Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A Hair-RAZING experience

OK, I'm sorry for the pun, but it's the hair salons who started it. Haven't you noticed that practically every hair salon, at least in the States, is named with a pun? Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow....A Cut Above...Be Hair Now (OK, i made that one up!)... This is something I've pondered at length with several of my friends. I'm sure there's a master's thesis topic in there somewhere.

But in France I haven't noticed much punning going on. Maybe because Beauty isn't take lightly here. Take it from me -- I've been reprimanded on several occasions for all manner of beauty "faux-pas." And it's not always pretty...

Like that woman in the leg-waxing place who pinched my thighs in disgust and told me I needed to do "Le Cure Silhouette" (a kind of overheated shrink-wrapping). Or that bra saleswoman who insisted I wear a size smaller because I had saggy boobs (yes! she really said that!). Or that other woman in the waxing place who said that if I didn't start using "gommage" she was going to report me to the police (OK, i'm kidding about that one. But the other ones are real).

Somehow I always thought that my hair was above reproach. What could possibly be wrong with healthy, clean, long hair? Apparently lots, as I found out the other day when I went for my first real haircut (other than a trim) in about 15 years.

Mais pourquoi vous avez laisse les cheveux si longs??? (Why have you let your hair stay so long???) This said with the same horror as if I had abandoned an infant in the middle of a major thoroughfare. I didn't have an answer, and just waited for the experience to be over. Unfortunately that was only the beginning.... during the next hour and a half, with scissors snipping at terrifying speed around my head, I was told that my hair was too heavy (trop lourd), too easily tangled, hard to work with, and, basically, a beauty disaster. I would have complained, but I was too busy holding perfectly still so as to avoid having one of my ears cut off.

Is there a lesson in all this? Yeah, don't come to Paris for an ego trip. But in the end, I'm pretty happy with the result. Isn't that all that matters?


Blogger Laura said...

All I can say is I could do with a little Parisian critiquing over here. In Victoria's Secret when I asked them if they have a bra that would lift my drooping boobs the woman just frowned and said no, then proceeded to try and sell me yet another padded bra as if she had never heard of such a problem. Does someone with a D cup really need to look bigger? Obviously yes in Victoria's opinion. Americans tend towards insincerity to the point of flat out lying to you about your looks. I think your hair looks fabulous btw!

5:48 PM  

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