I’m What You Would Call a Tender-head

My hair is always a sore subject to me.  But it has given me some stories to share.  Last night I realized I’ll be taking a big trip one week from today.  A trip during which, I will be taking lots of pictures and posing for probably an equal number.  So, I want to look cute and not like a Chia Pet.  It’s haircut time.  I looked at my calendar and realized my only options were today or Monday.

I had been going to the JCPenney salon until recently when they raised their prices.  Not cool.  Last month I ventured into the Wal-Mart salon and discovered it was cheaper with tip then what I paid originally for the base price at JCPenney.  I instantly became a convert.

The beautician who did my hair last month was very friendly.  She commented – as every beautician who has ever worked on my hair does – “You’ve got a thick head of hair.”  It’s a general observation until they get into the middle of it then I hear, “Wow, you’ve got a lot of hair.”

I reply, “Yes, yes, I know.  That’s why I wear it short.   If I grow it out I get major headaches and look like a Chia Pet.”

Last month, the beautician nodded her head.  “And I bet your head gets really tender, right?”

I sat up.  “Why, yes! If I let it grow out and I have a stray hair I can feel it.”  Most people think I’m crazy when I tell them that so I don’t mention it to a lot of people.

She nodded her head.  “It’s because this thick spot right here,” she ran her fingers through my thick patch, “has a cowlick in it.”

What I heard though was, you’re not crazy.  Cool.   Since I can’t see my mom now, I talk to her in the car while I’m driving somewhere.  On my way home I told her what I found out.  And added a I told you so, because I don’t think she fully believed how much it could hurt.

Before I left, the beautician enrolled me in the “Insider’s Club.”  I don’t think I can divulge the details but let me just say, membership has its privileges.

This morning I called to set up an appointment.  The person who answered the phone was about to explain the company of policy of not making appointments.  “I’m part of the Insider Club,” I gave the code as instructed.

Her tone changed, “Oh, what time would you like to come in?”  And just like that I was VIP’d to the head of the line.  So, this is what that feels like, I thought.  Perhaps, I’ve shared too many details.  I hope I don’t get kicked out of the club.  Due to my time crunch I took who was available.  Besides, I can’t remember the name of the person who cut my hair last month.

I am horrible at explaining how I want my hair to turn out so I downloaded a picture on my spiffy iPhone.  It was the same picture I printed out and showed to my JCPenney hairdresser.  Today, when I sat down in the chair my beautician asked what I wanted I whipped out the picture.  She studied it for a moment.  “I’m going on a trip next week and I want to look cute in the pictures,” I explained.  An unspoken plus would be I won’t have time to fuss with it so keep it simple.

“Oh, okay,” she said, “let’s wash it first, hon.”

After washing my hair she dabbed a towel on it and led me back to the chair.  I sat down and she started snipping away.  Even without my glasses on it looked like she was taking a lot off.  Water from my hair dripped down my face and I wiped it off with my hand.

The beautician moved my head in the positions it needed to be in and pulled my hair to cut.  I felt like a bobble-head.  Gentleness was not her forte.  Then she brought out the thinning razor – not the thinning shears.  Maybe you have never needed to experience getting your hair thinned so let me explain the difference between the two.  When thinning shears are used it’s just like your hair is being cut.  Normally, I don’t feel a thing except if a hair gets pulled.  When a thinning razor is used it feels like each individual hair is being pulled out.  I put on my brave face and only screamed inside my head.

“Can I see the picture again?” she asked.  I pulled it out and showed her.  “Almost there,” she said with confidence.  Really?  What I noticed by looking at it and looking at my fuzzy self in the mirror is that they didn’t match up.  My hair was much shorter than the hair cut in the picture.  In fact, my last regular beautician was trying to help me grow it out so that it would look like the picture.

“Do you want me to style it and see how it will lay?” she asked.

“Yes, please.”

She went to work again.  First, she sprayed it.  Then she sprayed some different stuff on it.  She cut a little more off the back.  By this time, my scalp was begging to throb with pain.  But she was persistent.  She applied some goop to it.

“How long have you been doing this?” I asked.

“Three years.”

Three years?  “Do you like it?”

“I love it.”


“The back just isn’t laying like it’s supposed to,” she said concentrating on the back of my head.  She pulled out the straightener.  As if in, the heated straightener.   I sat very still and didn’t talk while she used it on the back.  I could feel the heat by my ear.

“Still not working, let me try curling it.”  To recap: another heated unit on top of my head being used by the not so gentle beautician.  At this point, I really wished I hadn’t chosen to get it styled.

Forty-five minutes later I left.  My normal haircut usually lasts 15-25 minutes.  Even with the tip though, it was still cheaper than my last beautician.  And I was excited because I actually had plans tonight and I looked fairly decent.  Until I took a nap when I got home.  Oh well.

I got my haircut eight hours ago and my head is still sore.  That’s why I’m what you would call a tender-head.

3 thoughts on “I’m What You Would Call a Tender-head

  1. Pingback: Salon scuttlebutt | ck's days

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