over and cited for a beauty violation in today’s world.

There is hope that the right hair will get Betty a raise, a job, a lover, an upgrade to business class, she’ll place in the race, win the lottery, spend less time in the bathroom in the morning, and cut 10 minutes off her commute to work. The right do will have the effect of a  face-lift, suddenly Betty will be a wizard in the kitchen, recive an engagement ring and always, always there is the pie in the sky fantasy that the right hair will make the butt look smaller.

Do you have any idea the pressure we feel behind the chair?
These types of expectations are what keep us up at night, give us IBS and make us crave Mother’s cookies shaped


like tiny animals and covered with pink or white icing and sprinkles (or ginger bread cookies shaped like hula girls) We wash them down with Mad Dog 20/20. If it’s a brazilian waxing we’re going to tackle ,we might make the sign of the cross first and throw down a couple Xanax or Valium for extra protection. While a good DO is powerful juju it’s really all about how you ladies work your action. Self expression is key, attitude is everything.

After thirty years behind the chair I still start my day with a prayer: “Please Saint Martin patron saint of hairdressers,  help every client to arrive with enough time to use the loo and still be on time for me, help me to remain patient and upright until the last Betty leaves. Help me to spread joy and possibility and avoid crashing blood sugar, painful feet, legs, hips and shoulders. Help me to create DO’s that will make all Betty’s dreams come true and of foremost importance, keep me safe from clients carrying tasers.”

My main man Marty has consistently delivered the goods. It’s been decades since I came across the taser toting type of gal. She looked normal and acted normal, she was understandably very very nervous and quaking (seeing a new stylist before a huge important event can really get a gal worked into a lather). She was one of many referrals from a dentist who was a happy client.

I finished creating the masterpiece. Frankly I made a sows ear into a silk purse. I loved my job. It was 7am and my day was just getting rolling. I was prepping her hair for a home run blow dry, when Betty leaped from the chair, put both hands around my neck and tried with all her might to choke the life from me.
I admit I was a little taken aback, did this mean she didn’t like it?
Well, I was NOT going to let her make ME run late for the 19 clients who had appointments after her that day. I dropped my blow dryer and calm as could be reached behind me to the coffee maker. I raised the scalding pot over her angelic head, not sure if I should proceed, and like magic Saint Martin intervened and Betty composed herself, grabbed her purse and left the building leaving her clothes behind and wearing only the salon robe. WTF?

I discreetly pulled out the flask from my breast pocket, swallowed a xanax, snuck in a few mothers cookies for good measure. I took a deep cleansing breath, fluffed up my aura with pink, gold and green, swept the hair from the floor and off I went like nothing had happened to make dreams come true for 19 lucky ladies. Even at 7am, on death’s door step, it all boils down to the follicle.

Do you have a story about doing hair or having your hair done? 
If so, i want to hear from you for my Book Project. Please leave your comment and we’ll ‘Tawk”.
If you have a friend who could use a lift today, I hope you’ll pass this on.



Read comments here or add yours


by Simone on December 11, 2011

My dear friend is a fellow Hair Stylist. When we are out together, she raises her brow and gives the hairy eyeball while nodding in the direction of an unsuspecting soul sporting B.C.H. (birth control hair) we use the term CARPET as code word to discreetly alert one another of an offender in our midst. Dear friend is mostly concerned with the texture of the offender’s hairs – I fixate on the creativity of the “style”, which often looks like 2 varmints  fornicating. Sometimes we laugh to ourselves, sometimes we are struck dumb and can only look, sometimes there is an utterance of “dear me, that one could really use a treatment”. This is as positive as any beauty professional could be, and we do try to shine the light of loveliness in every dark corner. Now, I have almost 15 more years of experience than D.F. and I know damned well, that a treatment won’t make a lick of difference. If there is some big-time “carpet” ahead we’ve been known to smile and exclaim loudly  “CARPETERIA!”

I lie awake at night wondering who makes these hair don’t’s? The Republicans? Planned parenthood? Squirrels? Did the hair do look so inviting that they decided to stop storing nuts, jump aboard and get busy?









Don’t think for a second that B.C.H implies women only, oh no my friend, this applies to both genders. The cross hairs can be focused on the brave men of our country as well. Some sport mullets, comb overs, scraggly beards, nose hair, ear hair, wild leprechauneous eye brows and sometimes even masses of body hair escaping from cuffs, collars, pant legs, and sandals.  Lord help the hairy back and the women who love them.

Back in the day, I dated a gentleman so hairy I mistook his bare leg for my Siamese cat.

When I lived in Japan, I would frequently encounter men with shaved off widow’s peaks. That is a look not easily forgotten.  Imagine, struggling to communicate with a Japanese man, his skin is quite fair and his hair is almost black, there is a 2 o clock shadow at his hair line where a triangular widow’s peak once proudly existed. Where do you focus your gaze? You want to be polite, but it’ right there above the eyes, it’s dancing, it’s smiling, it’s calling out,” look here, I know you are trying not to, but please, please look here, see what has become of me, no one will catch you looking, you can’t just ignore my non-existence”. – how could you possibly avoid it?

My friend has expressed great concern for women in public, holding hands with a man who has a skinny strand of hair plastered to his head that starts at one ear and ends at the other. It’s obvious (at least to the sisterhood) that the woman has given up. She stopped dropping delicate hints, stopped hoping for freedom. She lives daily in quiet desperation faced with a hair crime that threatens to suck the breath out of her lungs. My friend said it makes her want to throw these guys down on the ground and cuff them right on the spot. That can be quite the caloric expenditure, not to mention hard on the nails.

After explaining the ‘carpet’ code word to a client she wondered aloud if Rush Limbaugh could use a treatment.
She commented “If you really think about it, men are 50% of the human race. It’s too bad they don’t  do more with their hair”. Women do so much to attract them and they don’t notice anything except the ¼ inch trim and that is always ‘too short”. I was given a button that says “If love is blind, why spend so much money on clothes and hair? I’ll tell you why. Because for those of us who are not in love with you we mostly see the squirrel’s styling job on your head.

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First impressions count.  Even the squirrel knows that when all the nuts are stored, the squirrel with the best hair wins. Oh yes, it always comes back to the follicle.


Do you have a story about doing hair or having your hair done? 
If so, i want to hear from you for my Book Project. Please leave your comment and we’ll ‘Tawk”.


Read comments here or add yours

Beauty from the Inside Out

December 8, 2011

While off duty, supposedly on Holiday, I decided to re-feather my nest. Before I knew what hit me I got side tracked by a half acre of weeds. Let me explain. I am deep into in to folding laundry, which makes me think of paying bills, which segue’s into getting the mail, which requires putting […]

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Viva la Follicle

December 6, 2011

Each year on this date I think of all the celebration and all the tequila that goes with it.Much is celebrated on this day. Cinco de Mayo in Mexico and Tengo no Sekku in Japan (boys day, which has become politically correct and been renamed children’s day Kodomo no Hi), May 5th is also the […]

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From Fog to Blog

December 4, 2011

You know how sometimes life gets in the way?  You have a great vacation planned, and something horrid happens at work. Suddnely you are land locked. Perhaps you’ve got a Bat Mitzvah approaching and you decide to cut your own bangs this time since your stylist is away at a tantra retreat,  or you are […]

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Pet Hair

December 2, 2011

Sometimes isn’t it nice to walk into a place and see a familiar face? or better yet, someone who knows your name? someone who has a smile that makes your day. Maybe that person is not a person, but a cat, who slinks over and gives you the butt, or the cat back as they […]

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