Not long ago, I arrived at the heartbreaking, gut-wrenching decision to cut my hair short. After months of inner (and outer) hair turmoil, I decided it was time to throw in the comb. This isn’t a matter I take lightly, so I planned to bring about my hair’s demise in style and opulence. I was going to pop champagne at seven in the morning the day of my appointment! I was going roll up to the overpriced salon in a stretch limousine! I was going to treat myself to an entire cheesecake after the whole ordeal was over to console and reward myself! In all reality, the only one of those I accomplished was going to an upscale salon. …Though the cheesecake option is still (always) on the table. I was calling this entire ordeal Annihairlation 2013.

For all your overpriced hair needs: Mario Tricoci.Image from Google
For all your overpriced hair needs: Mario Tricoci.
Image from Google
Preparing for Annihairlation 2013

I decided to go to Mario Tricoci, which as I’m sure you might’ve gathered by the name, is a significantly overpriced, fancy salon and spa, filled with fellow customers and employees that would be sure to look down upon me with my chipped nail polish and lack of designer handbag. I’ve been to this place before for an eyebrow wax long ago, and it’s also where I got my makeup and hair done for prom senior year of high school. It’s a great place–don’t get me wrong. But translated into English, Tricoci means, “this is a rip off.”

I knew going there was worth it for this occasion, though. This was my hair’s swan song for crying out loud, I would spare no expense!

The time came to make the dreaded appointment. I hate verbally asking for appointments equally, if not more, than I hate talking on the phone. These are two necessary evil components of life that I despise rolled into one. I find that if you’re making an appointment at a new salon, or one you only go to every once in a while, when you don’t have the name of a particular stylist that you want, the person making your appointment judges you. It goes something like this:

“Hi, I wanted to make an appointment for a hair cut next Saturday around 9 a.m.?”
“Okay! Saturday… 9 a.m., with which stylist?”
“Oh, it doesn’t matter. Whoever’s available.”
Silence. “O-kay… Well then.. Um. Would you like Chloe, Jamie, Paolo, Raven, Jose, Taryn, Ivetta, or Quinn.”

…Needless to say, I went to Mario Tricoci’s website to make the appointment to avoid this entire process.

“Reservation” for One, Please

Once on their website, I searched for where I go to make my appointment. I saw a link that read, “Book a Reservation,” but nothing about appointments. Can I not make an appointment online, I wondered. I noticed the “Book a Reservation” again, and I started thinking to myself, does “book a reservation” really mean make an appointment?

Seriously?
Seriously?

Look, I’m not staying overnight, and this isn’t a hotel room. I’m not going on a ridiculously priced peyote hair retreat for the weekend–I just need to set up the time for a damn haircut. An appointment. …Sure enough, this salon is apparently so highfalutin it can’t call an appointment what it is, an appointment. Soon I was well on my way to booking my haircut “reservation.”

I chose my time, location, and then it came time to pick my stylist. I decided to look through the list of females, because frankly, I don’t know that I’ll ever trust a man with scissors near my beloved hair. As I scanned through the list of names, I began to wonder if having an unusual, exotic, or Eastern European-sounding name was requirement to work at Mario Tricoci. Sobya. Nonya. Papaya. What were the odds of multiple women with these kinds of names all deciding their calling in life was to be a hair stylist and then ending up at this one salon?

It was from this lineup of names that I came up with a theory: at expensive salons, everyone comes up with a fake name much in the way the way they do in the exotic dancing world. For strippers, it’s to protect their identity somehow, but in the cut-throat salon industry, hair stylists with unique names translates to better tips, and it gives the whole establishment they work in an added level of class and trendiness.

From this list of names, I tried to pick the one that was the least ridiculous and gave me the least-bitchy vibe of the bunch: Charlotte. 

I continued the process of “booking my reservation,” and I got to a section of the form where I was asked to “secure” my reservation with my credit card. It appears there are some people that get off on making appointments at fancy salons and not showing up. …I could see the appeal. Just imagine the look on the face of some poor stylist named “Shoshanna” when her 10 o’clock doesn’t show up, and she has to sit in her own chair, scissors in hand, dejected and alone. What could be more fun than making that happen?

inBefore I submitted the reservation form, I noticed one more section I had overlooked entitled, “Invite your friends to join you?” Do what? Invite.. my friends? For the moral support I so desperately need? …Where would they sit? Is this something people do nowadays? In the salons I usually go to, if you bring a friend, they sit in the waiting area by the door flipping through magazines from 1991 among all the kids crying for their mothers who are busy getting highlights and gossiping. At Mario Tricoci, apparently your friends need to be on the guest list. How posh! And totally ridiculous.

I finalized my request for this “reservation” and to my disgust, I immediately got an email with my “itinerary.” …Mario’s really taking this vacation metaphor pretty seriously. It’s a haircut–not a weeklong stay in St. Tropez. I verified my appointment time was correct and began the countdown to Annihairlation Day.

What have you done to us, Miley?Image from Google
What have you done to us, Miley?
Image from Google

I’ve noticed something about hair appointments: in the days leading up to your appointment, you find yourself getting more and more bold in your haircut plans. Let’s call this the Miley Cyrus Effect. As you contemplate your hair future more seriously as the day of reckoning draws near, you start vowing to make drastic changes. “You know what? I’m going to get choppy layers.” “Forget it, I’m getting bangs!” Even though I already knew I was going to go short, I started considering my options–namely, an asymmetrical bob. 

...I won't be getting the Rihanna anytime soon.
…I won’t be getting the Rihanna anytime soon.

I became so possessed by this notion that I even downloaded one of those apps that lets you try on different hairstyles. I’ve never had a really “trendy” haircut. I don’t really think I’ve ever felt cool enough to pull one off, because let’s face it, I have all the edginess of a koala bear. But I figured, I have to get my luxurious locks chopped anyway, what do I have to lose at this point? Is now the time to be brave? I know I’m going to be miserable with any short ‘do, so how much miserable could I be if I took a risk!? I became determined. I was going to do it!

Annihairlation Day 2013

The day of my reservation came. As I walked up to the revolving door (really?), I recited the pertinent details of my appointment in my head, “Charlotte. 9:15. Charlotte. 9:15.” …I have a weird paranoia about forgetting my stylist’s name and inadvertently stealing someone else’s appointment, so this is a standard ritual for me before every hair appointment. I waited in line at the front desk to announce my arrival, and I overheard something that shouldn’t have surprised me. The lingo you use to let the employees know you’ve arrived: you’re checking in. Just when you thought the vacation references had ended, there they were again. I “checked in” for my “reservation,” humiliated I had to participate in the perpetuation of such a convoluted metaphor. Still in my gym clothes with my sweaty ponytail, I sat down in the waiting area among the well-to-do moms and stuck-up bitches with their Michael Kors bags.

While I waited to be called, I scanned the salon. It’s amazing how little had changed in the five years since I’d last been there. The stylists were all still wearing clothing that was entirely too formal to be anywhere near hair dye. I saw a man in a full suit with a pink tie, several women in five inch heels, and it wouldn’t have surprised me if somewhere on the premises there was a massage therapist wearing a full taffeta evening gown. …Does this really impress people? All I was thinking while I was sitting there was, I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a cute pair of heeled boots around someone’s hair clippings. What did impress me though was the magazine selection that was splayed out on the two trendy glass coffee tables in front of me. They actually had magazines you wanted to read from this calendar year!

Still taking in the atmosphere, I heard a baby voice from behind me say, “Katie?” This was it, the moment of truth. This is the woman that’s going to kill my hair. I did a dramatic, slow motion turnaround to see this Charlotte. Who stood before me was a short woman with natural auburn hair that was styled so perfectly it looked effortless. Her makeup was flawless, and she was clearly one of those chicks that men and women took notice of every time she walked by–men, because she’s gorgeous, women, with jealousy because she’s gorgeous and that makes her a total bitch. I offered a huge grin and said, “Hi!” in my trademarked, fake enthusiastic voice reserved for strangers that don’t know any better. “I’m Charlotte,” she said, and offered her hand. I grasped her hand and said, “Nice to meet you! I’m Katie.” and she led to my the coat room. …A coat room, too? Jeez Louise.

Digging My Hair Grave

I followed Charlotte to her chair. It’s now or never–this is my last chance to back out. Before I could change my mind, I pulled out my phone and showed her a picture that was serving as inspiration for this asymmetrical bob I had quickly become obsessed with having. She took a look at it, asked a few questions, and then we were off to wash my hair. As I took that long walk I let the full implications of my request sink in–it’s done. I’ve given the order. In between cursing and being proud of myself for having the guts to stick to my hair convictions, I racked my brain to come up with which celebrity Charlotte reminded me of.

Do I trust a Rose McGowan look alike with my hair?Image from Google
Do I trust a Rose McGowan look alike with my hair?
Image from Google

I hate getting my hair washed in salons for the same reason I hate getting my teeth cleaned: should my eyes be opened or closed? I don’t want to look creepy that I keep my eyes open, but I also don’t want to look like I’m enjoying it too much (though I totally am, who doesn’t love getting their hair washed by another human being?). I decided to close my eyes, and then I got it! Charlotte looks like Rose McGowan! As she continued massaging my head, I thought, how do I feel about someone that looks like Rose McGowan cutting my hair? Remember that chain dress she wore to the VMAs when she was dating Marilyn Manson?

What have I done?!Image from Google
What have I done?!
Image from Google

We went back to her chair and it started. I stared at myself in the mirror and thought about how unflattering those capes are that you wear for a haircut. It just goes to show how ugly we’d all look if we just were heads and necks–it’s not a cute look. All these crazy thoughts running through my head were the only thing keeping me from hyperventilating. My hair hasn’t been this short since infancy. She clipped up half of my hair and started making the first cuts. Oh no. That’s a lot of hair. I watched it fall to the floor, and I was stunned at what little remained on my head. I tried not to look horrified when she sometimes made eye contact with me in the mirror, but inwardly, I was feeling like Natalie Portman’s character in V for Vendetta when she gets her head shaved.

I had a psychological breakdown in my mind. WHAT WAS I THINKING?! Snip. I’M GOING TO LOOK LIKE KATE GOSSELIN. Snip, snip.

When your hair is wet, it’s really hard to envision what a haircut will look like, and let me tell you, what I was seeing in the mirror, was making me certain I was going to have to book another future appointment at Mario Tricoci to get extensions put in. She finished her last snips, put a bunch of products in my hair, and took out her round brush and hair dryer.

Annihairlation didn't turn out like this!!! SUCCESS.Image from Google
Annihairlation didn’t turn out like this!!! SUCCESS.
Image from Google

I don’t think hair dressers get enough praise for the magic they can work with just one round brush and a hair dryer. It’s seriously incredible. The coordination, the arm strength, the dexterity–their talents are underrated. As she started the process of drying and styling, something strange happened. I started to think, hey, this doesn’t look that bad… I watched in the mirror anxiously as she made her way around my head counterclockwise drying my hair, eager for her to finish so I could make my final verdict. She blow dried the last section, and I was actually amazed. I didn’t look at all like Friar Tuck as I had feared!

A Shocking albeit Happy Conclusion

I was thrilled. My hair surrounded me, shriveled on the floor, but I made it out alive and unscathed! Charlotte, you amazing little Rose McGowan look-alike you! The terror was over, and it was time to settle up and compensate Charlotte for her efforts. I was pretty impressed with how my hair looked, so I decided to buy the three products she put in my hair before styling–because goodness knows, I could totally recreate this look at home as long as I have the products! …Yeah, right.

She put the products up at the front desk for me, and I got my coat and went to pay. I prepared myself for the worst. The chick behind the counter informed me, “The haircut was $35…” Hold the phone, $35? That’s not at all unreasonable! Mario, I’m so sorry. I’ve wrongly slandered you. $35 really isn’t half bad! I reached into my wallet and half-offered her my credit card, “…And with the products that brings your total to $113.65.” WHAT THE HECK.

I tried (and probably failed) to keep my composure. What just happened here!? Those products cost… I tried to compute the difference, but in my shock my mathematical abilities failed me (yeah, we’ll blame the shock). What had started out as a surprisingly reasonable trip to the salon quickly became the screwing over that I had originally anticipated. I swallowed grimly. I was not going to be one of those people that freaks out and says, “That’s how much!? Take that off!” …So instead of being that person, I surrendered my dignity as a human being along with $113.65 of my hard-earned dollars.

It's VERY different for me, but I like it.
It’s VERY different for me, but I like it.

I spun through the revolving door, trying to rationalize the events of the past five minutes. I got into my car and flipped down the visor to look at my hair in the mirror, an act that’s becoming something of a ritual for me after every haircut. Well, I thought, I really do like the haircut. A lot actually. I’m still disgusted that I paid that much for a haircut and a measly three products, but it looks like everything that I expected to happen came true. Except for one part: hating my short hair. 

So you see, the moral of the story is this: when you go into a salon expecting to be charged too much, come hell or high water, you will spend too much money–only sometimes, it’ll be your own doing. But more importantly, sometimes you need to step outside of your hair comfort zone, because you might be missing out.

…But more often than not, stay inside your comfort zone. You’re not missing anything–I just got lucky this time around.

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26 thoughts on “Annihairlation 2013: Much Ado about a New ‘Do

  1. It’s a cute cut, but I’m confused. If you thought you were going to hate it, why did you do it? (Also, I totally would have put back the products, but then, I know I wouldn’t have known what to do with them anyway.)

    1. I should have put the products back, but I’m actually glad I didn’t because they actually really do help the appearance of my hair, especially on days I don’t style it at all. I cut it because, prior to this haircut, I got some really bad layers that made my hair look ten times thinner than it actually is (and my hair’s thin to begin with) so it just looked awful. I knew the only way to make it right would be to wait and grow them out to the same length and then cut it or cut it down to the shortest layer to make it all one length. I ended up going with the latter. It was driven by the look/health of my hair more than anything else.

  2. I like the new cut, very cute! 🙂

    And I totally understand the feeling of getting your hair cut short. I was tearing up the first time I had to cut mine short (it was broken off pretty badly). And now I can’t imagine it being long again. Who knows, the short look might grow on you! 😉

    1. Thanks! I actually like it a lot, myself.

      It’s a horrible experience. If you haven’t lived through it personally, you don’t have any idea how damaging it can be to the psyche. I’m glad I did it, because it needed to be done, but I don’t know if this is going to be a permanent change… We’ll see. I’m just glad it doesn’t look awful! 🙂

  3. When I read about your hair problems, I am always so very happy to be born a man. I go to this barber, yes barber who I have been going to for about 12 years. I give him the directions, “regular hair cut” (I am not sure what it means but it makes him smile) I sit there and shoot the breeze about the weather and sports and then I am out of there. $7!!! I give him two for a tip because I am a big spender. 🙂 Your writing is fantastic, even though I do not care much about hair, your story made me care about yours and your experience. So great job writing this story. The best part is that no hair cut of any kind can hide the talent for words that you have. Thanks for the entertainment. Hope you love the way your hair looks.

    1. You guys have no idea how good you have it. I wish they had female barber shops–I don’t find anything intimidating about the red, white, and blue striped spinning pole. The salon on the other hand? That place is somewhere to be feared. I think this would actually be a great business venture… The Bitches Barber Shop: reasonable prices, no bullshit.

      Thank you for the compliment by the way! You’re too kind. 🙂

  4. I love your cut! But I do empathize. The same thing happened to me. I got a $20 certificate for Christmas. I bought a can of mousse, and it came to $60. All mathematical abilities go out the window at that point, don’t they? Did a cut that, to tell you the truth, very few people noticed and a can of mousse really come to $80? I can’t remember what I tipped, but I tell you I had no idea what you give someone who just reached in and plucked $60 out of my purse!

    1. Thank you!
      And yes, they do! I can’t imagine how salons can get away with this highway robbery. How does the cashier stand there, with a straight face, and tell you your total comes to 113 fucking dollars without saying, “holy fuck, your total is $113, what the fuck just happened? What a rip off.”
      It’s a very humbling experience.

  5. Your new haircut looks great! You were very brave. I get so scared once the scissors come out, you’d think she was going to chop my head off.
    The ‘itinerary’ cracked me up! What was in it?

    1. Thank you! I need all the positive reassurance I can get. I feel like I’m on a 12-step short hair program or something. Step one: shamelessly seek praise and compliments from others.

      My “itinerary” was woefully short, because unlike a lot of the other people that go there that probably get a hair cut, a facial, a deep tissue massage, and a manicure, I was just getting a hair cut. So it literally said, “Itinerary,” at the top with just this:

      A woman’s haircut.

      It was somewhat embarrassing.

  6. It’s a good thing she didn’t make your hair look like Katie Gosyln. That would have been incredibly awkward to be reading Kate Goslyn’s blog. It would have been weird to start getting posts about yourself when you have 8 kids running around being neglected.

    1. I think it’s a little soon to reveal my secret identity. Right now I think I still have some dignity, and once the cat’s out of the bag, I’m not sure how my followers will be affected.

      Hang on, I think Baby #5 wandered out into traffic again…

  7. LOL, you make a trip to the salon sound like the most terrifying and unbearably nerve-wracking event ever 😉 I might be biased since I’ve grown up in salons all of my life and have always been friends with the stylists, but I never knew people freaked out this badly when they went to get their hair cut. I’ve always enjoyed having my hair played with and everything, it’s so relaxing. 😀

    But, I never (EVER) would have payed that much for 3 hair products. Nope. That’s when I would have backed out gracefully, lol. But your hair looks lovely and I’m glad you like the new look! (I’m a bit jealous, I’ve always wanted to try a bob, but my hair tends to freak out when it’s cut short and in all honesty, I’m not going to take the time to fix it everyday, lol!) 😀

    1. I think there’s as many scary tools at the salon as there are at the dentist. Scissors, weird combs, foil and shit–I have no idea what’s really going on there behind closed doors, but it wouldn’t at all surprise me if it was something nefarious. Trims I find relaxing (after the whole hair washing because I still haven’t resolved the eyes-open or eyes-closed thing) since that isn’t much hair being cut.

      I know it’s a ridiculous sum. I still feel dirty. I also don’t take the time to fix it everyday, and my hair is naturally very curly, so on lazy days like today, I look like Shirley Temple.

      1. LOL. A lot of people just close their eyes and continue talking to their stylists, as far as I know, though there are some who keep their eyes open and keep talking as well. I think it’s just personal preference. The only time I’m nutty about keeping my eyes closed is when I’m getting my eyebrows waxed, because I don’t want a glob of wax accidentally hitting me in the eye! (And I also have this random fear that if I keep my eyes open, my eyelashes will get stuck in the wax!) 😀

      2. I feel as if that should be a blog post all on it’s own, lol! Personally I fear that moment when I’m walking toward someone or someone’s walking towards me and I don’t know whether to look up, make eye contact and smile or not, lol 😀

  8. I had such a great time reading this post! After you posted on my blog, I had to come read what your hair cutting experience was like. Too funny! I can really relate to every feeling. I ALWAYS flip down my visor right away to see the damage. As if they have magic mirrors in there that show you what you want to see. And then, I put my sunglasses up there as a hair accessory. After all, in the summer, that’s my favorite look! I can’t wait to finally get mine done. 🙂 Thanks for the read!

    1. Exactly! What I saw in the salon might not be what my hair ACTUALLY looks like, so I have to use the tiny 3 inch visor mirror. Actually, while we’re on this topic, I hate when they give you the hand mirror to look at the back, and I can never figure out how to do the reflection properly. So the stylist just watches me fumble with it until I give a glowing recommendation even though I couldn’t see shit.

      I still think your hair is going to look great!

      1. Thank you! I hope so, I guess we’ll see! I do the same thing with the mirror, I’m like “oh yeah, that looks great” and I have no idea what I’m talking about. I think your hair is really cute! I’m hoping to get the same result!

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