My one and only hairdresser moved.  Seems ridiculous, right?  It’s not if you know me.  

I don’t let anyone touch my hair.  I had a horrendous hair cutting experience when I was a teen and ever since, I’m wary of overzealous hair ‘artists’ and their scissors.  Most importantly, though, hair is extremely important to a dancer.  Men love it, lots of it and I could not possibly entrust my layers to just anyone.  I’m not sure if I ever shared this – way too many posts to search – so I’ll give you the highlights…

My mother and I take a salon day while she’s in town.  She was attending a medical program at John’s Hopkins in Maryland and had left my sister and I at two different friend’s houses for the better part of a year.  While I applauded my mother’s then-ambitious efforts, I don’t think she ever truly researched the woman with whom I was living.  So it was quite surprising when, on the way to school one morning, we get pulled over (in my mother’s car, tags expired) and the woman had a warrant out for her arrest.  I didn’t really care about that; I had a paper due that day and I proceeded to ask the officer how was I to get to school.  He promptly told me to shut up before I got smacked in the face.  That summer was also the first time I got dry-humped by a neighborhood kid.  I was willing, but it was extremely awkward, what with the audience and all.

Anyway, I let a girl cut the front of my hair, since I didn’t have a ‘style’ and, of course, it was messed up.  So my mom took me to the salon: me for a wash, trim and style and an entire head of microbraids for herself.  Even with three women working on her head, it took forever.  So my hairdresser and I had a nice chat before she got started.  

“How do you want it cut?”

“Just a trim.  But no stacks.  I don’t like them at all.”

“Okay.  I’ll see what I can do.”

I got stacks.  She chopped almost all of my hair off, but left it its original length (long) in the back.  I looked like a radar dish: small, tiny curls ringing the sides and back middle of my head, angled upward and then a center portion curled toward the front.  The long piece in the back draped my neck as some sort of, I don’t know, tail.  It was a futuristic mullet, sprayed with so much hairspray I could have headbutt a rhino and won.  I was horrified, crying in the salon.  Famous last words:

“I don’t think she likes it.”

So you could imagine my angst when the one hairdresser I had discovered in college who actually listened to what I wanted, who styled me to perfection for several years, up and moved to Atlanta.  I had already been traveling back to Gainesville from Tampa to get my hair done, but now to another state?  Was it that serious that I couldn’t find a stylist in Tampa?


Yes.  Yes, it was.

Picture the above: much shorter with a square center section on the crown rolled forward and a long piece in the back, extending just beyond my shoulder blades.  Minus the rollers.  Now picture it on a 13-year-old, who is already very different, trying to fit in with a bunch of neighborhood kids.

I went to Atlanta to get my hair did.  The trip served two purposes: to get my hair properly coiffed and to see what Atlanta had to offer.  I had been in constant communication with a good friend of mine, Lamar.  Lamar was all fashion, all fierce, all the time.  He was also a makeup artist and had been priming me for a big move to the A.  The makeup scene is hot, he said.  You’ll be working in no time, he said.  I have more work than I can handle, he said.  At this point, I was still on the fence, but I figured it was as good an excuse as any to take a trip.  Off to Hotlanta I went.

One thought on ““Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like.” Anonymous

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