Thursday, September 8, 2011

A hairrible situation

I went to get my regularly scheduled haircut yesterday only to be met with this sign hanging about the hair washing sink:

Ladies, Sept. 28th will be the last day I will be cutting hair.

What?! I felt like I'd been hit with a wrecking ball.  This woman (I'll call her Susan to protect my anonymity) hasn't just cut my hair for the past 10 years, she's walked me through some of the most difficult times of my life. All while I sat in her chair every six weeks.

I first went to Susan on a vague recommendation from an acquaintance.  I was finally ready to whack off my long, thick, shapeless mom hair. I walked into her little basement shop and said, "Cut it all off!"  And without hesitation she did.  There must have been several pounds of hair laying on her floor when she was done.  No one else has touched my hair since that day.  She's taken me through short-and-sassy to growing-it-out-again.  And everything in between.

When my daughter's trichotillomania progressed beyond her eyebrows and lashes and she'd managed to make bald patches on her head (in spite off all the therapy and medication and tears) Susan was there with a cute haircut and a headband to disguise the damage. Her daughter has severe OCD and anxiety and she understood and did not pass judgment, just gave quiet support.  She rejoiced with us a few years later as she cut off my daughter's waist-length hair to donate to Locks of Love. Susan knew the miracle it had taken for my daughter to go from a patchy, balding head to a beautiful, thick mane of  hair.  Enough hair to share.

Susan heard my fears that my son was gay.  She quietly noticed my change of underwear and my changing attitudes that evolved along with the color of my hair. No awkwardness, no judgment, just a listening ear and a new haircut. I left her with a large tip, a hug and a huge chunk of my life.  I might find someone new to cut my hair, but no one will be able to fill her place in my life.


  1. Finding the right person to cut your hair is as hard as finding a good OBGYN. I'm so sorry you have to face that -- also that you didn't see it coming. :(

  2. That sucks. What Donna said.

    If you're interested there is a guy who cuts hair in the Sugarhouse area who is awesome. It's been awhile since I've been there (I live a block from a walk-in place) but when I lived in Utah County I would drive all the way to SLC just for some normal conversation. Excellent work, great conversation, and he hugs all his clients. In fact now I need to make an appointment ...

  3. Donna, you are so right. A good OBGYN is worth her weight in gold. And hair is right up there with lady bits in importance.

    CD, I'm so used to just driving down the street, I'm not sure I could get clear across town for a haircut. But if I can't find anyone else around here I might give him a try.

  4. I'm sorry. We never live anyplace long enough for me to develop any kind of relationship with a hairdresser. I understand wanting one who won't pass judgement, though. I have psoriasis on my scalp, and I'm always worried about what the person doing my hair must think when I'm having a flare up.

    And I need to e-mail you about the trichotillomania. My daughter has an appointment about it, but next month was soonest we could get. I thought she had stopped, but apparently she just moved to a less noticeable spot. It's disconcerting to find enormous chunks of hair on the floor around her bed. She shouldn't have so much anxiety at 5 years old.

  5. Brandi, email anytime you want. I'll even give you my phone number if you'd like to talk. Trich kids are experts at hiding it but sooner or later it shows and there are no easy answers or even a cure. It's one of the most frustrating things I've faced as a mom, and I've faced a few. I'll help any way I can.