Bras and Hairdressers….

How on earth can those two things possibly be connected I hear you ask. Good question and one that I, like you, would not have contemplated until the other day when I found myself in the hair salon for my six weekly torture session  trim. As many of you know I do not enjoy being stuck in front of a mirror for an hour at a time while someone does creative things with scissors and hair gum (what is that?!?!?) but needs must….

How on earth can those two things possibly be connected I hear you ask. Good question and one that I, like you, would not have contemplated until the other day when I found myself in the hair salon for my six weekly torture session  trim. As many of you know I do not enjoy being stuck in front of a mirror for an hour at a time while someone does creative things with scissors and hair gum (what is that?!?!?) but needs must…..

I have grown to quite like my new hairdresser as he doesn’t laugh at my French, doesn’t expect me to make inane conversation about the weather or my next holiday and does a good job with my hair (yes, that does come third on that particular list). Anyhoo, this time he was busy snipping away and teeny tiny bits of hair were sticking to every centimetre of exposed flesh i.e. my face and hands; the rest of me being covered by something resembling a straight jacket…or so I thought..

Despite his intense concentration he’d obviously noticed me attempting to blow bits of hair from my own face (not easy!) and turned on the hairdryer which he then turned on me. Had I still lived in England I could have asked for this most blessed of reliefs but I don’t know the words for ‘hairdryer’, ‘itchy’ or ‘hair clippings’ in French so I couldn’t. It felt great and I started to relax again…..

It was then that I noticed a new itch; it had not been apparent when I had red fire ants  bits of hair stuck all over my face but now it was making itself known. It appeared that the straight jacket the salon had equipped me with was not altogether secure and several hair clippings had somehow found their way into my bra. Bugger.

Hurry upI mean, what the hell do you do in that situation? It was not as if I could just ram my hand down the front of my bra and fish around for all the itchy bits and anyway experience told me that teeny tiny bits of hair stick! I tried to retain my composure and I think I kept wriggling to a minimum but I was praying that my hairdresser would step it up a bit so I could get out of there or, failing that, realise what was wrong and hand me the hairdryer so I could shove it down my bra. Sadly, he did neither….

30 minutes of rigorous self control  later he gave me a huge beaming smile and told me that he was finished. I found it hard to be enthusiastic to be honest as my left boob was still undergoing exquisite torture. However, I did my best and asked to make another appointment. It was then that he told me he’s moving to Australia….so I need to find a new hairdresser……again. Bugger!

We said a fond farewell and I exited the salon with my head held high, before screaming into the nearest toilet where I ripped off my t-shirt and bra; the relief was indescribable!

So, there you have it, the connection between bras and hairdressers. Perhaps you have such a tale to tell? If so, I’d love to hear from you ;O)

Lisa

x

Loins Girded……

Do you find that, when you’re really not looking forward to something, you have a mental process which allows you to pull up your big girl (or boy) panties and just get out there and do it? It’s the mental equivalent of a kick up the arse. It could involve deep breathing or visualizing a positive rather than negative experience, a quick shot of vodka, who knows, it’s different for everyone.

Do you find that, when you’re really not looking forward to something, you have a mental process which allows you to pull up your big girl (or boy) panties and just get out there and do it? It’s the mental equivalent of a kick up the arse. It could involve deep breathing or visualizing a positive rather than negative experience, a quick shot of vodka, who knows, it’s different for everyone.

Well that was me yesterday morning before I set off for the chamber of psychological torture hairdressers. If you read my post from yesterday (a big thank you if you did by the way) you’ll know that this is not exactly a pleasurable experience for me. If you can imagine how it would feel to have Torquemada turning up on your porch and telling you he’d like a quick chat……it’s a bit like that.

Anyway, loins suitably girded, I set off. The salon is in a hotel in Monaco so the first job was finding it (never an easy task for me); luckily a very nice chap offered to show me the way :O) He left me at the lift and said

“It’s the first door on your left”

“Great thanks!”

“The other left Madam”

“……………!!!”

So I entered the salon slightly flushed and silently cursing my ability to differentiate my left from my right when I’m stressed. Thankfully, despite being 10 minutes early,  I did not have to wait so there was no temptation to bury my nose in glossy hair magazines which would give me unrealistic expectations as to what could actually be achieved during my visit.

I popped my arms into a straight jacket gown and was then deposited, with a bottle of chilled Evian (nice touch) in front of a…..WTF!!!!! Not your usual head and shoulders sized mirror, oh no, this was a full floor to ceiling, show every flaw in every part of your body and make you seriously question why you chose to wear those pink shorts mirror. Mwiffle!

Next shock was the arrival of a man.

“Hi! I’m going to be looking after you today”

What? A bloke was going to be doing my hair????”

“Um right, ok, great thanks. I should tell you, I’m English and my French really isn’t very good” (I said in French – don’t be impressed, it’s a well practiced line)

“Don’t worry Madam I speak almost no English”

I think he thought that this would make me feel better. It didn’t.

Some words in French that I did not understand

“I’m sorry I don’t understand” (very useful phrase learned very early on!)

After several minutes of rephrasing and Gallic gesticulations I worked out that he was asking me how my hair had been blonded at my last hairdressers

“No idea really, she just sort of painted some stuff on my hair and voila!”

peas up noseHe gave me the sort of look usually reserved for young children trying to shove peas up their nose and launched into an explanation of the countless options that were available to me.

“Look, I really think it would be best if I just left it to you, you’re the expert after all. However I think I should tell you that I hate my hair and I always hope that hairdressers will perform miracles with it”

At this point I expected him to pale slightly and mutter something about doing his best as had always happened in the past but he didn’t..

“And what would the miracle look like?”

Oh shit! How do I answer that?

“Um, I’m not really sure to be honest…”

I went back to being the pea stuffing toddler.

Anyway, except for a brief discussion about the football (brief because I have no interest in and know nothing about football) and the weather (well, I am English), I let him get on with things.

My hair was painted (30 minutes in front of the mirror trying to avoid eye contact with my reflection), rinsed, painted again (further 45 minutes trying to understand articles in Marie Claire – French version), rinsed, conditioned and rinsed again.

Finally I was ready for THE CUT.

Edward ScissorhandsThere was no discussion. I think he’d realised that it was futile by this point so he set about doing terribly creative things with several different pairs of scissors. However, he did tell me that he’d spent 15 years working in a salon in Paris, the style capital of the World. I was somewhat comforted by this revelation but still found myself gripping the arms of the chair very hard; I think you could probably see the nail  marks if you looked hard enough.

He finished cutting, ignored the rising panic in my eyes and armed himself with a small tub of some blue goo and a hairdryer. 10 minutes later and he was done.

“You can open your eyes now Madame”

“Mmm?”

“Open your eyes”

I did. One at a time. Slowly.

“Wow! It looks great” Big smile of relief….and that was just from him!

So, there you have it, all that worrying and loin girding and for what? Honestly why do I make such a fuss about these stupid little things?

“So with the hair serum (what, it smelt nice!) that will be an astronomical amount of Euros”

hair meResigning myself to living on baguettes and cheese for the next couple of weeks I handed over my card and made another appointment for 6 weeks time. I sincerely hope that I will remember this experience and have no need to gird my loins in the future……….I probably won’t.

Oh yes, I knew there was something else. I saw my best friend later in the day; I opened the door to him grinning proudly, his comment:

“I thought you said you were going to the hairdressers today” Men!

Please do let me know about the last time you needed to do a spot of loin girding, I’d love to hear from you.

Lisa x

 

 

Impending Sense of Dread……

Is there anything that have to do, on a regular basis, that you really hate doing? You know what I mean, it’s necessary, but if you could put it off you would and you find yourself always getting a teeny bit stressed the day before. Maybe it’s going to the dentist or monthly meetings at work, medical check ups, that kind of thing; the kind of appointment that you’re never going to forget because we don’t ever forget the things that we’re dreading……..Yes? You get where I’m coming from? Good, I’m so glad I’m not alone in this. 

Is there anything that have to do, on a regular basis, that you really hate doing? You know what I mean, it’s necessary, but if you could put it off you would and you find yourself always getting a teeny bit stressed the day before. Maybe it’s going to the dentist or monthly meetings at work, medical check ups, that kind of thing; the kind of appointment that you’re never going to forget because we don’t ever forget the things that we’re dreading……..Yes? You get where I’m coming from? Good, I’m so glad I’m not alone in this.

For me it’s going to the hairdresser. You heard right; the world of head massages, glossy magazines and heavenly smelling shampoos. Hate it! Why? Well, the reasons are many fold:

Firstly, my hair has a fear of hairdressers. For a week before I make an appointment it will lie around listlessly feeling sorry for itself; there’s a lot of infighting with small groups of hair doing their own thing and refusing to play well with others, that sort of thing. Then what happens? Lo and behold, the morning of the appointment, they all decide to work together and organise themselves into perfectly styled shininess. Damn them all the way to Hades!

By then it’s too late to cancel so, with a feeling of deep trepidation I head off to the torture chamber  salon. Now, as I have a pathological fear of being late, I will always have about 15 minutes to wait before I am called to the rack chair. I am usually offered a cup of coffee (which I refuse as I don’t want to have to ask someone who has a sharp implement held close to my ears where the toilets are) and a selection of magazines…..

hairThey are either glossy magazines full of young model types looking beautifully vacant and slightly depressed or they are chocked full of equally stunning women with amazing hairstyles. I should have learned over the years to politely decline the magazines, along with the coffee, but I haven’t so I look at the lovely pictures.

At my designated appointment time I am escorted over to a workstation by a woman with perfect hair who sits me down in front of a mirror, over which has been placed, the kind of strip lighting that would make Elle McPherson reach for her bronzer and touche eclat!

At this point she will ask the dreaded question:

“So what are we going to do today?”

How the hell would I know? Why are you asking me that question? I don’t take my car in for a service and expect to tell the mechanic what he should be doing with it; I trust that he knows one end of a dipstick from the other and let him get on with it!

In response I generally pass over the magazine that I’ve been clutching in my sweaty little paw and point to a picture with a hopeful smile

“Something like that?”

“Hmm yes it’s lovely but the model has really thick hair and, in my experience, a cut doesn’t usually add length”

“Ha ha right no of course, well whatever you think……..”

haircutNo amount of interrogation, gentle probing, by the slightly apprehensive looking stylist can illicit a more helpful response so she gets on with the job in hand and I sit there with my eyes closed silently praying.

After she has finished her ministrations

“There all done, what do you think?”

Bugger!

What a question to ask!! Now I’ve got to lie and live with a hairstyle I hate for the next few weeks until I have to go through the whole torturous experience again or I have to be honest and watch her face fall…

“Look, it’s not you, it’s my hair, honestly it’s hopeless” I gabble; I’m flushed and trying to stop my bottom lip  from trembling

Resignedly I hand over my cash with a weak smile and walk out, convincing myself that it will look better once it’s grown in a bit and the colour has toned down a few shades……

hermioneWhy oh why did they give me those bloody magazines? Why did I read them? I wouldn’t have had ridiculous expectations of a life-changing new style if I’d been reading Harry Potter (unless it was the bit where Hermione has discovered Sleakeazy’s hair potion). Oh well, I’ve got no-one to blame but myself……and all those gorgeous bloody young women with their stupid, shiny, perfect hair!

So, where am I off to today? Yep, you’ve guessed it – the hairdresser……..a new hairdresser (my old one who I’d got used to and could talk me off most hair related ledges has, rather inconsiderately, decided to be 8 months pregnant and stop working)……in Monaco…..where I will have to translate my neuroses into French. Meep!

I’ll report back later…………or I’ll be sorting through my collection of paper bags and trying them on for size….

If you’re off to do that thing you hate today please feel free to share your misery in the comments ;O)

Lisa

x

Have you got it up top?

Is what was once your crowning glory now more of a good excuse to wear hats?

Is what was once your crowning glory now more of a good excuse to wear hats? Unfortunately, for most of us, as we get older, our hair gets thinner, dryer and less shiny. It may also go grey or even disappear altogether! However, aging is not necessarily the problem, it could be that our hair loss is due to vitamin deficiencies or the menopause but, either way, you’ll be glad to know that there are things you can do to restore your crowning glory…

Firstly, have a look at what you eat. To get the best from our hair we need to be ingesting plenty of protein and omega 3 fatty acids so look to add more of the following to your diet:

You can also have a look at herbs such as saw palmetto and ginkgo biloba, both of which have been found to help to strengthen hair and slow down thinning. There are drugs that you can but, as with all medications you should speak to your doctor first and consider any possible side effects.

Think about the shampoo that you use; although there are no shampoos that will promote hair growth, there are a number that will improve the condition of your scalp thus providing a happier and healthier environment for the hair that you do have – try products which contain rosemary and mint which will stimulate your scalp naturally.

We all love a hot shower first thing in the morning but hot water will actually dehydrate your hair which will leave it feeling dry and more brittle so turn the temperature down a few degrees and even think about a quick blast of cold water after you’ve rinsed your hair.

Think about your hair style; a really top notch hairdresser will be able to give you great ideas for styles that will suit not only your hair type but also your facial type and will certainly be able to suggest colours to tone down that grey and give you a more vibrant and youthful look. With the right haircut you can go from hair disaster to hair triumph; some people get it right and some need to find a new stylist: