I am sick and tired of paying $50 every time I have my hair cut. My hairstyle is a blunt, shoulder-length, straight-across cut. That’s it. I look like many other blondes in South Florida. I know it and I don’t care. I figure my mind’s unique enough – l don’t need my hair looking like it’s from an episode of Star Trek.
Oh, I’ve tried some of those fancy dos; the “Wedge”, which makes you look like your head is a pie slice. The “Asymmetrical Look” – long on one side, short on the other. I kept feeling like I was having a stroke on one side. Plus, too Barbra Streisand, circa 1960. I’ll leave that one to the drag queens.
I even had my haired permed at one time, which was great until it started growing out—straight. Then I had the Larry, from The Three Stooges look. Finally I said, eff it. And here I am again, back to where I started. That’s a Zen thing you know, you come full circle to realize what you needed was right in front of you all the time. So how come I can never find my keys?
To get back to my point—why must I pay $50 to get my boring, easy haircut? Because that’s what my “stylist” charges. Stylist. No more hairdressers, now they’re stylists. You know what the difference is? About 30 bucks.
I’m not begrudging my stylist a living – but I think I should get the boring cut discount. It takes her all of ten arduous minutes to clip me into shape. By the time I’m done, I’m waving hasta la bye-bye to 2 Jacksons, and a Hamilton, plus a Lincoln tip and three Washingtons for the shampoo girl.
Granted, during my visits to Salon Empteé la Wallette, I am offered, free of charge, coffee, a soft drink or a glass of delicious jug Chardonnay (even if it’s nine in the morning). So I’m thinking – even if I drank 4 or 5 glasses of the Chateau Winn Dixie – it still wouldn’t add up to half a yard. (That’s fifty bucks for you non-Northerners.)
Hence, I did a really brave and scary thing…I went to… Supercuts. (Insert: harpsichord music by Lurch, punctuated by his famous staccato Ohhhhh.)
Hey, it’s $14 and you don’t even need an appointment. I know you’re thinking, “Anna, in name of all that’s holy – Supercuts? Don’t people talk about it in low voices, with shifty, darting eyes? Haven’t people disguised themselves going in there? And isn’t that the place all the comedians joke about?” Yes, yes, and yes. But here’s my defense: FOURTEEN DOLLARS.
Here’s how it went. Upon entering the shop and removing my Zorro mask, I was greeted at the front desk by a cheery Spanish woman in her mid-thirties.
“Welcome to Soopercuts,” she said with a heavy accent. “Your name?”
“Of course. Have a seat, Emma. It will be maybe five minutes.”
(She adds my name to a clipboard.)
I take a seat on one of the long benches in the front of the shop. It’s a walk-in service, which always makes for a colorful clientele, and between my fellow patrons and myself, we’re no exception.
Sitting across from me there’s an old woman in a bright orange housecoat with a large sequined cat appliqué on the front. She kept nodding off and then snapping back up to life with a little grunt. Next to her is a middle-aged man wearing mirrored aviator glasses and looking like a stick of dynamite blew up in his hair. (They’ll be making the 14 skavoikas the hard way on this guy, I thought.). Across from Dynamite Head, sits a twenty-something Goth dude wearing a tee shirt with “im through with it, all of it. i simply don’t care anymore” emblazoned on the front. (That’s encouraging.) Then there’s me—sporting hair that from lack of cutting and shaping looks like I just got out of Bellevue. From a window.
The place is full and three hairdressers are cutting away, non-stop. No blood or screaming so far. Nobody getting up and shouting, “You call THIS a haircut?”
Twenty minutes later, a fifty-something woman named Minerva, her hair in a tight black bun, that’s so tight it appears to be arching her eyebrows, calls out my name from the clipboard, “Emma?”
“Here,” I say, and follow her to her chair. Hmm…what was missing? Oh, yeah, the shampoo sinks. As if reading my mind Minerva says, “For two-dollars extra you can get a shampoo.” Two bucks? Hey, what am I made of money? I’m here to save, dammit. But where WERE the sinks? Did I really want to know?
“Just spritz me.” I concede.
Minerva obliges, wetting my hair with a spray bottle.
“What are we having today?” She asks.
“Two inches off, straight across.”
She nods and salutes me with her scissors. As Minerva is snipping away, she asks me how did I hear of the place. I wanted to say, “Well, there’s an underground network of tightwads—I mean cost conscious citizens.”
“I used to take yoga classes next door.” I tell her.
“They cut hair there?”
“No, it’s a yoga studio.”
“Oh. So how did you hear about us?”
“I used to go to yoga classes next door.”
“I didn’t know there was another place here that cut hair.”
”They don’t. It’s a yoga studio.”
“So how did you find us?”
“Well, I belong to this underground network…”
Before I know it, Minerva has me all cleaned up and lookin’ good. She even gave me a little hand mirror to check out the back of my head to assure me she hadn’t slipped and made me look like I had fallen backwards into a buzz saw.
All told: $14 for the haircut PLUS $5 tip for a grand total of $19. A savings of $31 from the aforementioned salon base price—plus material for a column. Now THAT’S what we Bostonians call a “bahg-in”.
And that’s the View from this Well-Coiffed Broad.