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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