One of the hardest things about moving to Miami is finding a hair stylist. In Juneau, I had the same stylist for ten years and then he moved. I was horrified. It was as if suddenly God shouted there would be no more coffee or cheese on earth.
W H A T ?
Then I found a great new hair stylist who I used until my final day in Juneau.
Fast forward to Miami and 40,000 salons, spas, hair cutters and strip malls offering quick cut services. What to do? Only one thing. Try. Try. Try again.
So far, I’ve tried three salons. The first was nice but too far away after a few visits. The second was….honestly…..the stylist just didn’t listen. I’d sit in the chair, tell her what I wanted and I swear she barely cut anything off my head. Not to mention the color never stayed. Lastly, it’s never a good thing when it looks like you’ve tried to behead me with the electric shaver. Oh, I’m not kidding! Big giant red cut across the the back of my neck.
In Juneau, my hair was my glory. In Miami, it’s my struggle.
Needing to get another cut. I was dreading having to go back to salon #2.
The stylist, I knew would cut off the equivalent of a gnat’s leg hair width of an amount and the end result would be my head would look like a giant q-tip.
Yeah me – cause that’s the latest hot style! Everyone loves that look!
Finally, due to my simple exasperation, my better half searched and found a place on line and I gave it a look. My initial response was “are you kidding me? Have you seen the pricing?” A few visits and I could buy a new car…and we all know what kind of car I want.
As my hair continued to get pouffier, yes that’s a word, thank you. I cancelled my standing appointment at the salon that doesn’t listen to me and made an appointment at the next salon attempt. We’ll call this place, “Salon Oh La La.”
I walked in the front door and nearly turned around as I thought: oh no, this is not for me. No. No. No. No. This can’t be right. I’ve never been in such a salon.
No. It’s not the mix of 4 different languages that make an impact on me: Spanish, Russian, Jewish and Muslim. That’s just a common, regular day in Aventura. What stuns me is the 3 tiered, enormous, bigger than a VW Beetle, crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling….over a circular couch that could very well be in a porn film or posh advertisement with nearly naked men lounging on it. Wait, in fact, I think there might be nearly naked people lounging on it.
Every square inch of space has someone in some form of processing. There’s no waiting area, so I continue to stand in the middle of the chaos.
Well, this is awkward, as I wait to be attended to by the front desk.
My uncomfortableness is compounded as I don’t know where to look as there are people everywhere. And, by the way….why do they have a money machine in here?
I have to yell my arrival to the woman at the front desk. Yell. Over. The. Noise.
I can only yell my name and appointment time to her as, unfortunately I have no idea who my appointment is with. When they called me back to tell me my time (as I requested my appointment via their online system) the background noise from the salon was so loud I couldn’t hear who the name was of the stylist.
OH yes! You’re with Suyera.
Great! (WTF? I think silently to myself…what name did she say?)
A few minutes go by and this young guy comes up and introduces himself to me: Hello. I am Stoerj. Nice to meet you. Please, this way.
He is so quiet and I have barely understood anything of what he said. Not that he has an accent but he is quiet. OH MY.
We go to his station and he asks what I want to do. I tell him I need his help. That he is my third stylist and I am looking for someone to just do what needs to be done. He says, “not to worry.” Then he starts to look at my hair, which I wear naturally curly.
He looks at the back and says, “WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED HERE?” No mistaking his dislike of my shortened buzzed cut at the nape of my neck. “WHO DID THIS?” He’s obviously quite upset. “TERRIBLE!” I continued to just let him go on and he continued to run his fingers through my giant mass of hair.
A few minutes later another gentleman joins us and my stylist introduces him as Joseph. He and Joseph start to consult together over my hair – in Russian. Joseph calls my stylist Sam.
I have a name! Mental note to self. SAM.
The two of them push my head to the left, to the right and to the front. All of the sudden…. Sam’s voice goes up four octaves and his sentences start running together. The only word I could understand was:
Again, he’s not happy about the shaved nape of my neck.
I’m thinking, it’s a good thing I didn’t ask him to do this again.
Joseph walks away and Sam says to me, “don’t worry, I will fix this mess in the back. It will take a few visits, but it can be fixed. They should have never done this.” Little did he know, I wanted it like that.
We did color and high lights, low lights, mid lights, rough lights, sweet lights, edgy lights and I even had a cappuccino while I lighted and processed.
It was time for the wash out and he leads me over to the sinks. A Russian girl comes out to shampoo me. All I could think to myself was two things….
1. Please, don’t wash off my eyebrows, I have to go to the store after this.
2. I don’t think you need to shampoo down my neck.
No, I am not kidding. She would hold my head up by placing her palm on the crown of my head and then shampoo down my neck.
I wasn’t just a bird in a bird bath, I was a raccoon in a bird bath. Water was going everywhere. I thought at one point….if I start to squirt water of my mouth we’re going to be in trouble here.
My thought process went something like this for the shampoo session:
Please don’t wash off my eyebrows. Oh my god, is my mascara waterproof?
I bet I look like Marilyn Manson by now. How is this water NOT going in my ears? Is it necessary to wash my forehead? Oh wait, time for the neck again. Please don’t wash off my eyebrows.
Note to self: Thank god I invested in the clear eyebrow sealer, thank you Bobbi Brown.
Back to Sam, we’re down to business. He uses his index finger to push my head this way and that way. The cutting starts normally enough. It’s your typical hair cut. Comb and cut. Comb and cut. He dries my hair and uses the flat iron. It looks fantastic. I love it.
Little did I know the best was yet to come.
Cue Edward Scissorhands.
I’m not kidding.
It starts with Sam pulling up sections of my hair with one hand……while he cuts wildly….as gravity pulls my hair back into place.
This occurs all over my entire head.
Step two: He takes sections of my hair and twirls it around his finger. These large twists of basically hair rope are cut into with his ridiculously fast scissors. Again, all over my head.
Step three: Get out the hair dryer. Tilting my head to one side and then the other, with the hair dryer on….causing my hair to blow wildly….he cuts madly into the forced wind.
All I can do is keep my eyes closed and hope the scissors don’t nip my eyeballs or my ears. He moves so fast and the sound of those scissors makes my upper lip break out into a sweat. Talk about scaredy cat ….. I’m on the verge of scaredy cut.
Witcha….witcha….witcha….witcha….witcha…witcha…witcha… (sound of his scissors)
Not to mention he leans into the chair while doing all of this so I’m also vibrating at the same time. It’s like a getting a little massage. No, actually, it’s like you’re going up that first big hill on a roller coaster. That chug, chug, chug feeling, but at 100mph.
Or, I’m riding along in a POS car and it’s stuck between 2nd and 3rd gear and can’t get over it. Goodness.
I’m somewhere between getting my hair cut and a Siegfried and Roy act.
The other thing is, when I open my eyes, it amazes me…his cutting draws an audience.
It truly is a performance. I’ve never had people watch me with such jaw dropping (literally) anticipation. Perhaps they too are worried about my eyes and ears. Today when he threw back my hair and I opened my eyes there were four people standing around his station.
They said, “SAM! Beautiful work!”
He said, “Oh no! She is beautiful!”
Even the woman and stylist in the station across from me yell over how great it looks.
A lady, his next client can’t stop exclaiming how wonderful it looks and wants to know if this is my natural color. Seriously?
Ok – who doesn’t want to go to a stylist that says this? Who doesn’t want to go to a stylist that gets an audience when he cuts? Is this what it’s like to be a rock star?
Joseph came back over and told Sam he did a great job. They spoke more in Russian about my FUCKED UP area but we’ll be okay they reassured me. HA!
I get the 360 review in the mirror and Sam walks me over to the reception counter so I can make my next appointment. The receptionist hands me my bill and I realize I won’t be making my first car payment …. instead, I will upgrading to Hughes 500 helicopter payment. Well shit. But you know what. It’s SO WORTH IT.
Now, I also see why they have the money machine in the lobby – tips are cash only.
Sam gives me a kiss and hands me his card with my next appointment on it.
Guess what. His name is Assaf.
Apparently, I need to get my hearing checked.